Practical Strategies for the Treatment of the Anxiety Disorders, OCD, and Insomnia

Presented by Jennifer L. Abel, Ph.D.

Live Streaming December 2 - 3, 2021


12 Hours  |    Pre-approved for 12 CEUs


This online course will be streaming live on December 2 – 3, 2021 from 8:30am – 4:00pm PT, 10:30am – 6:00pm CT, 11:30am – 7:00pm ET after purchase.

10:00am – 10:15am PT, 12:00pm – 12:15pm CT, 1:00pm – 1:15pm ET
12:00pm – 1:00pm PT, 2:00pm – 3:00pm CT, 3:00pm- 4:00pm ET
2:30pm – 2:45pm PT, 4:30pm – 4:45pm CT, 5:30pm – 5:45pm ET

Recored footage and all course content (certificate, videos, quiz) will be available until January 3, 2022. Extensions cannot be granted under any circumstances. 

Registration will close on November 30, 2021. 

This webinar will help you develop the skills you need to help your clients overcome worry, panic attacks, phobias, OCD, social anxiety and insomnia. You will learn to use technology to treat anxiety including YouTube exposures, virtual reality, audio loops, and reminders to utilize strategies. Learn innovative mindfulness strategies that melt panic and anxiety effectively treat insomnia, tension, headaches, fatigue, irritability and much more!

So many times in my practice I’ve met new clients who’ve seen multiple therapists and have tried an array of medications, only to continue to be plagued with unrelenting anxiety. When they show up at my office they are frustrated and nearly hopeless. After studying the research, working with experts in the field, and almost exclusively treating clients with anxiety disorders for 30 years, I can usually help even the most treatment resistant clients.

Since the early days of my clinical career, I use evidenced based treatments but have also developed creative, yet simple, methods that have been vital to providing relief for chronic anxiety.  These techniques are easy to learn and implement such that you will be able to help your clients achieve therapeutic results.

Finally understand operant conditioning and how negative reinforcement is the most common reason why people continue to suffer from OCD, panic attacks, social anxiety, and phobias.  Help clients stop negatively reinforcing their anxiety by using exposure and response prevention.  Understand how to play detective to explain to clients with panic disorder that their first panic attack was a perfect storm of environmental and physical factors after which they developed anxiety sensitivity thereby negatively reinforcing their fear; interoceptive exposure is the cure.

Effectively Target and Transform Clients with Difficult Problems such as

  • Hypochondriasis
  • Perfectionism
  • Subjugation
  • Catastrophizing
  • Intolerance of uncertainty

Through several demonstrations and hands-on exercises, you will develop the skills to help even the toughest anxious and sleep-deprived clients. We will explore progressive relaxation, observation and acceptance strategies, time management, mindful labeling, postponing worry, interoceptive exposure, stimulus control, sleep-restriction therapy and much more.

If you are dealing with clients who:

  • Have trouble committing to treatment
  • Want to break their dependency on medication
  • Can’t sleep despite trying everything
  • Believe their panic is medically based
  • Trapped in habits that reinforce their fears and anxiety

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Fighting Worry and Anxiety Fuels it:

Five Ways to Circumvent It:

  • Move toward relaxation
  • The importance of process words
  • Postpone worry
  • Acceptance
  • Problem solving


Alternative Directions in Mindfulness

  • The Devils Snare and other metaphors
  • Socratic hooks to be in the moment
  • How worry and mindfulness are incompatible
  • Observation of thoughts and emotion
  • Labeling thoughts and emotions
  • The Labeling Game


Worry and Anxiety Spirals – GAD treatment

  • Three benefits of catching worry early
  • A dozen reminders for catching anxiety early
  • Self-Controlled Desensitization
  • Applied (Active) Relaxation


A Better Way to do Cognitive Therapy

  • A quicker and better way – B3s
  • An Exercise to find the best thoughts
  • Find “The Want”; Eliminate “The Should”
  • Use Humour about worry


Progressive (Muscle) Relaxation (PR)-

  • Eight benefits of PR
  • Double or triple the effectiveness of PR
  • PR Patter – 12 do’s; 3 don’ts.
  • Differential Relaxation and Recall PR
  • Alternatives: Tin Man to Scarecrow, The Sponge


Problem Solving Strategies

  • Worry prevents problem solving
  • Mindfully label – a problem solving trick
  • Creative brainstorming
  • Postpone worry to problem solving times
  • Problem solving worksheet


Traditional Exposure

  • Metaphor and negative reinforcement
  • Remove crutches that negatively reinforce anxiety
  • Traditional in vivo exposure
  • Maximize imaginal exposure


Twenty-First Century Exposure

  • Virtual reality
  • Videos and images
  • Flood feared thoughts
  • Sing feared words


Treat Worry Related Personality Factors

  • Hypochondriasis
  • Perfectionism
  • Subjugation
  • Catastrophizing/Intolerance of Uncertainty


DAY TWO:  Treatment of OCD, Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia, Specific Phobia, Social Anxiety, and Insomnia



  • Differentiate worries from obsessions and ruminations
  • Mindfulness and OCD
  • In vivo exposure and response prevention
  • Alternative exposures
  • Three tricks for treating covert obsessions
  • Alternative Methods: Surgery and TMS


Panic Disorder and Panic Attacks

  • Differential diagnosis with phobia and GAD
  • Interoceptive Exposure
  • Play detective to explain the first panic
  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • When panic is like OCD
  • The anxiety spiral in panic
  • Why benzodiazepenes exacerbate panic
  • How to treat nighttime panic


Agoraphobia and Specific Phobia

  • Rule out fear of panic
  • When fear prevents an office visit
  • Graduated exposure
  • Treatment of 3 common phobias – flying, emetophobia, acrophobia


Social Anxiety

  • Normalize social anxiety
  • 3 components: skills deficit, cognitive distortions, physiological anxiety
  • Skills training – eye contact, open ended questions, compliments, etc.
  • Exposure: in vivo, role play, flooding thoughts/words
  • Coping strategies
  • Speech phobia


Primary Insomnia

  • Rule out sleep disorders and other medical causes
  • Behavioural Treatments for Insomnia:
  • Worry postponement and problem solving before bed
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Stimulus control strategies
  • Create a sleep rhythm
  • More amber light, less blue light
  • The Win-Win trick
  • Relaxation strategies
  • Soporifics (medication)




When CBT isn’t Isn’t Enough

  • Rule out ADHD, medical causes, etc.
  • Encourage emotional processing (e.g. Schema Therapy)
  • Lifestyle influences
  • Psychotropic medication
  • Identify the anxiety spiral in order to catch worry and panic early.
  • Discover how to use technology to treat anxiety, including audio recordings for relaxation, verbal exposure loops, video exposure, and more.
  • Demonstrate progressive relaxation to treat tension headaches, fatigue, insomnia, chronic pain, muscle tension and high blood pressure.
  • Discuss the cycle of negative reinforcement and stop it by using the latest and most effective methods of exposure and response prevention.
  • List 4 unique mindfulness techniques to treat worry, OCD, panic and phobias, including mindful labeling and a mindfulness Game.
  • Show how to use exposure therapy and mindfulness to treat obsessive compulsive disorder.
  • Explain when to use interoceptive and other exposures to treat panic attacks and when to utilize coping strategies.
  • Develop skills to treat all 3 aspects of social anxiety: skills deficits, irrational beliefs and physiological anxiety.
  • Use the most effective methods for treating agoraphobia and simple phobias, including flying phobia, emetophobia, acrophobia and claustrophobia.
  • Identify at least 12 effective ways to treat insomnia without medication.

Clinical Professionals: All mental health professionals including, but not limited to Clinical Counsellors, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Social Workers, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Hospice and Palliative Care Workers, School Counsellors, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Addiction Specialists, Marital & Family Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants and all professionals looking to enhance their therapeutic skills.

Jennifer L. Abel, Ph.D. is an international speaker who has conducted over 300 workshops and seminars for mental health professionals and more recently keynote addresses to appeal to the general public and corporations. She was trained as a scientist-practitioner specializing in cognitive-behavioural treatment (CBT) and 3rd wave CBT for anxiety disorders in her clinical practice of over 20 years.  She served as the Associate Director of the Stress and Anxiety Disorders Institute at Penn State and has published many articles in professional journals on her work in anxiety and behavioural medicine. Dr. Abel has published three books; her first, Active Relaxation, was published in 2010 and received outstanding reviews from mental health care professionals and readers alike. Her most recent book is a best seller: The Anxiety, Worry, and Depression Workbook. The two therapeutic card decks she authored and co-authored are also very popular.

RegistrationEarly bird FeeRegular Fee
Individual Enrollment$449.00N/A
Full-Time Student$359.00N/A

All fees are in Canadian dollars ($CAD).

For group and/or student rates please view our Terms & Conditions and contact for more information and registration. 

  • Canadian Psychological Association
    The Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers (NLASW) accept CPA-approved continuing education credits