recorded webinar

Optimizing Exposure Therapy for Youth with Complex Comorbidities and Presentations

Optimizing Exposure Therapy for Youth with Complex Comorbidities and Presentations
Tuesday, July 20, 2021 12:00 pm
- 1:00 pm ET
CE/CME Credit

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Exposure therapy (“exposure”) is the most effective psychosocial treatment ingredient for individuals with anxiety and related disorders but is the least used in practice. Exposure is both simple and hard: while the underlying theory at its core is quite simple (“do hard things gradually and the hard things get easier”), the actual process of implementing exposure is quite complicated. In fact, it is rated by community clinicians as the most difficult cognitive behavioral strategy to deliver. Effectively titrating the dosage of exposure practice while balancing use of other interventions to address complex comorbidities and family systems factors, along with case management strategies, is a real challenge.

This workshop describes how clinicians can leverage principles of exposure theory to guide case conceptualization, using a four-step model of exposure therapy practice that can be integrated with other interventions as needed to best suit clients’ individual needs. Additional topics of discussion include strategies for optimizing engagement of diverse youth and families in exposure, addressing or circumventing organizational barriers to exposure delivery (e.g., inability to leave the clinic site) and effectively partnering with the larger clinical team (e.g., psychiatry, case management) to address the needs of youth with complex presentations. Finally, content also discusses possible contraindications for use of exposure therapy in the community. Case examples of anxious youth with co-occurring autism spectrum disorder, psychosis, suicidal/homicidal ideation, and youth who may be questioning their sexual identity demonstrates how the four-step model of exposure practice strategies is applied in practice.

This webinar is designed for clinicians with a working knowledge of exposure therapy and cognitive behavioral treatments for anxiety and related disorders for youth. Students, trainees and residents are welcome and encouraged to attend to learn about application of exposure therapy for youth with complex clinical presentations.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe major challenges to delivering exposure therapy in community settings for youth with complex psychiatric needs
  2. List the four-step model of exposure therapy and identify how it can be applied broadly in community settings for diverse youth
  3. Summarize effective strategies for addressing organizational barriers to delivering exposure therapy in community settings

This webinar was recorded on July 20, 2021. If you registered, and cannot view or missed the live webinar, please contact [email protected].

Translating ADAA Live Webinars
Presenter(s) Biography

Emily M. Becker-Haimes, PhD

Emily M. Becker-Haimes

Emily M. Becker-Haimes, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. She is an implementation scientist and clinical psychologist dedicated to improving mental healthcare for youth. Dr. Becker-Haimes’ research focuses on treatment optimization for pediatric anxiety disorders. She has led research concerning the implementation and utilization of exposure therapy in diverse clinical settings, including the development of the Resource for Exposures for Anxiety Disordered Youth (READY) Toolkit, an online toolkit to support clinician use of exposure therapy with youth ( Dr. Becker-Haimes has authored over 45 peer-reviewed publications and has received several national awards for her work, including the Future Directions Launch Award from the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology and the Outstanding New Investigator Presentation Award from the Society for Implementation Research Collaboration.

Clinically, Dr. Becker-Haimes is an expert in the treatment of anxiety disorders, with expertise in the application of exposure therapy for anxious youth with complex comorbidities. She is the Clinical Director of the Pediatric Anxiety Treatment Center at Hall Mercer (PATCH) program, which is the only specialty anxiety clinic in Philadelphia dedicated to serving youth in the public mental health system. She has trained hundreds of clinicians in the application of exposure therapy and continues to advance the reach of exposure therapy through her extensive research and clinical work.


Hannah E. Frank, PhD

Hannah E Frank, PhD is a postdoctoral fellow at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and at the Pediatric Anxiety Research Center at Bradley Hospital. She completed her graduate training at Temple University under the mentorship of Dr. Philip C. Kendall. Dr. Frank's research and clinical work is focused on exposure-based treatments for anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Dr. Frank has clinical experience working in several settings treating youth with anxiety and OCD, including an outpatient clinic, a community mental health center, and a partial hospitalization program. Dr. Frank's research interests include: 1) Improving strategies for providing training and consultation to clinicians; 2) Identifying strategies to support community organizations in the adoption of evidence-based practices, including exposure therapy; and 3) Improving access to exposure-based treatments for youth. Dr. Frank has led trainings on exposure therapy for a variety of audiences, including teachers, school-aged students, undergraduate and graduate students, community mental health clinicians, and other professionals. She has received grant funding to support her research, including funding as a principal investigator on an NIMH-funded project that assessed a novel approach for training clinicians to use exposure therapy.

Professional Post

ADAA Continuing Education Credits for Live and On-Demand Programming

Learners complete an evaluation form to receive a certificate of completion. You must participate in the entire activity as partial credit is not available.  If you are seeking continuing education credit for a specialty not listed below, it is your responsibility to contact your licensing/certification board to determine course eligibility for your licensing/certification requirement.

Some ADAA professional webinars focused on diversity or cultural competency subject matter are eligible for the Cross-Culture Competency Diversity Credit. If a webinar is eligible for this credit, it will be reflected on your credit certificate.

All continuing education credits are provided through Amedco, LLC. Learn more about the CE/CME accreditation information here.