CBT for Anxiety Disorders – Mindfulness-Based Therapy for Anxiety


Winter and Spring, 2016


Therapy with David Mellinger

I am accepting referrals and self-referral of adults for therapy to help overcome anxiety disorders, including panic and phobic disorders (including driving phobia and social phobia), OCD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and CBT for anxiety disorders. The treatment I provide for anxiety disorders is primarily cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), with elements of interpersonal, mindfulness-, and acceptance-based therapy. I also do therapy for relationship problems, mood disorders and dysthymia (everyday depression). Please call 818-716-1695 or E-mail for further information.

Anxiety Workshops –  Becoming the Calm in the Storm, On A Path with Heart, and The Intensive Anxiety and Worry Treatment Workshop

The Peaceful Worrier Workshops:

Becoming the Calm in the Storm & On a Path with Heart

Two Half-Day Workshops for Overcoming Disturbing Anxiety and Worry with Julie Brams, LMFT and David Mellinger, LCSW

Julie Brams and I have developed the “Peaceful Worrier” workshop series to enable men and women to gain the upper hand over disturbing anxiety and worry. Join us in explorations of the healthy, strong ways that our unique blend of emotional awareness-based cognitive-behavioral techniques and mindfulness meditation can help you address worry, vulnerability, and trepidation. Face your fears with heart, so you can go forward with less inhibiting anxiety and accomplish what you care about the most.

The workshops – Becoming The Calm in the Storm and On a Path with Heart –  interweave cutting-edge psychological science with real-time mindfulness meditation training proven to expand emotional awareness and improve coping with fear, anxiety and persistent worry. Both workshops will provide experience in use of a variety of meditations, traditional methods, and new-wave psychotherapeutic techniques to ease persistent anxiety and excessive worry while being good to oneself. Open to women and men at all levels, our workshops can be taken in any order.  Past participants often find it helpful to repeat workshops as a means of deepening their gains.

Becoming the Calm in the Storm

Our emotions profoundly affect what we care about the most; yet irrational anxiety and excessive worry can interfere with our values, plans, and hopes. In the “Becoming the Calm in the Storm” workshop, we help you learn ways to be good to yourself through using mindfulness and psychological techniques to face fear with heart, address vulnerability, and ease trepidation.  Participants learn to reduce “fear of fear”, “worry about worry”, catastrophizing, and persistent worry and obsessing so they may cope better and accomplish more of what they value.

Workshop Objectives

  • Learn to think more clearly:  Clear up unhealthy worry and release yourself from thinking traps and the grip of sticky thinking.
  • Feel less discomfort by learning to overcome trepidation and become more accepting of vulnerability.
  • Cope better with anxiety and worry while achieving increasingly more that you truly care about.
  • Increase confidence, your sense of safety, and trust that things will be okay at anxiety-provoking times.


Mindfulness Meditation Practice

  • Breathing Meditation
  • Lovingkindness Meditation


The Path with Heart

The “Path with Heart” Workshop is the second of two trainings to enable you to change your relationship to anxiety, fear, and worry.  We’ll help you learn to use mindfulness and psychological techniques to face your fears while being good to yourself.  By taking “the path with heart”, you can learn to exercise your strength, go forward with less inhibiting fear and face important challenges that have been difficult, and start changing in needed and vital ways.

Emotional Awareness-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Training

Expand your awareness of your values, the things you hold dear to your heart, and what you care enough about to change.

Learn how to overcome emotional avoidance by expanding your awareness of the thinking traps and physical tension that sustain anxiety and worry.

Learn to face your fears using psychological and mindfulness-based techniques of emotional exposure

Learn to gain the upper hand over unhealthy worry and other types of anxious, sticky thinking

Learn to be kinder to yourself as you face your fears.  Augment your trust that you will be okay at anxiety-provoking times. Enhance your acceptance of vulnerability and uncertainty while overcoming your anxiety and worry.

Mindfulness Meditation Practice

  • Body awareness meditation
  • Breathing meditation
  • Lovingkindness meditation


The Intensive Anxiety and Worry Workshop (IAWW) – DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED


The Intensive Workshop for Anxiety Disorders (IAWW) was created by anxiety expert David Mellinger to help people overcome anxiety disorders. The IAWW is an evidence-based treatment that has been offered for over five years in community settings and benefited hundreds of men and women with one or more of a wide variety of anxiety disorders and conditions.   Utilizing a unique formulation of new psychological scientific findings dubbed Transdiagnostic Therapy, IAWW is a unique integration of traditional and new-wave cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and acceptance-based CBT into a 6-week course of group therapy.

Who Does IAWW Help?  Men and women who worry themselves sick (who worry often and catastrophically) and those with fear of fear – people who suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, agoraphobia and other phobias, and/or social anxiety disorders.  Individuals with mild obsessive-compulsive disorder may also improve by doing the workshop.

Workshop structure: Participants must be willing to devote six weeks to participating in an intensive workshop program that is designed to help overcome anxiety disorders.  Each weekly session is between 90 and 120 minutes in length, and there will be 30 to 90 minutes a week of home practice.

Most people who complete the IAWW:

Learn to cope with panic symptoms and come to see them as harmless, manageable passing events. Gain perspective and psychological distance from their anxiety disorder symptoms. Gain the upper hand over avoidance, engage in exposure therapy, and develop worry-busting skills that weaken anxiety’s grip by turning aside “sticky thinking”, which may include:

Active worry Rumination Barrages of self-criticism OCD-type obsessions

RESULTS:   Participants typically suffer from a variety of anxiety disorders – typically involving proneness to fear of fear and panic or anxiety attacks, a tendency to worry often and catastrophically, or both. Measures of change over the course of the workshop indicate that program completers’ fear of fear drops significantly – to within normal limits – and their catastrophic worry tendencies drop as well. In addition, the majority of men and women who complete this workshop rate themselves as so much improved that they no longer consider further treatment necessary.


California “Model” of Mental Health Parity Goes National: Extends Insurance Coverage for Anxiety Treatment

The California “mental health parity law” directs insurers to provide coverage of panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and major depressive disorder that is equal to that for other, non-mental illnesses. The law applies to people of any age.

In 2013, President Obama signed landmark federal mental health parity act into law which extends mental health parity to all psychiatric diagnoses. National pan-diagnostic parity is expected to be implemented on a state-by-state basis and also is integrated into the Affordable Care Act, hopefully in the near future. California has been at the vanguard of liberalization of insurance laws that extend and enhance coverage for mental and emotional disorders. Stay tuned.