Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Workshops by Christine Padesky

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Assertive Defense of the Self: CBT for Social Anxiety (USA 2017)

November 18, 2017 @ 8:00 am 10:00 am PST

logo for 2017 ABCT conference

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: two hour master clinician seminar presented at the 51st Annual Convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)

MASTER CLINICIAN SEMINAR 6: Assertive Defense of the Self: CBT for Social Anxiety

PRESENTER: Christine A. Padesky, PhD, Center for Cognitive Therapy, Huntington Beach, California with Kathleen A. Mooney, PhD, Center for Cognitive Therapy (Huntington Beach, CA)
Padesky brief biography
Mooney brief biography

DESCRIPTION: Many therapists treat social anxiety with an emphasis on testing client beliefs that other people will be critical and rejecting if they make mistakes or look foolish. Padesky (1997) has argued that an emphasis on these “danger” beliefs misses the point with treatment of social anxiety. She suggests that, just like in the treatments of other phobias, treatment of social anxiety is more effective when the focus is on intensive exposure to criticism and rejection with the opportunity for coping practice.

Padesky developed a method, “assertive defense of the self,” which guides socially anxious clients in the development of their coping skills to manage criticism and rejection as well as the confidence to use them. She uses video (Padesky, 2008) to demonstrate and discuss the several stages of “assertive defense of the self.” While this step-by-step approach is simple to understand, there are nuances that can derail therapists in its application. Padesky highlights common therapist errors and beliefs that interfere with successful treatment outcome.

Participants will be able to:

  1. ARTICULATE the relative benefits of a focus on coping or danger in CBT with social anxiety
  2. USE a targeted interview to identify feared criticisms and “assertive defense” responses
  3. DESIGN relevant behavioral experiments for out of session practice


Clark, D.M., Ehlers, A., Hackmann, A., McManus, F., Fennell, M.J.V., Waddington, L., Grey, N., &Wild, J. (2006). Cognitive therapy and exposure plus applied relaxation in social phobia: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, 568-578.

Padesky, C. (1997). A more effective treatment focus for social phobia? International Cognitive Therapy Newsletter, 11 (1), 1-3.

Shafran, R., Clark, D.M., Fairburn, C.G., Arntz, A., Barlow, D.H., Ehlers, A., Freeston, M., Garety, P.A., Hollon, S.D., Ost, L.G., Salkovskis, P.M., Williams, J.M.G., & Wilson, G.T. (2009). Mind the gap: Improving dissemination of CBT, Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47, 902-909.

Padesky, C.A. (Filmed appearance). (2008). Center for Cognitive Therapy (Producer). Social Anxiety: Assertive Defense of the Self. [DVD; Code: VSA]. Huntington Beach, CA: Center for Cognitive Therapy,

Padesky, C.A. (Audio recording). (2008). Center for Cognitive Therapy (Producer). CBT for Social Anxiety. [Audio CD; Code: SANX]. Huntington Beach, CA: Center for Cognitive Therapy,

WHEN: Saturday, November 18, 2017 from 8:00 am to 10:00 am

HELPFUL INFORMATION: You can access the full conference schedule HERE. To find Padesky’s presentation, enter Padesky in the search box.

WHERE: Sapphire 400, Level 4, Sapphire Level, San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel, 1 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

COST:  Visit  the convention website for registration, housing and program information.

CONTACT: Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)

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November 18, 2017
8:00 am – 10:00 am PST
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Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)
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San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel

1 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101 United States
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