About the Conference

Anxiety has many benefits, motivating us to put in maximum effort and helping us know what matters to us most. When anxiety persists however, it can interfere with functioning and lead to diagnosable mental health problems in children and adolescents. Anxiety disorders are one of the most common issues found in pediatric clinics today. In addition to long-term anxiety related disorders, untreated anxiety can lead to other problems such as depression and substance abuse. Fortunately, there are effective, evidenced-based treatments available. Supported by more than 75 studies, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered the go-to, "gold star" talk therapy for child and adolescent anxiety.

Exposure is a key ingredient of CBT. The principle is simple: "face the fear" by having the child or adolescent engage with situations or objects that they fear many times to reduce the fear response. The simplicity of the idea is deceptive. The intervention is complex and requires training to learn how to do it well.

In this workshop, Dr. Southam-Gerow provides an engaging and practical look at how to do exposure therapy for anxious children and adolescent. Using clinical examples, an interactive format, and ample opportunities for practice during the workshop, participants will learn well-validated strategies to do exposure therapy.

The workshop will include a focus on:

  1. how a strong initial assessment leads to fear ladders that promote treatment success;
  2. foundational psychoeducational principles needed for exposure;
  3. the basic exposure approach;
  4. variations across diagnostic categories;