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Digital Seminar

Helping Anxious Loved Ones: Clinical Strategies for Families and Couples

Margaret Wehrenberg, PsyD
1 Hour 30 Minutes
Audio and Video
Dec 02, 2022
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Your anxious client needs relief, and they want it now! Meanwhile, their family members are becoming increasingly frustrated by the paralysis their fear causes and their relationships begin to fracture. You’ve hit a dead-end, with each party arguing that the other should just “let it go” or “you’re not taking me seriously.” You need the tools to help your clients grasp the impact of their anxiety on relationships and balance loved one’s concern for the anxious family member against the negativity of anxiety and their outright annoyance at living with anxiety on a daily basis.  This recorded session with best-selling author Dr. Margaret Wehrenberg will discuss pragmatic approaches like the principle of “Right Reassurance” to reduce the impact of anxiety while the anxious client is still in the process of treating their anxiety.

You’ll learn:

  • Methods for showing clients how to ask for help that keeps their autonomy and responsibility for their emotions and behaviour
  • To teach clients and their family/friends the language of helpful calming and how to describe the source of annoyance with anxiety while still supporting the anxious client
  • How parents can model anxiety to their children and how spouses can mitigate the impact of parental worry

This is your chance to not only help your client get control of their anxiety, but empower their loved ones to support them as well.


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This program is worth 1.5 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Margaret Wehrenberg, PsyD's Profile

Margaret Wehrenberg, PsyD Related seminars and products

Margaret Wehrenberg, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist, is the author of nine books on the treatment of anxiety and depression, including her most recent e-book, Pandemic Anxiety: Fear, Stress, and Loss in Traumatic Times (January, 2021), bestselling book, The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques (W.W. Norton, 2018), and You Can Handle It: 10 Steps to Shift Stress from Problem to Possibility (PESI, 2017). She has also written a book for the general public, The 10 Best Anxiety Busters.

An expert on the treatment of anxiety and depression, she also has extensive training and expertise in the neurobiology of psychological disorders. In addition to clinical work, she coaches business professionals on managing anxiety and has contributed articles for the Psychotherapy Networker magazine. She has produced Relaxation for Tension and Worry, audio soundtracks for breathing, muscle relaxation and imagery to use with anxious clients. Margaret blogs on depression for Psychology Today. Noted for humor, pragmatic treatment approaches, and her interactive teaching style, Dr. Wehrenberg is a sought-after speaker for conferences and trainings, consistently getting the highest ratings for her dynamic presentation and high-quality content. She is one of PESI’s most highly rated speakers and her evaluation from the most seasoned professionals often rank her training “as among the best I have ever attended.”

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Margaret Wehrenberg maintains a private practice. She receives royalties as a published author. She is an international presenter and receives compensation. Dr. Wehrenberg receives a speaking honorarium, book royalties, and recording royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Margaret Wehrenberg is a member of the Anxiety Disorder Association of America.


  1. Effectively apply and teach to clients the principle of giving the ‘right reassurance’ to spouses, partner and parents of anxious clients.
  2. Guide clients to teach their partners and friends how to step in to reduce worry without raising their own alarm.
  3. Teach an anxious parent to avoid modelling anxiety while containing their own worry.


  • Anxious People need relief! And they want it now! Helping clients grasp the impact of their anxiety on relationships and learn to utilize the principle of “Right Reassurance”
    • Help family and friends describe the source of annoyance with anxiety while still supporting the anxious client
    • Help them to help without taking over. Teach clients and their family/friends the language of helpful calming, including teaching clients how to ask for help that keeps their autonomy and responsibility for their emotions and behaviour
  • Types of anxiety that are the hardest to handle
    • Helping clients and partners/friends deal with health anxiety without giving in to fear
    • Anxiety about safety, e.g., virus protection, and its impact on life within the family
    • Social anxiety – when one spouse significantly limits the avenues for social activity and engagement
  • Getting agreement between parents to deal with parental modelling of anxiety and parental responses to anxiety
    • Parents can model anxiety to their children. How to help spouses mitigate the impact of parental worry
    • How to support the anxious parent without letting anxiety about safety of the children limits their activities in their world

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Physicians
  • Psychologists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Social Workers
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

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