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Understanding and treating Health Anxiety
Understanding and treating Health Anxiety
Understanding and treating Health Anxiety

Understanding and treating Health Anxiety

Dr. Jonathan S. Abramowitz

Introduction

On July 4th & 5th, 2023, Dr Jonathan Abramowitz delivered a full day workshop over two afternoons on how to understand and treat Illness Anxiety Disorder (or Health Anxiety). This on-demand workshop is a recording of that presentation.

Workshop Outline

Health-related anxiety is a common psychological problem that can disrupt social, occupational, and emotional functioning. Because its symptoms (e.g., recurrent fears of diseases, preoccupation with “unexplained” body sensations, compulsive reassurance-seeking) are complex and highly personalized, conceptualization, assessment, and treatment can pose challenges to clinicians. In this workshop we will cover how to recognize the signs of health anxiety and accurately assess the features of this problem. In addition, you will learn a scientifically supported psychological conceptual model to help you make sense of the often complex symptom presentation. This model also leads to an effective treatment approach, and we will cover how to develop a psychological treatment plan accordingly. The continuity of clinical practice with clinical science will be emphasized throughout the workshop.

This workshop will provide a description of the clinical features of health-related anxiety, and place health anxiety within a broader context of psychopathology. A cognitive-behavioural (CBT) model of health anxiety will be discussed, and methods of assessment for the identification of health anxiety will be explained.
Cognitive behavioural treatment interventions for health anxiety will be reviewed, including the following: 1) psychoeducation; 2) motivational interviewing; 3) cognitive restructuring; 4) exposure therapy and response prevention. The workshop will end with a consideration of common difficulties when treating individuals with health anxiety and how to troubleshoot them.

Content

Learning Objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants will learn how to:

  • Recognize health anxiety & understand the psychopathology of health anxiety

  • Assess the symptoms of health anxiety based on a cognitive-behavioural conceptualization

  • Derive a case formulation from assessment data

  • Implement cognitive-behavioural interventions for health anxiety

  • Address common obstacles in the treatment of health anxiety

About the Presenter

Dr. Jonathan Abramowitz is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, and Director of the PhD training program in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA). An internationally recognized expert on anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and cognitive-behavioural therapy, he has published over 300 research articles, books, and book chapters. Dr. Abramowitz is a Past President of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) and the founding editor of the Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. He is a regular workshop presenter and has received numerous awards for his contributions to the field.

Training Modalities

Didactic content, experiential components, video demonstrations, Q&A.

Who should attend

This webinar is most suitable for practitioners delivering CBT interventions for patients with anxiety-related problems in outpatient settings.

Continuing Education (CE) Credits

Bespoke Mental Health Canada is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. Bespoke Mental Health Canada maintains responsibility for the program. 
After viewing this workshop, participants have the option to complete an evaluation form and a workshop knowledge quiz in order to be eligible to receive a certificate confirming the number of credits awarded. This certificate will be sent via email.
Participants who complete this workshop, submit a completed evaluation form, and score a minimum of 8/10 on a content-related quiz are eligible to receive 5.5 CE credits

Fees

Professionals: $175 CAD + tax
Students*: $140 CAD + tax
* Proof of student status may be required in order to qualify for a student rate.

Key References

Abramowitz, J. S., & Braddock, A. (2010). Hypochondriasis and health anxiety (Vol. 19). Hogrefe Publishing GmbH.

Abramowitz, J. S., Olatunji, B. O., & Deacon, B. J. (2007). Health anxiety, hypochondriasis, and the anxiety disorders. Behavior Therapy, 38(1), 86-94.

Asmundson, G. J., Abramowitz, J. S., Richter, A. A., & Whedon, M. (2010). Health anxiety: current perspectives and future directions. Current psychiatry reports, 12(4), 306-312.

Olatunji, B. O., Etzel, E. N., Tomarken, A. J., Ciesielski, B. G., & Deacon, B. (2011). The effects of safety behaviors on health anxiety: An experimental investigation. Behaviour research and therapy, 49(11), 719-728.

Salkovskis, P. M., Rimes, K. A., Warwick, H. M. C., & Clark, D. (2002). The Health Anxiety Inventory: development and validation of scales for the measurement of health anxiety and hypochondriasis. Psychological medicine, 32(5), 843-853.

Taylor, S. & Asmundson, G. J. G. (2004). Treating health anxiety: A cognitive-behavioral approach (Vol. 494, p. 495). New York: Guilford Press.

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