Treating Anxiety & Depression: Creative Strategies to Help Challenging Clients (Lisa Ferentz)

Treating Anxiety & Depression: Creative Strategies to Help Challenging Clients (Lisa Ferentz)


Increase your toolbox of creative intervention strategies for treating clients with anxiety and depression.

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Many clinicians encounter clients who have had long-term struggles with Generalized Anxiety, Social Anxiety, and/or Major Depression.

In this 5-day training, we will examine these diagnoses through the lens of hyper-arousal and hypo-arousal. This examination will provide both clinicians and clients a framework with which to understand the cognitive, emotional, somatic, and behavioral symptomatology that accompanies anxious or depressed experiences. We will also put clients in a psychosocial lens, processing the triggers that can occur intra-psychically, inter-personally, and environmentally. We will look at typical “resistances” that emerge when clients are asked to consider pharmacological intervention. And we will review “medication myths” that mental health and medical professionals can address to help overcome unnecessary or inaccurate fears. We will also discuss the impact that “medical Marijuana” has when used for treating anxiety and depression.

Participants will have many opportunities to explore non-pharmacological creative approaches to decreasing negative thoughts, feelings, and uncomfortable somatic experiences that can overwhelm depressed or anxious clients.

This training will also provide participants an opportunity to dramatically increase their toolbox of interventions by learning how to incorporate into their practice:

  • breath work, Brain Gym, and other forms of exercise
  • cognitive re-framing with writing prompts
  • two-handed writing
  • the therapeutic use of art prompts
  • EFT
  • Aromatherapy
  • solution-focused strategies
  • Parts work from the IFS model
  • positive self-talk, visualization, and guided imagery exercises
  • soothing with the use of somatic resourcing

All these strategies can be used in conjunction with pharmacological treatment or as stand-alone interventions.

The creative techniques presented in this training will leave clinicians and clients alike feeling much more empowered and much less hopeless about treating anxiety, depression, and Affective Disorders.

What You Will Learn In This Workshop

  • Differentiate between hyper- and hypo-arousal and explain their connection to the “optimum window of arousal” as it pertains to treating anxiety and depression.
  • Explain the impact of intra-psychic, inter-personal, and environmental stressors and triggers on anxiety and depression.
  • Explain the advantage to verbally administering assessment tools for anxiety and depression and describe the non-verbal responses in clients that should be included in these assessments.
  • Describe at least three “medication myths” that clients may have regarding anti-depressants and implement responses designed to correct inaccurate information.
  • Explain the current research on “medical marijuana” and the limitations it has in treating anxiety and depression.
  • Distinguish between “response” and “remission” when anti-depressants are used and explain why remission is the desired goal for treatment.
  • Explain the impact that sleep deprivation has on exacerbating depression and anxiety.
  • Describe and implement at least two breathwork strategies to address either hyper- or hypo-arousal.
  • Implement two exercises from Brain Gym designed to either calm down hyper-arousal or activate hypo-arousal.
  • Implement writing, art, and body work techniques to move clients away from “what if” thinking.
  • Describe how Emotional Freedom Techniques can be used to calm the amygdala and reduce anxiety.
  • Implement drawing prompts to help discharge anxiety or increase self-confidence, hope and competence.
  • Describe visualizations to help clients address anxiety with “floating” or increase feelings of competence.
  • Explain how two-handed writing can strengthen self-compassion.
  • Identify and implement at least three strategies that incorporate somatic resourcing and Power Poses.
  • Identify at least two solution-focused strategies to treat depression.
  • Explain the role that “Parts Work” in the Internal Family Systems model can play in treating anxiety or depression.
  • Implement a strategy to decrease a negative self-monologue and increase more compassionate and positive self-talk.

US CE credits pending. For information about CE Credits, click here.

Learn more about Lisa Ferentz
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