ADAA is delighted to share member blog posts on various innovative and current research and practice issues. We encourage our members and the broader professional community to read and share these informative posts with colleagues. ADAA invites members interested in submitting a blog post to contact us.  Blog posts need to be titled, be no more than 500 words in length, and accompanied by a head shot and a 2-3 sentence biography. Blog posts will be posted here and shared through Insights - ADAA’s weekly member email newsletter. ADAA members are also encouraged to submit blog posts (the same submission criteria applies) that are consumer focused.  These will be posted on the consumer blog post page of the ADAA website and shared via social media and through Triumph, our monthly consumer email newsletter.

ADAA Leadership Posts

Continuing Education





Clinical Kung Fu: Managing Anger in Children and Teens with Anxiety Disorders

AldenPojas_1_1.jpgAlison R. Alden, Ph.D., & Julieanne Pojas, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologists at the Anxiety Treatment Center of Greater Chicago in Deerfield, IL

Kids and teens often react with anger to the prospect of facing their fears. Doing things like engaging in exposure therapy or going to school when they are feeling panicked or overwhelmed, can trigger fight-or-flight responses, in which anxious children not only experience a desire to avoid things but sometimes actively fight or resist when we try to push them. Read more.

Mind The Gap: Four Things Researchers and Clinicians Can Do to Bridge the Gap Between Science and Practice

LuanaMarques-2013ConferenceChair_0.jpgLuana Marques, PhD
Director and Founder of Community Psychiatry Program for Research in Implementation and Dissemination of Evidence-Based Treatments (PRIDE)
Associate Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School
Member of ADAA Board of Directors
Board Liaison For ADAA Multicultural Advances and PTSD Special Interest Groups 
July 2017

On average, it takes 17 years for an evidence-based treatment to reach the community, and because of stigma, it may take an additional 10 years before a person suffering from mental illness actually receives treatment. The goal of implementation science is to address this gap between science and practice, helping the most vulnerable people to access high quality care. Providers and researchers are both crucial to bridging research to practice, especially in community settings. Read more.

Using Humor In Treating Children’s Phobias

K_Levine_picture.pngKaren Levine, PhD 
Psychologist in Lexington MA
Lecturer on Psychiatry

Harvard Medical School, treating young children with Autism, Anxiety or Selective Mutism.  With her colleague Naomi Chedd, LMHC, she authored 3 books including Attacking Anxiety (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2015).

Humor is a useful tool that can be readily used together with gradual exposure / CBT in treating children’s phobias.  By “humor” I mean playfulness used by the adult, collaboratively with the child, in an individualized manner that the child finds funny, and that is consistent with the culture of the child and setting.  For instance, together with a preschooler terrified of bugs, adult and child can initially make their Lego figures stomp on plastic bugs, ‘tossing them away’ in a clean waste basket.  The goal is to get the child to smile, to laugh, feel supported by the adult, share playful emotions, as they play with feared bugs.  Note this is different from performance humor such as telling jokes or wearing funny hats. Read more.

ADAA Embraces Telebehavioral Health

Susan Gurley Headshot April 2017_2.jpgSusan K. Gurley
ADAA Executive Director
With more than 18 million annual website visitors seeking information and resources on anxiety, depression, and related disorders, ADAA’s website has become a critical platform for help and support.  Many visit our site to search our Find A Therapist  database (unique in that it only lists therapists who have expertise in anxiety, depression and related disorders) for individual clinicians and practices in their geographic area. Read more. 

The Importance of Continuing Education

Kimberly-Morrow.jpgKimberly Morrow, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Private Practice, Erie, PA

Elizabeth and I just finished giving a continuing education webinar called, The Magic of CBT for Anxiety and Depression. We have found, from our workshops, that many master level clinicians have never learned the foundations of cognitive behavioral therapy. This is unfortunate in that it becomes difficult to understand some of the more advanced concepts of CBT with ERP if you don’t know the basics. We were thrilled with the number of participants in this webinar. The participation supports our theory that therapists desire to learn the basics of CBT so they can offer their clients evidenced based treatment for anxiety, OCD, and depression. Read more.

Treatment Professionals Must Recognize and Address Co-Occurring Conditions

Claire Mysko Headshot.jpgClaire Mysko
CEO of National Eating Disorder Association

Depression is not simply feeling sad, anxiety doesn’t just mean worrying a lot, and eating disorders are not as simple as eating too much or too little. And living with two or more of these disorders simultaneously can be a lonely, underrepresented experience.

While there is still work to be done, dedicated advocates and organizations have made progress in normalizing conversations and visibility around mental health and illness. Oftentimes, however, discussions about the complexity, range, and severity of mental illness do not address the reality of living with these illnesses, and the high incidence of comorbid diagnoses among those who struggle with mental health. Read more. 

Telemental Health – Convenient, Effective and Here to Stay

Peter Yellowlees_2_0_0.jpgPeter Yellowlees MD
Professor of Psychiatry
UC Davis President Elect
American Telemedicine Association 
View Full Author Bio

Psychiatrists have been using videoconferencing for psychiatric consultations for almost sixty years. Now with the advent of web and cloud based systems, mobile computing, the impact of commercial telemedicine service companies, and a growing body of evidence and research, more and more patients are being treated online. This occurs in primary care clinics, at work and at home – and by an increasingly large number of mental health therapists from all disciplines. Patients can be treated securely and in high definition on a laptop or tablet at minimal cost using video systems that are increasingly ubiquitous and easily accessible. Read more

Translating OCD Brain-Behavior Research Into Clinical Practice

Dr. Juliana Negreiros (2).jpgJuliana Negreiros, Ph.D., R. Psych.
National Register Health Service Psychologist
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia
Provincial OCD Program, B.C. Children's Hospital

The hypothesis that neurocognitive dysfunction may mediate obsessive and compulsive behaviour in OCD has challenged researchers to have a better understanding about brain-behaviour relationships that exist in this disorder.The hypothesis that neurocognitive dysfunction may mediate obsessive and compulsive behaviour in OCD has challenged researchers to have a better understanding about brain-behaviour relationships that exist in this disorder. Research suggests that adults with OCD have more difficulty than healthy controls with specific executive functioning tasks, visual-spatial memory, and constructional skills. Yet, the literature in pediatric OCD is limited by small sample sizes, inconsistent methods across studies and contradictory findings. Read more.


Paul Holtzheimer, MDFocal Brain Stimulation Interventions for Depression and Anxiety

Paul Holtzheimer, MD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Surgery
Director of the Mood Disorders Service
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
White River Junction VA Medical Center
View Full Author Bio

Focal brain stimulation techniques are potentially powerful tools for the investigation and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. These approaches include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and deep brain stimulation among others. In general, focal brain stimulation applies electrical stimulation to a discrete region of the brain to generate neurophysiological effects. These effects are hypothesized to be behaviorally and clinically significant via direct modulation of the brain region targeted, as well as “downstream” effects within a network of connected brain regions involved in the regulation of mood, thought and behavior. It is hypothesized that focal stimulation can have longer-term effects on neuroplasticity, suggesting that it may be possible to generate a sustained increase or decrease in activity within the network depending on stimulation location and type. As such, focal brain stimulation offers a novel paradigm for the study and treatment of neuropsychiatric illness. Read more. 

Understanding the Neural Basis of Fear to Transform our Anxieties

ressler_cropped_1.jpgKerry Ressler, MD, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Chief Scientific Officer
James and Patricia Poitras Chair in Psychiatry
Chief, Division of Depression & Anxiety Disorders
McLean Hospital

We have all felt afraid.  Fear makes some feel unique, alone, embarrassed, or ashamed, while others may become angry, defensive, or hostile. Socially, group experiences of fear of the unknown and xenophobia can drive negative political movements and mass hysteria.Throughout human history, fear has driven our actions and often unwanted emotions and behavior – such as anxiety, PTSD, and aggression.  As a society, fear-based societal movements have been unethical, inhumane, and destructive.  Ironically, fear, which exists for our individual survival, may be the strongest emotional driver of risk for our own self-destruction as a species. Read more.

Is Computer-Assisted Cognitive Therapy a Viable Solution for Cognitive Therapy’s Dissemination Problems? A Brief Review and Some New Data

MichaelThase.pngMichael E. Thase, MD
Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania and the Cpl Michael J Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) is the most extensively studied form of psychotherapy for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).(1,2) Meta-analyses of controlled trials have established that, across 12-16 weeks, the efficacy of CBT is comparable to antidepressant medication,(3-5) with a lower risk of relapse after treatment is stopped.(6,7) CBT also may significantly improve treatment outcomes when used in combination with pharmacotherapy,(8,9) especially for patients with more severe or treatment resistant depressive disorders. Read more.