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Convention 2020

Title: Helping Clients Transition to the New Normal

Audience Level: Intermediate

Presenter and Affiliation: Amelia Aldao, Ph.D., Mount Sinai Hospital

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1.5 Hours of CE

$20 for members / $35 for non-members

Friday, June 19, 2020

11am – 12:30 pm Eastern/ 10 am – 11:30 am Central/ 9am – 10:30 am Mountain/ 8 am – 9:30 am Pacific

Moderator: Anu Asnaani, Ph.D.


As restrictions to social distancing begin to lift, we are all facing an unprecedented situation: on the one hand, we’re “going back to normal,” but, on the other one, much has changed over the past few months, so we are actually living through a “new normal.” This juxtaposition of familiar and new can be the source of much anxiety and distress, but it can also represent an opportunity to redefine ourselves and grow. As therapists, we have a unique opportunity to help our clients not only cope with these changes, but also thrive in the face of this new life we’re about to start. In this webinar, I will discuss an emotion-focused CBT approach for helping clients manage surges in anxiety (e.g., worries about resuming unstructured in-person interactions, heightened fears of contamination, agoraphobic concerns, existential anxiety, hopelessness) and adopt a values-based approach to re-envision their lives (e.g., career, relationships, health). We will adopt a transdiagnostic approach, since clients might experience concerns that are not necessarily aligned with their current diagnosis (e.g., someone with social anxiety might become preoccupied with contamination). It will be highly interactive (so come prepared with questions!) and we’ll also tackle self-care as therapists.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify key struggles that clients will experience while adjusting to a “new normal”
  2. Recognize subthreshold and emerging presentations of new disorders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic
  3. Develop transdiagnostic case conceptualizations
  4. Teach emotion regulation strategies to help clients reframe automatic thoughts and change their relationship to anxiety
  5. Adopt a behavioral activation approach to help clients better structure their days and lift their moods
  6. Utilize a values-based approach to help clients make the most out of this crisis

About the Presenter:

Dr. Aldao is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with expertise in CBT for anxiety and mood disorders. She is the Founder and Director of Together CBT, a clinic specializing in anxiety and stress in New York City. She is a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University and on the Psychiatry Faculty at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she teaches CBT to Graduate Students in Clinical Psychology and Residents in Psychiatry, respectively.

Further, Dr. Aldao holds several leadership positions in the top professional associations in her field: she is a Member of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Workforce of the American Psychological Association (APA) and a Member of the Continuing Education Committee of ABCT. She is frequently invited to give talks on the topics of stress management and career coaching. Lastly, Dr. Aldao runs a boutique consulting firm that focuses on startups in the mental healthcare space.

Dr. Aldao obtained her B.A in Psychology summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was also in the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Scholars Program. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Yale University, where she published several groundbreaking studies on emotion regulation and anxiety disorders. She completed her Pre-Doctoral Internship (residency) at the top-ranked Psychiatry Department of Weill Cornell Medical College / New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. She then became a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at The Ohio State University, where she ran a very productive lab and published over 60 scientific articles on CBT, anxiety, emotion regulation, and mindfulness (with over 9,000 citations). Her work has been recognized by the top professional associations: she was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science (APS) and received an Early Career Award by ABCT.

Following her career in academia, she spent two years at a “Big 3” management consulting firm (Boston Consulting Group), where she helped some of the world’s largest companies develop customer-centric growth strategies. In this role, she developed an expertise in marketing, sales, and pricing.

Recommended Readings/Resources:

  • Calhoun, L. G. & Tedeshi, R. (2012). Posttraumatic growth in clinical practice Routledge.
  • Greenberg, L. (2015). Emotion-focused therapy: Coaching clients to work through their feelings. APA.
  • Hayes, S. C., STrohsal., K., & Wilson, K. (2011). Acceptance and commitment therapy. Guilford Press.
  • Hofmann, S. G., & Hayes, S. C. (2018). Process based CBT. Context Press.
  • Martell, C. R., Dimidjian, S., Herman-Dunn, R. (2010). Behavioral activation for depression. Guilford Press.
  • Roemer, L., & Orsillo. S (2011). The mindful way through anxiety. Guilford Press.

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About the Moderator: Anu Asnaani, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Her areas of research interest include understanding mechanisms underlying effective treatment outcome in anxiety-related disorders, incorporating diversity considerations, and testing technological innovations to promote meaningful change in local and global communities.


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