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Digital Seminar

TREATING PSYCHO-PHYSIOLOGICAL DIZZINESS: A CBT APPROACH - Recognising PPPD and applying an evidence based treatment approach.

Sarah Edelman PhD, PhD
2 Hours
Audio and Video
Jul 01, 2020
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Digital Seminar
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Dizziness is very common in primary care settings, neuro-otological practices and the general population.  Research reveals that 15-20% of patients seen in neurology and ENT (ear, nose and throat) clinics have dizziness and related symptoms that are maintained by psychological factors.  A syndrome, involving dizziness or rocking, unsteadiness and sensitivity to motion stimuli was first described in the 1990s, and has been subsequently named ‘Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness’- PPPD.  The condition is typically triggered by physical events (such as rotational vertigo, flu or whiplash) or episodes of panic. Once initiated, it is perpetuated by anxiety and hypervigilance. As sufferers seek to protect themselves, they unwittingly use strategies that maintain or exacerbate the disorder.  


People with PPPD are frequently referred to mental health practitioners, but many are unfamiliar with how to treat the condition. This webinar will provide information on characteristics that predispose individuals to developing psycho-physiological dizziness, and factors that contribute to its perpetuation.  A psychological treatment model based on CBT will be described and clinical examples will be discussed.  Components of treatment include formulation, education, behavioural experiments, exposure, ‘surfing’ the symptoms and identifying and challenging metacognitive beliefs. Participants will learn specific tools and will receive handouts to assist in treatment.


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Sarah Edelman PhD, PhD's Profile

Sarah Edelman PhD, PhD Related seminars and products

Dr Sarah Edelman is a clinical psychologist, author and trainer. She has worked in psychology for over 25 years, originally as researcher in health psychology, and subsequently as a lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney.

Sarah now works as a psychologist in private practice, dealing mainly with anxiety disorders. She also conducts training programs for mental health professionals, government and business organisations. Sarah ran a program on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) at Sydney University Centre for Continuing Education for over 20 years, and has been facilitating programs for the Black Dog Institute since 2006.

She has published many articles in professional and mainstream journals, and is a regular guest on ABC radio. She has authored three books, including ‘Change your Thinking’, which is a best seller in the self-help genre. Her most recent book ‘No Worries’ is a self-help book for overcoming worry and generalised anxiety disorder.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Sarah Edelman maintains a private practice and has an employment relationship with Black Dog Institute. She receives royalties as a published author. Sarah Edelman receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Sarah Edelman is a member of the Australian Psychological Society College of Clinical Psychologists, the Division of Independent Professional Practice, and the Australian Association of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.


Learning objectives of this training:

  1. Recognise key features of PPPD and diagnose the condition among clients they encounter.
  2. Educate clients with PPPD on the underlying mechanisms that feed the self-perpetuating cycle of dizziness and anxiety, and provide strategies to help them break the cycle.
  3. Describe key features of a CBT model for the treatment of PPPD

“Although psychogenic dizziness is very common, many mental health practitioners have no idea how to treat it. Patients have frequently seen several medical and mental health practitioners, and ended up more confused than ever.  To help these individuals, therapists need to recognise features of psychogenic dizziness, understand the underlying processes that maintain it, and know how to treat it.  The session will equip you to help these patients.”  Sarah Edelman PhD


How will you benefit from attending this training?

  • Develop a deeper understanding of somatic conditions, and the relationship between psychological factors and physical symptoms.  
  • Learn to recognise signs that particular physical symptoms are influenced by psychological factors, and demonstrate this relationship to clients.
  • Familiarise themselves with an evidence based treatment approach for PPPD.


Session One

The relationship between dizziness and anxiety

Somatisation in psychiatric disorders

PPPD defined

Evaluated treatments

Assessment of PPPD

Components of CBT treatment model.


Session Two

Specific treatment strategies:

  • Psycho-education and case formulation
  • Behavioural experiments
  • Address specific threat perceptions
  • Exposure exercises
  • ‘Symptom surfing’
  • Identify and challenge metacognitive beliefs
  • Evaluation and quiz - your payment includes a quiz which when completed with a minimum of 80% correct answers, will enable you to download your Attendance Certificate.

To complete the quiz, please log into your account at and click the orange "Certificate" button under the program's title. 

Target Audience

This webinar has been designed to extend the clinical knowledge and applied skill of Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Coaches, Psychologists, Hypnotherapists, Social Workers, Community Workers, Mental Health Nurses and Psychiatrists.

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