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2-Day Advanced Emotion-Focused CBT: The Unified Protocol for Treatment of Comorbid Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, and More

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Shannon Sauer-Zavala, PhD
12 Hours 03 Minutes
Audio and Video
Dec 06, 2022
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Digital Recording
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Most of your clients have more than one mental health diagnosis.

But so many of the treatment modalities in use today fail to recognize the complexity of these clients. Developed and tested to address one disorder at a time, their singular focus just doesn’t deliver the fast relief that your clients struggling with more than one condition deserve.

It is exhausting - for you and your clients - to jump from one set of strategies to another to ensure that all symptoms are addressed.

And it’s time consuming. Having comorbid conditions can extend the length of care, which increases the possibility that your clients lose faith in treatment and drop out before meeting their goals.

But comorbidity doesn’t have to complicate your treatment plan.

The Unified Protocol, an emotion-focused CBT shown to be effective in over 70 rigorous clinical trials, was designed specifically to target the core features of mental health issues so that multiple conditions can be treated simultaneously.

And now you have the chance to learn directly from Dr. Shannon Sauer-Zavala - co-developer of the UP with Dr. David H. Barlow and others at Boston University! After attending this comprehensive, 2-day training, you’ll feel confident delivering this complete set of flexible, evidence-based interventions right away to:

  • Harness your clients’ motivation to change so they’ll make fast progress
  • Enhance the clarity of your clients’ thinking and deciding to improve quality of life
  • Help your clients access the wisdom of their emotions
  • Shift your clients’ relationship with triggering body sensations
  • Decrease the power of avoidance so your clients can act rather than react to stressors

And best of all, UP skills are easy for you to learn and implement, and easy for your clients to use.

Register today! Simplify your practice and leave behind the confusion and frustration of treating multiple conditions by treating them all at once.



This online program is worth 12.25 hours CPD.



Shannon Sauer-Zavala, PhD's Profile

Shannon Sauer-Zavala, PhD Related seminars and products

Shannon Sauer-Zavala, PhD, is co-developer of the Unified Protocol and the founding director of the Unified Protocol Institute at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University. She has provided training and consultation in the Unified Protocol to clinicians all over the world. In addition to over 15 years' experience as a clinical psychologist providing evidence-based treatments, Dr. Sauer-Zavala maintains a prolific research career focused on exploring emotion-focused mechanisms that maintain psychological symptoms (particularly high-risk symptoms such as suicidal thoughts and behaviors) and using this information to develop more targeted, easily disseminated intervention strategies. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Kentucky (UK) and is the founding director of Clinical Services at the UK Clinic for Emotional Health. Dr. Sauer-Zavala completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from UK, her predoctoral internship at Duke University Medical Center, and her postdoctoral fellowship at Boston University. Her research has been supported by NIMH, NIAAA, Templeton Foundation, the Center for Implementation and Improvement Sciences, and the Canadian Institute of Health Research. Dr. Sauer-Zavala has co-authored over 100 scholarly publications and three books, including workbook and therapist guides on the Unified Protocol for Oxford's Treatments That Work Series, as well as Neuroticism: A New Framework for Emotional Disorders and Their Treatment, with David Barlow.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Shannon Sauer-Zavala has employment relationships with the University of Kentucky and Boston University. She receives grants from NIMH and The John Templeton Foundation. Dr. Sauer-Zavala receives royalties as a published author. She receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Shannon Sauer-Zavala a member of the North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders, the Association for Psychological Science, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, and the APA Division 12.


  1. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the current method of classifying mental disorders.
  2. Construct a transdiagnostic case conceptualization for clients presenting with comorbid disorders.
  3. Formulate a rationale for approaching rather than avoiding emotions for purposes of client psychoeducation.
  4. Categorize clients’ emotional experiences into the components of thoughts, physical sensations, and urges/behaviours.
  5. Utilize mindfulness-based interventions to increase clients’ awareness and experience of emotions.
  6. Apply cognitive restructuring techniques targeting overestimation and catastrophizing.
  7. Apply advanced cognitive techniques to identify and shift core beliefs.
  8. Analyze the short- and long-term consequences of emotional avoidance.
  9. Distinguish three forms of emotional avoidance.
  10. Plan behavioural experiments to promote clients’ ability to engage in intentional action.
  11. Utilize situational, imaginal, and interoceptive exposures to improve clients’ tolerance of strong emotions.
  12. Plan for ongoing practice of client skills post-traumatic to prevent relapse.


Controversial issues in diagnosis
  • History of mental health disorders classification
  • Categorical approach: the problem of phenotypic overlap
  • Comorbidity – when only the content of worries distinguishes diagnosis
  • Ill-fitting diagnostic boxes: unspecified and subthreshold presentations
Rationale for transdiagnostic treatment and a return to lumping disorders
  • Conventional approaches: the burden of diagnosis-specific treatments
  • Personality/temperamental factors supporting a transdiagnostic approach
  • Neurobiological evidence for going deeper than symptom level
The two vulnerabilities to developing emotional disorders
  • Experiencing strong emotions and having strong negative reactions to intense emotions
  • Transdiagnostic case conceptualization – when avoidance backfires
  • Unified Protocol: core strategies to increase clients’ willingness to experience strong emotions
  • Large group exercise: Group case conceptualization
Starting out: Understanding what gets clients going and what keeps them stuck
  • Conducting assessments and getting clients on board with UP treatment
  • Harnessing and maintaining motivation
  • Small group exercise: Goal setting and decisional balance
  • Case study
Developing a better understanding of emotional experience
  • Teaching clients the adaptive function of their uncomfortable feelings
  • “Just relax” - understanding the interacting components of thoughts, physical sensations, and emotions
  • Break out of the vacuum – recognizing the ARC (antecedents, response, consequence)
  • Large group exercise: Cultivating mindful attention and Mindful mood induction
  • Small group exercise: Anchoring in the present practice
  • Case study
Shining a light on how thinking generates and maintains distress
  • Dismantling thinking traps: the role of automatic, habitual cognitive appraisals
  • Targeting specific types of cognitive inflexibility: overestimation and catastrophizing
  • What to do when cognitive work falls flat with your clients
  • Large group exercise: Ambiguous picture
  • Small group exercise: Cognitive restructuring
Understanding and countering avoidance strategies
  • The five categories of emotional behaviours that reinforce symptoms
  • Deciding on alternative action experiments
  • Large group exercise: Paradox of suppression
  • Small group exercise: Identifying alternative actions
  • Case study
Fostering more accurate appraisals of body sensations
  • Shaking clients’ conviction that they cannot handle situations and emotions
  • Interoceptive exposures – de-triggering your clients’ physical experience
  • Playground metaphor and generating exposure ideas
Climbing the ladder of emotion exposures
  • Situational, imaginal, interoceptive!
  • Creating strong emotion to show clients they can cope
  • Exposure preparation and debriefing
  • Small group exercise: Create a hierarchy
  • Case study
Maintaining gains and preventing relapse
  • Treatment consolidation and relapse prevention
  • Tips for teaching clients to be their own therapist
  • Distinguish symptom relief goals from wellbeing goals
  • Limitations of the research and potential risks

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychotherapists
  • Case Managers
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


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