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Anxiety-related psychopathology represents one of the most prevalent and debilitating forms of mental illness. A large number of effective cognitive-behavioral treatments for anxiety disorders have been developed and validated. Consequently, research has resulted in an ever-growing number of treatments, each comprised of specific strategies targeting particular anxiety disorders. Therapy protocols are numerous and somewhat complex, which is likely to limit training and dissemination of these treatments. As a result, researchers have begun to explore transdiagnostic approaches to anxiety treatment based on models of anxiety emphasizing common elements across anxiety disorders. The aim of the current study was to test the efficacy of a brief transdiagnostic treatment for anxiety disorders. The current treatment focused chiefly on the elimination of behaviors that maintain anxiety (so-called safety behaviors) among individuals suffering from a range of anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD) and panic disorder (PD). Patients with a primary anxiety disorder (N = 28) were randomly assigned to F-SET or waitlist control. Data indicate that F-SET shows good efficacy and durability when delivered to individuals with a range of anxiety disorders (GAD, PD, SAD). The results from the current study are an important first step in indentifying a simpler, focused form of individual treatment that can be delivered with minimal therapist training, at a low cost and with minimal client contact time.
A Dissertation submitted to the Psychology Department in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Norman B. Schmidt, Professor Directing Dissertation; Bruce Thyer, University Representative; Jesse Cougle, Committee Member; Thomas Joiner, Committee Member; Jon Maner, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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