The course is taught in English. See the course manual for further details.
At the end of the course, the student has:
1) Knowledge of scientific research, theories on etiology of anxiety (and related) disorders and effective therapies;
2) Know-how of critically reading scientific literature;
3) Knowledge of applying theoretical concepts in clinical practice;
4) Skills in carefully making a diagnosis and addressing this in a functional analysis and treatment plan.
Relation between tests and learning goals: Learning goal 1 and 2 will be assessed in an exam that is part of the tutorials; learning goal 1, 2 and 3 will be assessed in a final exam. Learning goal 4 will not be assessed, but is a central part of weekly tutorials (e.g., via feedback from tutors).
Fear is helpful for the detection and avoidance of danger. When it becomes excessive and prolonged in the presence of objective safety, an anxiety disorder may be diagnosed. Anxiety disorders occur in about 1 out of 7 Europeans, and are the most common mental disorders.
They cause personal suffering, impair functioning, and impose a huge burden on society in terms of economic costs. How can you recognize these disorders? How does fear become pathological? What causal factors play a role? How can you most effectively treat someone with an anxiety disorder? These questions will be elaborately answered in this course.
The frame of the course is built on various anxiety (and related) disorders: phobias (e.g., fear of heights, flights or spiders), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. Transdiagnostic processes encountered across anxiety disorders are also discussed, as well as the use of psychopharmaca. The course includes weekly lectures and tutorials about these disorders. During the lectures, you will acquire knowledge about relevant research domains, influential theories with respect to etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders, and evidence-base therapies. During the tutorials, you will be trained in clinically applying knowledge acquired through the literature and lectures. In several tutorials, a training actor will be present. You will learn how to make a reliable and careful diagnosis and how to address this in a treatment plan.