Worried Sick? CBT for Health Anxiety and
Its Application to Unexplained Symptoms
and Long-Term Health Problems


Professor Paul Salkovskis, Ph.D.

April 9, 2018, 9am to 4:30pm
Holiday Inn
711 W Broadway, Vancouver BC

Cognitive behavioural approaches to health anxiety have been shown to be effective in RCTs in people where the main presenting problem is anxiety focussed on health, and in those seeking medical help in hospital found to have high levels of health anxiety. There are also indications that CBT could be effective in Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS) and in Long Term Physical Health problems (LTC) associated with relatively severe psychological distress.

In this workshop, Paul will describe the cognitive behavioural theory of health anxiety and how that has been applied to the development and validation of a treatment which evidence suggests is both effective and cost effective, and which can be relatively easily learned by health professionals. The main components of this treatment will be described and illustrated, with the emphasis on the clinical “how to”.

The complex link between health anxiety and problems in general medical settings (both primary and secondary care) will be discussed, and evidence for generalisation to both MUS and LTC evaluated. The adaptations required for the application of the health anxiety treatment in this context will then be outlined. Core elements of treatment will be discussed including engagement and developing a shared understanding supplemented by “modules” addressing specific aspects of MUS in the later stages of treatment, with behavioural experiments cutting across both aspects of the treatment. Treatment fundamentals and details will be discussed and, where possible, demonstrated. The way such treatment should be conducted, from screening, assessment and formulation and engagement through to more active treatment, behavioural experiments and generalization strategies will be outlined in the context of MUS such as IBS, chronic pain, CFS and so on.

Participants will have the opportunity, if they wish, to role play clinical cases from their own practice as a way of discussing the issues raised in the workshop, which seeks to provide participants both with an update on this new and rapidly expanding field and help them to develop their own clinical skills.


Presenter bio:

Professor Paul Salkovskis qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1979 at the the Institute of Psychiatry and Maudsley Hospital. He worked in Yorkshire as a clinical psychologist before moving to the University of Oxford as a Research Clinical Psychologist. In Oxford he became Professor of Cognitive Psychology, before leaving to work at King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry as Professor of Clinical Psychology and Applied Science and Clinical Director in the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma at the Institute of Psychiatry (2000-2010). He led the SLaM and national outpatient OCD service, and the outpatient NCG service.

Dr. Salkovskis is now Professor of Clinical Psychology and Applied Science at the University of Bath where he is director of a joint University/NHS national specialist anxiety disorder clinic and Programme Director for the Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programme at Bath. He is also currently Editor of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, and on the editorial board of many international journals. He is Patron of several OCD and anxiety disorder charities. He has published over 300 articles and chapters on the understanding and treatment of psychological problems and anxiety disorders. He is President Elect of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, and was recently awarded the MB Shapiro Prize for Distinction in Clinical Psychology.




Early Bird Fee
(before March 19th, 2018) :

Professionals: $215 (+ GST)

Students: $115 (+ GST)

Regular Fee
(after March 19th, 2018) :

Professionals: $235 (+GST)

Students: $135 (+GST)


Cancellation policy: Cancellation requests made at least 14 days prior to the start of the workshop will be eligible for a full refund. Cancellations made at least 7 days prior to the workshop will be eligible for a credit in the amount of the registration fee paid, which can be used toward future workshops held by the Vancouver CBT Training Centre. No refunds or credits will be available for cancellations made less than one week prior to the workshop.

Continuing Education: (Pending).

Refreshments: Coffee and snacks will be provided in the morning and afternoon. A hot lunch will also be provided at noon