1-session virtual reality exposure therapy for public speaking anxiety: Results from a randomized controlled trial

Public speaking anxiety (PSA) is a common condition which can be treated effectively with exposure therapy. However, inherent difficulties in stimuli presentation and control limits dissemination and the therapeutic potential. Virtual Reality (VR) technology has the potential to resolve these issues and provide a scalable platform for self-help interventions. No previous study has examined whether … Read more

Adding a smartphone app to Internet-based self-help for social anxiety: a randomized controlled trial

Increasing access to treatment via smartphone apps is an important topic in Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). ‘Challenger’ is an app promoting exposure exercises in daily life. The present study evaluated the additional benefit of using the app as adjunct to Internet-based unguided self-help for SAD. In a second step, we also tested how the app … Read more

Less is more: Patient-Level metaanalysis reveals paradoxical effects

The past decade of research has seen considerable interest in computer-based approaches designed to directly target cognitive mechanisms of anxiety, such as Attention Bias Modification (ABM). By pooling patient-level datasets from randomized controlled trials of ABM that utilized a dot-probe training procedure, we assessed the impact of training ‘dose’ on relevant outcomes among a pooled sample of 693 socially … Read more

Congratulations Kristoffer NT Månsson (who defended his PhD thesis today)

Today the psychologist and PhD student Kristoffer NT Månsson brilliantly defended his PhD thesis in Linköping University. The thesis was entitled “Restructuring the socially anxious brain: Using magnetic resonance imaging to advance our understanding of effective cognitive behaviour therapy for social anxiety disorder”. Philippe Goldin from University of California served as an excellent opponent. We, … Read more

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with a smartphone

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can be effective in treating anxiety disorders, yet there has been no study on Internet-delivered ACT for social anxiety disorder (SAD) and panic disorder (PD), nor any study investigating whether therapist guidance is superior to unguided self-help when supplemented with a smartphone application. Until now. In a new trial, that … Read more

Combining SSRI and cognitive behavioural therapy for social anxiety disorder

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are often used concomitantly to treat social anxiety disorder (SAD), but few studies have examined the effect of this combination. We conducted a study to evaluate if adding escitalopram to Internet-delivered CBT (ICBT) improves clinical outcome and alters brain reactivity and connectivity in SAD. It … Read more

Risk profiles for poor treatment response to internet-delivered CBT in people with social anxiety disorder

In social anxiety disorder co-morbid depressive symptoms as well as avoidance behaviors have been shown to predict insufficient treatment response. It is likely that subgroups of individuals with different profiles of risk factors for poor treatment response exist. We examined this in a new study that was just published in Journal of Anxiety Disorders entiled “Risk profiles … Read more

Cognitive Bias and Social Anxiety Disorder

Today a new study was accepted for publication in Internet Interventions. The paper was about social anxiety disorder (SAD) and attentional bias. Typically, the visual-attention system is selectively biased towards stimuli of biological importance, such as cues of threat (predators, dangerous individuals) and reward (food, mates) (Frewen et al. 2008). These attentional processes are considered … Read more

Proof of how the brain changes after cognitive behavior therapy

Today we published a new study in the Nature journal called Translational Psychiatry (impact factor 4.360). The paper was about cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and what happens in the brain after treatment. It is known that CBT is an effective treatment for social anxiety disorder (SAD), but many patients do not respond sufficiently and a … Read more

ABCT in Philadelphia – Maximizing the Effects of Attention Bias Modification for Anxiety: How and for Whom

Today I spoke at a symposia at the 48:th annual congress organized by the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. This year the conference was held in Philadelphia. It was Jennie Kuckertz that invited me to the symposia entitled “Maximizing the Effects of Attention Bias Modification for Anxiety: How and for Whom”. The other speakers … Read more