Anxiety Disorders Course for Health Professionals

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for health professionals such as mental health clinicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, counsellors, marriage and family therapists, psychiatrists, schoolteachers, occupational therapists and consultants

Who offers the course?

Discipline of Psychiatry

Level of assumed/required knowledge

There are no specific degrees or course requirements for this workshop series but mental health work experience is beneficial.

It is also recommended for participants to watch the free educational video series “Getting Started with Helping People with Anxiety Disorders” prior to attending this course.

Course overview

The latest research in the field of anxiety disorders has been translated into a short course at the University of Sydney by 21 leading experts from 12 universities and hospitals across Australia and New Zealand under the Centres of Clinical Research Excellence (CCRE) Scheme of National Health and Medical Research Council.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders, affecting around 1 in 7 Australians. The disability associated with anxiety disorders is comparable to physical illnesses. However, the distress and impairment sufferers’ experience often goes unrecognised or is poorly treated, despite effective treatments being available. People with anxiety disorders need your help, and we can make your help more effective and professional. To help people with anxiety disorders, you must be equipped with the specialised knowledge about effective psychological and pharmacological evidence-based treatments for anxiety disorders. The theoretical basis and the application of these treatments are required knowledge for a broad range of health professionals.

If you see patients or clients with anxiety disorders, or if you are looking to become specialised in this area, this workshop series is right for you.

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss the symptoms, prevalence, and burden of anxiety disorders
  • Differentiate medical and other comorbid disorders that may present as an anxiety disorder or complicate treatment
  • Explain how patients' anxiety disorders are triggered, developed, and maintained using physiological, genetic, attachment, neurobiological, behavioural and cognitive models and theories
  • Systematically appraise the basis for the selection of particular treatment approaches to anxiety disorders
  • Develop imaginal and in vivo exposure hierarchies for feared situations
  • Identify and challenge cognitive distortions common to anxiety disorders
  • Set up and conduct a behavioural experiment
  • Identify appropriate medications to complement cognitive-behavioural treatments for anxiety disorders

With the above competences, you will be able to effectively communicate with, and provide helpful advice to people with anxiety disorders. You would have a better chance of getting a job where competence in diagnosing and treating anxiety disorders is either needed (e.g. anxiety disorders clinics) or desirable (e.g. outpatient mental health service). These competences will be very useful for participants in private practice because many people with anxiety disorders seek help from therapists in the private sector. Health professionals acting as consultants to companies would benefit from this course due to the prevalence of anxiety and anxiety disorders in the workplace. This course also helps you gain an in-depth theoretical foundation for further developing skills in the treatment of anxiety disorders with clinical supervision.

This course will cover the following topics:

  • Anxiety and anxiety disorders
  • The science of anxiety disorders
  • Development of anxiety in children
  • Assessment of anxiety disorders
  • Cognitive theory and case formulation
  • Learning theory and behaviour therapy for anxiety disorders
  • Cognitive therapy for anxiety disorders
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders: Behavioural experiments, case studies, evidence base and Internet-delivered CBT
  • Pharmacotherapy for anxiety disorders

Course duration

3 days over 2 weeks

How is this course assessed?

Reinforcing activity sheet to complete at participants’ own time

Can this course contribute to an academic degree?


Course delivery

This course will be delivered in a workshop format with practical tasks. Additional online learning resources and activities are available to complement the face-to-face sessions. You will be given assignments to complete between sessions in order to consolidate your learning.

The online discussion forum is a good place for you to ask questions and stay connected with the tutors and other participants during the course. You will continue to have access to the discussion forum until the end of 2014.

Course cost

$880 per participant (inc. GST).

10% discount is available to University of Sydney alumni and staff members. Please call +61 2 8999 9608 to verify your details and redeem the discount.

Course dates

Saturdays 16, 23 and 30 August 2014: 9.30am – 4.30pm

Is this course accredited for CME points?

ACN: 24 RCNA CNE points
ACMHN: 20 CPE points
ACA: 48 OPD points
AASW: 48 CPD points
RACGP: 120 Category 1 points

Further information and enrolment

To enrol in the course, please call +61 2 8999 9608 or enrol online.

To register your interest in future courses please email the course coordinator.

Contact person/Course coordinator

Richard He
T: +612 9845 7798

Last updated

July 2014