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Department of Mental Health
A.U.S.L. of Parma, Italy
Director: Angelo Righetti, M.D.
Anxiety Disorders:
cognitive-behavioral psychotherapeutic techniques
Seminar for mental health professionals held on June 16, 2000, in the Main Hall of the Department of Psychology of the University of Parma, Italy, by
Joel Becker, Ph.D.
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) & University of Southern California (USC)

Translation by Paolo Migone, M.D.

The 2 DVDs of the entire seminar
are available, in both languages (English and Italian).
For informations, contact
Paolo Migone, M.D.,
Via Palestro 14, 43100 Parma, Italy,
tel./fax +(39) 0521-960595, E-Mail <>


Joel L. Becker, Ph.D., works at the Center for Cognitive Therapy in Beverly Hills (California), and teaches at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and at the University of Southern California (USC). He was trained in both psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral approaches. Currently he is specialized in marital therapy and in the psychotherapy of anxiety disorders. In Italy on April 15, 2003, he gave also a seminar on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, titled "Recent advances in the assessment and cognitive-behavioral treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder", which is available in videotape (see web site

Contents of the two videotapes

First cassette (morning)

Introduction. History and theoretical tenants. Aaron Beck's approach (e.g., concept of "collaborative empiricism"). Restructuring of personality versus symptom modification. The cognitive model of anxiety. Two main learning theories of anxiety: Pavlov's "classic conditioning" and Skinner's "operant conditioning". Concepts of reinforcement and punishment, both to be understood in a "positive" and "negative" way. Problem of trauma as a real event or as an imaginary event (role of fantasy in the genesis of mental disorders). Wolpe's therapy by reciprocal inhibition, now called "systematic desensitization".

Specific phobias. Treatment techniques with systematic desensitization, imagined and in vivo.

Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia. Treatment techniques with deliberate exposure to interoceptive cues with breathing retraining + graded in vivo exposure. Relationship between Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia.

Second cassette (afternoon)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Difference between obsessions and compulsions. Treatment techniques with deliberate exposure and response prevention. Relationship between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and other disorders with compulsive aspects (eating disorders, trichotillomania, pathological gambling, etc.).

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Treatment techniques with direct therapeutic exposure. Clinical examples.

Social Phobia. Treatment techniques with group exposure.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Treatment techniques with worry exposure.


Anchisi R. & Gambotto Dessy M. (1995). Non solo comunicare: teoria e pratica del comportamento assertivo. Torino: Edizione Cortina.

Bara B. G. (1996). Manuale di psicoterapia cognitiva. Torino: Bollati Boringhieri.

Beck A.T. (1976). Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders. New York: Int. Univ. Press (trad. it.: Principi di terapia cognitiva. Roma: Astrolabio, 1984).

Beck A.T. & Freeman A. (1993). Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders. New York: Guilford (trad. it.: Terapia cognitiva dei disturbi di personalità. Milano: Mediserve, 1993).

Beck A.T., Rush A.J., Shaw B.F. & Emery G. (1979). Cognitive Therapy of Depression. New York: Guilford Press (trad. it.: Terapia cognitiva della depressione. Torino: Boringhieri, 1987).

Dettore D. (1998). Il disturbo ossessivo-compulsivo. Caratteristiche cliniche e tecniche di intervento. Milano: McGraw-Hill.

Guidano V. & Liotti G. (1979). Elementi di psicoterapia comportamentale. Roma: Bulzoni.

Guidano V.F. (1987). The Complexity of the Self. New York: Guilford (trad. it.: La complessità del Sé. Un approccio sistemico-processuale alla psicopatologia e alla terapia cognitiva. Torino: Bollati Boringhieri, 1988).

Moderato P. & Sirigatti S. (1995). L'uomo che cambia. Nuovi percorsi di intervento psicologico. Milano: Angeli.

Reda M.A. (1986). Sistemi cognitivi complessi e psicoterapia. Roma: NIS.

Sacco G. (1989). Tecniche della terapia cognitivo-comportamentale. Roma: Melusina.

Sanavio E. (1991). Psicoterapia cognitiva e comportamentale. Roma: NIS.

Wells A. (1997). Cognitive Therapy of Anxiety Disorders: A Practice Manual and Conceptual Guide. New York: Wiley (trad. it.: Trattamento cognitivo dei disturbi d'ansia. Milano: McGraw-Hill, 1999).

Joel Becker, Ph.D.
Center for Cognitive Psychotherapy
9665 Wilshire Boulevard, # 520
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Tel. (310) 858-3831
E-Mail <>

For further informations: <

Other videos:

John F. Clarkin, "Personality and personality disorders" (1997) (6 videos, 17 hours)

Joel Becker, "Anxiety Disorders: Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapeutic techniques" (2000) (2 videos, 5 hours)

Joel Becker & Gabriele Melli, "Recent advances in the assessment and cognitive-behavioral treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder" (2003) (1 video, 3 hours)

Robert R. Holt & Morris N. Eagle, "The scientific status of psychoanalysis" (2000) (1 video, 2.5 hours)

Robert R. Holt, Philip S. Holzman, Roy Schafer, Herbert J. Schlesinger, Fred Schwartz, Peter H. Wolff et al., "40th Anniversary of the Rapaport-Klein Study Group: Reflections on David Rapaport" (2003) (1 video, 2 hours, in English)

Adolf Grünbaum et al., "Questions and answers on psychoanalysis and philosophy" (1998) (2 videos, audio only with images)

Robert R. Holt, "A History of the Research Center for Mental Health, New York University (NYU)" (2006) (1 video, in English)

YouTube channel of the journal Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane

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