Upcoming winter 2017
Coaching Compassionate Coping for Responding to Extreme and Unwanted Physical and Mental Symptoms
of Anxiety and Stress-Related Disorders
Christine Molnar, PhD and Lynne Siqueland, PhD
Jan- Feb 2018 (date to be determined)
PCOM, Philadelphia, PA
In many types of anxiety and stress-related disorders, clients can become preoccupied with the meaning of physical sensations that are experienced as uncontrollable, unpredictable, and threatening. Some clients have actual medical conditions that both they and their caregivers are having difficulty managing. For others, anxiety becomes focused on health itself and whether they have a disease without any evidence of a medical condition. Such preoccupation leads to avoidance and hypervigilance that interferes with functioning in many domains. A downward spiral occurs whereby coping strategies aimed at eliminating unwanted experiences actually magnify symptoms. In its most extreme form, this concern can manifest as panic disorder and agoraphobia and increase the very stress physiology centrally and peripherally that further exacerbates symptoms.
Case examples from emerging adult clients will be used to describe how to provide psychoeducation, cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness-based, and relational interventions to coach clients in compassionately relating with and managing symptoms that can minimize these concerns. Role plays will be used to demonstrate how presenters communicate a therapeutic framework that instills hope, results in a credible treatment rationale, and effective treatment plan. The importance of a sense of controllability, predictability, compassionate relating with symptoms intra- and interpersonally will be illustrated with specific case examples. Essential coordination of care with healthcare professionals and other caregivers, including parents, other family members, and school officials will be described.