Overcoming Panic and Worry: Mastering Exposure Work with Acceptance, Defusion, Humor, and Paradox

Dr. David Carbonell, Psychologist, Ph.D

Clients with Panic Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder often use exposure methods in an attempt to oppose and remove anxiety in ways that sabotage their recovery efforts. This workshop offers a treatment model that bypasses this counterproductive struggle.


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  • 5h of continuing education
  • 34 lessons that last from 5 to 15 minutes each
  • 1 certificate of achievement
  • 1 PowerPoint
  • 1 bibliography
  • 1 course evaluation
  • 4 months unlimited access
  • 7-day money back guarantee
  • 97% of participants who completed the satisfaction survey declare they would recommend this course to a colleague


Chronic anxiety disorders all involve a “threat” that does not occur; panic attacks do not produce death, obsessive doubts about germs do not cause infections, just as worry does not lead to insanity. Chronically anxious clients get tricked by their own efforts to avoid, distract from, and protect against the perceived dangers. When the dangers do not come to pass, they believe they had a narrow escape from a terrible calamity and feel more vulnerable going forward rather than less. They become increasingly afraid of more and more improbable events. In some ways, what we call “anxiety disorders” could be more accurately termed “disorders of excessive self-protection”. Clinicians can help their clients and patients learn how to disengage from the self-protective behaviors that trick them. In this workshop, Dr. Carbonell will explain how you can empower your anxious clients to see themselves as good, capable people who have been fooled by anxiety, rather than defective people who need protection. You will learn how to motivate your clients to seek out, rather than avoid, the corrective experiences they need for recovery. Dr. Carbonell will also present effective strategies from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Paradoxical Therapy, Metacognitive Therapy, and traditional CBT to help your clients and patients rediscover the hopes and dreams they had for life before they were derailed by their struggle against anxiety.

About the expert

Picture of David Carbonell

Dr. David Carbonell, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in helping people overcome fears, phobias and worry. He is the author of four self- help books: Panic Attacks Workbook, The Worry Trick, Fear of Flying Workbook, and Outsmart Your Anxious Brain: Ten Simple Ways to Beat the Worry Trick. He is the “coach” of the popular self-help site, anxietycoach.com, and has taught workshops on the treatment of anxiety disorders to more than 10,000 therapists in the U.S. and abroad. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from DePaul University in 1985 and has maintained a practice devoted to the treatment of anxiety disorders in Chicago since 1990. In his spare time, he is the founding member of The Therapy Players, an improvisational comedy troupe of professional psychotherapists in the Chicago area.

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Learning objectives

  1. Understand how clients become enmeshed in a counterproductive struggle against anxiety.
  2. Help clients acquire adaptive approaches to managing symptoms.
  3. Become effective in addressing client shame, blame, and excessive self-protection.
  4. Implement clinical techniques to address clients’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors

Learning material

A theoretical course illustrated with clinical examples. This course is composed of videos of 5 to 15 minutes each. The PowerPoint of the course to download.


  • PowerPoint
  • Understanding Anxiety

  • 1. Presentation
  • 2. Treating anxiety disorders
  • 3. Models to draw from
  • 4. The false signals of danger
  • 5. The anxiety trick
  • First, Reducing Anxiety

  • 6. Anxiety doesn't just fool you once
  • 7. The first session - Reducing Anxiety about Treatment
  • 8. Video role play- belly breathing
  • 9. The controversy about breathing instruction
  • Second, Breaking the Anxiety Cycle

  • 10. The rule of opposites
  • 11. Finding evidence of the trick in client observations
  • 12. The scary movie example
  • 13. Identifying safety behaviors
  • 14. Avoidance and escape
  • 15. Distraction and reassurance
  • 16. Support people and objects
  • 17. Rituals and superstitions
  • 18. Secrecy
  • 19. Control
  • Mastering Exposure and Overcoming Panic

  • 20. Creating interventions- invite clients to try experiments
  • 21. An observing posture
  • 22. Responding to high anxiety - the AWARE steps
  • 23. The Amygdala- your unconscious guardian
  • 24. You never forget your first attack
  • 25. Describing a recent attack
  • 26. Video role play- 3 powerful questions
  • 27. The panic cycle
  • 28. What brings the panic to an end
  • 29. Models of exposure
  • 30. Inhibitory learning
  • 31. Exposure guidelines
  • 32. Video role play repeating the worry experiment
  • 33. Are you motivated to worry?
  • 34. Conclusion
  • Bibliography

CE Credits

Download a certificate of successful completion.


This training is intended for mental health professionals.

What our customers are saying

« Excellent presentation! »

A (Canada)


  • 5h of continuing education
  • 34 lessons that last from 5 to 15 minutes each
  • 1 certificate of achievement
  • 1 PowerPoint
  • 1 bibliography
  • 1 course evaluation
  • 4 months unlimited access
  • 7-day money back guarantee

Legal notice

The courses offered by ASADIS are accredited by different professional organisations. In addition, ASADIS is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. ASADIS maintains responsibility for the program.

The CPA’s approval of an individual, group, or organization as a CE Sponsor or Provider is restricted to the activities described in the approved application or annual report form. The CPA’s approval does not extend to any other CE activity the Sponsor or Provider might offer. In granting its approval, the CPA assumes no legal or financial obligations to Sponsors, Providers, or to those individuals who might participate in a Sponsor or Provider’s CE activities or programs. Further, responsibility for the content, provision, and delivery of any CE activity approved by the CPA remains that of the CE Sponsor or Provider. The CPA disclaims all legal liability associated with the content, provision, and delivery of the approved CE activity.

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