516 – The Power of Self-Talk in Anxiety Treatment

Wilson, Reid 2016
From Threat to Challenge

How do you move someone toward anxious uncertainty when their heart, mind, and soul are committed to finding safety? The key is helping clients alter their self-talk in a way that transforms their relationship with a feared situation from one of “threat” to one of “challenge.” This shift in perspective can enable them to aggressively step forward into uncertainty even without having to shift their anxiety down. In this session, you’ll learn how to:

  • Train anxious clients in therapeutic self-talk based on their individual personality traits
  • Teach clients to approach, personify, exaggerate, and talk directly to their anxiety, even pursuing and ridiculing it
  • Use paradoxical instructions to help clients overcome their automatic instincts to avoid feared situations

Reid Wilson, PhD, is adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at the UNC School of Medicine. He’s the author of Don’t Panic and Stopping the Noise in Your Head and coauthor of Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents as well as Playing with Anxiety and Stop Obsessing!

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