Disrupting Rumination: Changing the Thoughts that Underlie Anxiety and Depression

Led by Margaret Wehrenberg, PsyD

Thursday, November 7, 2019

9:00 am to 4:40 pm

Overactive brain circuitry can trap people in cycles of ruminative thinking, and that neurobiologically based rumination links anxiety and depression—two disorders that concur in about 50% of our clients.

Whether clients experience depressive themes of worthlessness and inadequacy or the anxious full-of-dread cognitions, repetitive patterns of negative thoughts keep people locked into distress. Letting go isn’t easy. Mental habits, reinforced by life experience and strengthened by repetition, form a neurobiological rut into which clients fall repeatedly. Stuck in this rut, people become unable to change behaviour, and in response, it is no surprise that therapists themselves can begin to feel stuck, wondering how to promote change in thought and action.

In this workshop, we’ll examine why clients lock into depressive patterns that increase their unhappiness, and we will explore the four subtle reasons they hold on to worry. Understanding these underlying rationales helps clients increase both their confidence and ability to change their mental habits. More importantly, we’ll explore pragmatic, achievable solutions to disrupt the rumination and stuck behaviours, eliminating these patterns and replacing them with attitudes of calmness and competency. After utilizing experiential and interactive methods, you will leave prepared to offer your clients effective tools to end rumination, alter stuck behaviours, and move into recovery from depression and anxiety.

Known for her humour, pragmatic treatment approaches and interactive teaching style, Dr. Wehrenberg is a sought-after speaker and consistently receives the highest ratings for her dynamic presentation and high-quality content. Most seasoned professionals often rank her training “as among the best I have ever attended.” This workshop is packed with good information and strategies.

You Will Learn:

  • How to improve treatment compliance by applying a basic understanding of neurological causes of rumination and how to assess and change in anxious and depressed clients
  • About four underlying causes of depression and immediate therapy interventions that will rapidly disrupt the ruminative themes of worthlessness and inadequacy
  • How to frame four purposes of worry and how to apply techniques that break the hold of worry
  • How to interrupt the ruminative cognitions that decrease energy and then apply self-reinforcing techniques that can energize clients
  • How to teach clients to identify the impact of situational stressors
  • About four approaches that reduce and eliminate the damage of stress that underpins both anxiety and depression
  • How to interrupt helplessness and stuck problem-solving by activating the default mode network and using cognitive techniques to increase capacity to activate positive cognitive processes and problem-solving

Introducing Margaret Wehrenberg

The Necessity of Disrupting Rumination

Why teach about anxiety?

Margaret Wehrenberg, Psy. D.  
Rumination as The Link Between Anxiety and Depression

A brief look at brain structure/function contributions. The purpose of worry: cognitive mis-steps. Exploring the impact of guilt and interventions for guilt.

Managing the Four Purposes of Worry at Every Age

Containing your worry in time. Inviting the worry. Identifying and altering “magical worry”.

The Impact of Stress and Four Competencies to Prevent Stress, Anxiety and Depression, Especially in Older Adolescents and Young Adults

Eliminating the Stressor. Managing Time and Environment. Managing Attitude. Practicing Rest and Relaxation, and activating the Default Mode Network for creative problem solving in anxiety and depression.

Perfectionism, Anxiety and Depression in the Too Much Activity (TMA) Person of Any Age from Childhood to Late Adulthood

Exploring four ways to disrupt perfectionism, which may be an ironic effort to diminish anxiety but rather intensifies anxious/depressive states. Procrastination as perfectionism in disguise. Recognizing the highly active depressed client and developing their capacity to slow down without intensifying depression

A Look at Depression

Four underlying causes of depression. Immediate responses

Raising Energy and Altering Cognitions

Altering the neural networks that keep rumination in place.

“Born to be blue” : Spotting and altering the impact of endogenous depression

Changing the network on purpose— "Start where you already are”. "Charging the batteries” to raise energy.

Situational Stressors

Setting boundaries and utilizing help. Mobilizing energy to respond.

Interrupting helplessness

Utilizing mentors or lifelines. Focusing on strengths.

Positive Impacts of Early Life Adversity

Preparing to stay connected. Changing explanatory style. Gratitude assignments.

Event Detail

November 7, 2019 9:00 am
November 7, 2019 4:40 pm
Knox Church