Full course description
This course covers the main findings and controversies related to anxiety disorders. Both new treatment issues are dealt with as well as psychological mechanisms that are involved in the maintenance of the various anxiety disorders.
In industrialised countries (USA, Canada and Western Europe), anxiety disorders are the largest group of mental disorders for which patients are referred, and without appropriate treatment the natural course is often chronic. Luckily, anxiety disorders are relatively well studied and understood, and the outcome of treatment is relatively favourable. Students will first learn what the features of pathological anxiety are and to apply learning theory and cognitive-behavioral models on clinical cases. Then the course focuses on cognitive-behavioral maintenance factors of the anxiety disorders such as cognitive biases, safety behaviors, metacognitive processes and imagery With regard to treatment techniques knowlegde will be updated with recent insights of the working mechanisms of exposure and developments in new treatment techniques such as EMDR, imagery rescripting and cognitive bias modification (CBM). The course ends with a debate regarding one of these new developments in the treatment for anxiety disorders.
Students will be able to understand:
- current theories of anxiety disorders;
- classification of anxiety disorders;
- maintenance processes of anxiety disorders;
- current treatment approaches.