424 – Working with Autism and Anxiety

Hidden Problems and Effective Solutions                                         
Margaret Wehrenberg

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, 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. You’ll explore how to:

  • Accurately identify when generalized anxiety, panic, or social fears are caused by ASD
  • Unblock the typical obstacles to releasing worry in ASD clients, like illogical thinking and idiosyncratic use of language
  • Assess when panic attacks are actually ASD meltdowns and apply appropriate interventions, such as learning to predict patterns and preparing a safe place
  • Relieve social anxiety by strengthening the underdeveloped capacity of people with ASD to self-soothe and change their self-talk


Margaret Wehrenberg, PsyD, is a practicing clinical psychologist, international speaker, and author of The 10 Best Anxiety Busters and The 10 Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Margaret Wehrenberg maintains a private practice.  She is an author with W.W. Norton publishing and receives royalties.  She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Margaret Wehrenberg is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Anxiety Disorder Association of America.

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