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Digital Seminar

Working with Autism and Anxiety: Hidden Problems and Effective Solutions

Margaret Wehrenberg, Psy.D., Psychologist
1 Hour 58 Minutes
Mar 24, 2018
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Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


High-functioning autism isn’t always easy to spot. But when clients who enter therapy for panic, anxiety, or social phobia fail to respond to standard treatment protocols, autism might be a complicating factor.

Often undiagnosed in women and academically successful people who are over 30, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) creates anxiety, which can then appear as the primary issue.

In this workshop recording, you’ll discover how people on the spectrum experience anxiety, and how treatment for generalized anxiety, panic disorder, or social anxiety can be adjusted for the diagnosis.



Margaret Wehrenberg, Psy.D., Psychologist's Profile

Margaret Wehrenberg, Psy.D., Psychologist Related seminars and products

Margaret Wehrenberg, Psy.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, and the curriculum development director for Candeo’s online Depression and Anxiety Program. She is the author of five books: Anxiety + Depression: Effective Treatment of the Big Two Co-Occurring DisordersThe Anxious BrainThe 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management TechniquesThe 10 Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques, and The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques Workbook, all published by W. W. Norton.

She earned her M.A. specializing in psychodrama and play therapy with children, and has years of experience as a certified drug and alcoholism counselor, working with the U.S. Army in Germany and Lutheran Social Services in Illinois before earning her Psy.D. and beginning a private psychotherapy practice. Her outpatient clinical work has focused on anxiety, depression and trauma recovery with adults. Currently, she sees private clients through Wehrenberg and Associates in Naperville, Illinois.

In addition to clinical work, Margaret is an international trainer for mental health clinicians and she is a frequent contributor of articles to The Psychotherapy Networker magazine and has produced Relaxation for Tension and Worry, a CD for breathing, muscle relaxation and imagery to use with anxious clients, as well as a client workbook, Stress Solutions: Ten Effective Strategies to Eliminate Your Stress.

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 PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial: Dr. Margaret Wehrenberg is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Anxiety Disorder Association of America.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


Recognizing the Impact of High Functioning Autism (HFA) on Anxiety

  • HFA creates anxiety 
  • Recognizing the interaction of anxiety symptoms of panic, worry and social anxiety with  HFA 

Meltdowns and Panic: Learn to identify the Signs and Correct for Panic/Meltdown

  • Evidence of anxiety building and tools to minimize arousal 
  • Planning for panic/meltdown with emotional regulation tools and the S.C.A.R.E.D solution  from Lipsky 

Worry and the Logic of HFA

  • Explore feeling states to develop confidence and vocabulary for self‐expression 
  • Utilize Visual and concrete learning styles to diminish worry

Social Anxiety (SAD) and HFA – Accommodating the Differences

  • Identify major differences between similarly appearing HFA and SAD
  • Diminish obstacles to forming friendship and develop social skills
  • Help clients learn social conversation verbal and non‐verbal recognition skills


  1. Explore how to accurately identify when generalized anxiety, panic, or social fears are caused by ASD
  2. Explore how to unblock the typical obstacles to releasing worry in ASD clients, like illogical thinking and idiosyncratic use of language
  3. Explore how to assess when panic attacks are actually ASD meltdowns and apply appropriate interventions, such as learning to predict patterns and preparing a safe place
  4. Explore how to relieve social anxiety by strengthening the underdeveloped capacity of people with ASD to self-soothe and change their self-talk

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Physicians
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Other Behavioral Health Professionals

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