ADAA Conference - Boston (April 11-14) 2024

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State-of-the-Art Clinician Sessions

These sessions tackle the most pressing issues in the field with help from clinical experts. This series will educate, inspire, and challenge participants to solve problems and achieve breakthroughs. Experience hands-on learning and walk away with action steps to improve your practice. Note that the sessions are subject to change. Check back for additional content.

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Conceptualizing and Treating OCD with Inference-Based CBT (I-CBT): An Evidence-based, Non-exposure Model +

Mike Heady, LCPC and Carl Robbins, LCPC

There is growing interest among clinicians in finding evidence-based approaches for OCD that can complement or provide alternatives to ERP. In this session, two colleagues with over 50-years combined experience will provide a practical, case-based conversation about the theory and application of I-CBT. We will discuss how obsessional doubting differs from tolerating uncertainty and how this impacts treatment. Specific process-based cognitive interventions that go beyond standard ERP and ACT will be demonstrated.


Exposures or Experiments: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies for Social Anxiety Disorder +

Larry Cohen, LICSW

A great many outcome studies have repeatedly demonstrated that cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most effective treatment for social anxiety disorder (SAD), the third or fourth most prevalent mental health disorder in the United States. The core treatment element in CBT for SAD, like that of any other anxiety-related disorder, involves the use of exposures (aka experiments) conducted in anxiety-provoking situations. But to what end? Are these exposures designed to achieve anxiety habituation, or the pursuit of life values while accepting anxiety and reducing avoidance? Are these exposures designed as experiments to test anxious predictions (aka violating expectancy) and underlying core beliefs? How we conceptualize exposures / experiments impacts the strategies we use in helping those whose lives are diminished, often severely so, by SAD.

This session will discuss the different approaches and objectives of several approaches to using exposures / experiments in the treatment of SAD, and what research indicates is most effective. The strengths and limitations of each approach will be discussed, with emphasis on how to combine or adapt the approaches to the needs of particular clients. Clinical demonstration will be included. Other clinical demonstrations, client worksheets and instructional handouts will be distributed.


When Anxiety Affects Education: Evidence-Based Treatment of School Refusal +


Jonathan Dalton PhD, Monique Reynolds PhD, and Jennifer Bienstock PsyD


The Class Pass of Life: Helping our Clients Navigate the Pitfalls in Failing to Launch +

Johanna S. Kaplan, PhD, Lediya Dumessa, PhD, and Anna Villavicencio, PhD

The phrase “Failure to launch” has been used to describe the inability of young adults (ages 18- 34) to develop effective coping mechanisms with complicated, emerging stressors in their environment. Often, premorbid and/or current symptoms of anxiety and depression will mediate a successful transition. It is important to begin with a functional analysis to determine how unsuccessful contingencies emerged (e.g., if there were limited opportunities to learn how to successfully cope with failure early in life). It is also important to examine other facets of ineffective transition (e.g., patterns of avoidance, distress tolerance, emotion regulation skills, social skills, executive functioning skills such as time management and organization, and general functional life skills). As 70% report current adequate satisfaction in regards to returning or continuing to live with their parental figures (Sachs, 2010), it is important to examine contingencies in the family system. Families can assist in the generalization and reinforcement of skills. This workshop will present attendees with a review of cognitive-behavioral skills used in “failure to launch” treatment, discuss the benefits of using several treatment format modalities (e.g., individual, peer groups) and will discuss case examples and the specific application of cognitive-behavioral skills.


Intensive Outpatient Programs for PTSD +

Philip Held, PhD, Brian Klassen, PhD, Sheila Rauch, PhD, ABPP, Barbara Rothbaum, PhD

Over the past decade, intensive treatment models for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have amassed substantial empirical support (Held et al., 2019; Ragsdale et al., 2020). In intensive models, established evidence-based treatments, such as Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE), are delivered such that a full course of treatment is completed in 1-3 weeks (Held et al., 2019; Ragsdale et al., 2020). Intensive delivery format is feasible, well-tolerated, and produces rapid reductions in both PTSD and depression symptoms (Held et al., 2022; Rauch et al., 2021) that are maintained over the long-term (e.g., Held et al., 2020; Burton et al., 2022; Smith et al., 2022). Furthermore, studies have shown that intensive PTSD models are robust for a variety of complex clinical presentations.   In this State-of-the-Art Clinician Session, four intensive PTSD treatment experts, Drs. Held, Klassen, Rauch, and Rothbaum, will present on how clinicians and organizations can intensively deliver evidence-based treatments, such as CPT and PE. The presentation will cover (1) delivery of these models either as a stand-alone intervention or as part of a more holistic program, (2) clinical outcomes, and (3) known predictors of treatment success. Presenters will discuss potential future directions for research and clinical practice.


Playing Nice In the Sandbox: How to Stay in, and When to Get Out +