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Digital Recording

2-Day Certification Training: Treating Anxiety Disorders in Children & Adolescents

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Steve O'Brien, PsyD
11 Hours 54 Minutes
Dec 08, 2022
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Recording
Never expires.


Divorce, family breakdown, violence in society and the media, has produced a “shell shocked” generation of kids suffering from anxiety!

Watch anxiety expert and author, Dr. Steve O’Brien, who will demonstrate how you can “connect” with anxious children and inspire them to practice new self-regulation skills. You will learn how to help parents (“bulldozers,” “helicopters” and “snowplows”) and schools gain confidence, gratification and success in helping their most anxious kids.

To increase your effectiveness with the various manifestations of child anxiety, Dr. O’Brien will address each of the following disorders with case examples and clinical vignettes:

  • Separation Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorders (including skin picking and hair pulling)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder/Selective Mutism
  • Specific phobias
  • Trauma- and Stressor-related disorders

Emphasis will be on creative psychotherapy involving insight-oriented, cognitive-behavioural, biological, mindfulness, and family systems interventions.

Best of all, upon completion of this training, you’ll be eligible to become a Certified Clinical Child & Adolescent Anxiety Treatment Professional (CCATP-CA) through Evergreen Certifications. Certification lets colleagues, employers, and clients know that you’ve invested the extra time and effort necessary to understand the complexities of child and adolescent anxiety counselling. Professional standards apply. Visit www. for details.


  • No hidden fees – PESI pays for your application fee (a $99 value)*!
  • Simply complete this seminar and the post-event evaluation included in this training, and your application to be a Certified Clinical Child & Adolescent Anxiety Treatment Professional (CCATP-CA) through Evergreen Certifications is complete.*

Attendees will receive documentation of CCATP-CA certification from Evergreen Certifications 4 to 6 weeks following the program.

*Professional standards apply. Visit for professional requirements.


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


This online program is worth 12 hours CPD.



Steve O'Brien, PsyD's Profile

Steve O'Brien, PsyD Related seminars and products

Dr. Steve O’Brien is a clinical psychologist with close to 30 years of experience treating children, adolescents, and families in his Clearwater, Florida practice. His specialty areas include treatment for childhood anxiety and depression, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and divorced/blended family adjustment. Dr. O’Brien utilizes an integrative model which tailors treatment to the developmental level of both children and parents. His approach integrates individual child therapy with intensive parental and familial interventions. Dr. O’Brien has worked in a variety of clinical settings including community mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals, and medical clinics. He earned his PsyD at Nova Southeastern University and received specialized training in applied developmental psychology. Pediatric, child psychiatric, and school consultation is a significant part of his clinical work, and he is a frequent guest speaker in the Tampa Bay area. Dr. O’Brien previously worked as a continuing education provider for the Juvenile Welfare Board, and is a well-received speaker for PESI, training professionals primarily in the areas of child/adolescent mental health treatment and complex family issues.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Steven O'Brien maintains a private practice. He receives a speaking honorarium, recording and book royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Steven O’Brien is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Florida Psychological Association.



Sources of Anxiety and Treatment Overview

• What research tells us about therapy effectiveness applied to children

• How anxiety develops in children: the “Three Ingredients Framework”

• Biological sensitivity

• Anxiety personality style

• Stress overload

• Treatment goals, strategies and recommendations

• The baseball analogy for behaviour change and symptom reduction

• Behavioural health recommendations

Interventions: Stress Management and Anxiety-Regulation Skills

• The 1st intervention: “3-S” process for stress management

• Symptoms

• Sources 

• Solutions

• The 2nd intervention: anxiety regulation skills

• “Relaxation Response”

• Breathing practices

• Mindfulness practices for children

• Flow activities

• Yoga games

• Martial arts

• “Baby Buddhas” meditation for preschoolers

• Other approaches to self-regulation

School Recommendations, Medication, DSM-5® Classification, and Interventions for Separation Anxiety Disorder

• Recommendations for schools

• Pros and cons of medication

• Nature’s remedies

• Herbal treatments

• Homeopathy

• DSM-5® anxiety disorders: current updates

• Separation anxiety

• Normal separation process

• Therapeutic exposure

• “Helicopter,” “bulldozer” and “snowplough” parenting

• Strategies to help parents let go

Interventions for Generalized Anxiety and Panic Disorder

• Generalized anxiety

• Why we worry

• Introducing language for new thought patterns

• 9 strategies for replacing worry with alternative cognitive habits

• Panic disorder

• Diagnosis and treatment success rates

• Agoraphobia component

• Treatment metaphors

• “Floating Technique”

• “LifeSkills” Self Help Program



Interventions for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders

• Obsessive-compulsive disorders: expanded classification

• Relationship between obsessions and compulsions

• Trichotillomania (hair pulling)

• Excoriation (skin picking)

• Body dysmorphia

• PANDAS (medically induced OCD: Pediatric Autoimmune Disorder Associated with Streptococcus Infection)

Interventions for Social Anxiety Disorder and Selective Mutism

• Social Anxiety Disorder

• Selective mutism

• Self-esteem issues and treatment

• Social communication skills

• Group therapy

Interventions for Phobias and Stressor- and TraumaRelated Disorders

• Specific Phobias

• Diagnosis and examples

• Virtual reality exposure

• Stressor and trauma-related disorders

• Expanded diagnostic classification

• Attachment disorders

• Adjustment disordersindefinitely

• Acute stress disorders

• Trauma-related disorders

• New frontiers in trauma treatment

Wrap Up

• Therapy progress measures

• Case consultations


  1. Integrate motivational therapeutic activities into your practice to improve client engagement in treatment.
  2. Develop structured clinical interviewing strategies to aid in developing comprehensive treatment plans.
  3. Assess the “3 ingredient framework” of how anxiety develops in children to assist with assessment and treatment planning.
  4. Analyze the efficacy of prescription drugs for treatment of anxiety symptoms in children.
  5. Devise a three-step skill building model for stress management among young clients.
  6. Evaluate exposure therapy interventions for effective treatment of OCD, separation anxiety, social anxiety and phobias.
  7. Design effective strategies to decrease the stress response in kids with learning disabilities to improve information processing, listening skills, and comprehension.
  8. Integrate calming techniques to reduce overall anxiety, such as mindfulness and yoga, to reduce fight or flight response and simultaneously engage the relaxation response.
  9. Evaluate the impact deep breathing exercises have on anxiety to enable task completion in children with ADHD.
  10. Utilize specific anxiety techniques to minimize the ruminative nature of obsessive thoughts that often precede dysfunctional compulsive behaviours.
  11. Prepare clients to engage the parasympathetic nervous system to create new neuropathways to reduce hyper arousal and decrease maladaptive behaviours.
  12. Develop clinical strategies to decrease symptoms of pervasive separation anxiety in children and adolescents.

Target Audience

  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • Teachers
  • School Administrators
  • Nurses
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Physicians
  • Other Helping Professionals who Work with Children



Overall:      5

Total Reviews: 4


Thomas C

"Excellent use of video for case studies"

Lynne B

"Of the many online courses I have taken, this was one of the best. I have found PESI materials to be well organized, easy to access, Dr Steve was a professional and his presentation was fabulous! I even like the way you did the breaks...with music and a screen saver that assured us we were still in touch with the presentation!"

Stacy O

"This was extremely informative, maintained a high level of interest and was beneficial to my profession as well as my family. I will remember the videos of the presenter's clients for their genuine honesty and touching stories."


"Very useful course taught by an articulate, experienced, and nuanced clinician.Videos of Dr. O'Brien's clinical work were also clinically very useful and engaging."

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