Upcoming Seminars

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Course Information

Deconstructing Anxiety:
Mastering the Theory and Techniques

The “Deconstructing Anxiety” model has been gaining significant attention as a powerful new approach to resolving anxiety and finding fulfillment. In this two day intensive, you will develop mastery in the techniques of this model, including “The Alchemist”, “The Witness”, “The Warrior’s Stance”, and more. Using the training paradigm where learning happens best by applying the strategies to one’s own journey, this program will be part didactic and part experiential, so that the techniques can be learned “from the inside”. With the revolutionary understanding that anxiety (fear) is at the root of all suffering, you will gain insight into the five core fears, “universal themes of loss”, including abandonment, identity, meaning, purpose and death. Exercises are given for finding the core fear and chief defense, the architects of personality and the creator of our perceptual world. Then, with new tools that offer fast and dramatic results, you will learn how to pinpoint the precise moment where resistance is created and how to release it. This leads to the ultimate goal of letting go the “resistance to resistance”, a key to transforming our entire view of Self and redefining the limits of the human experience. The way is then paved for the final section on “Vision Questing”, wherein the five core fears are fully resolved, and one may live their lives with a solid sense of identity, meaning, purpose, love and even a true freedom from the fear of death.

This course is for 12 CE

Target Audience

Psychologists, Psychoanalysts (NY #P-0005), Social Workers, Therapists, Nurses, & Others - All levels


“One of the most exciting things I’ve come across in a long time”—G.S., Program Director
“By far the best seminar I’ve attended”—L.P., Ph.D.
“Ingenious…this is worth the world’s attention”—S.K., Ph.D.
“Has breathed new life into the anxiety work I do”—E.G., LPC
“Will be a key piece of future work in my practice”—M.G., LCSW
“One of the best teachers I ever had for a professional training”—I.F., MSSW
“A whole new perspective on anxiety”—J.P. Ph.D.



Dr. Pressman is a clinical psychologist and international seminar leader. He is widely known for his innovative approach to the treatment of anxiety. He graduated with degress in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and Saybrook University. His books Deconstructing Anxiety, Radical Joy and The Bicycle Repair Shop: A True Story Of Recovery From Multiple Personality Disorder have each received high acclaim. In 1982, he traveled the world to study the great wisdom and healing traditions, including with a Zen master, a Jain family, a Zoroastrian high priest and a Sri Lankan firewalker. His education also includes an internship under Stanislav Grof, M.D. at the Esalen Institute.

With a background deeply rooted in tradition (he was groomed by a father whose teachers were taught by Sigmunt Freud), he has integrated this wide-ranging experience into a new program of psychological development called “Deconstructing Anxiety". His working model is based on Michelangelo's ideal: to release the statue from the stone, the authentic Self from the overlays of imposed identity, for the discovery of a deep and enduring fulfillment.


Main Points:

  • Uncovering the core fear: The first break from Wholeness

  • Understanding the chief defense: Architect of our perceived reality

  • New strategies for working through the chief defense

  • A subtle defense: Letting go of the “resistance to resistance”

  • Vision Questing—the best remedy for anxiety


Course Objectives:

•  Identify the ways in which separation gives rise to fear and suffering

•  Explain the interaction between insight (mind), action (body) and a "higher perspective” (spirit) in the role of healing

•  Describe the core fear/chief defense model of how we build our personalities

•  Demonstrate that there is one core fear at the root of all difficulties our clients present

•  Utilize the techniques for finding a client’s core fear and chief defense

•  Practice the techniques for releasing resistance and resolving the core fear

•  Define the technique for “releasing the resistance to resistance”

•  Create a “Vision Quest” for helping clients live a life of fulfillment, meaning and purpose--the best remedy for anxiety



8:30 am Registration
9:00 am Introduction and Overview
9:15 am Oneness versus Separation: How Cosmogony Reveals the Origins of Fear
10:00 am Fear as the Architect of Reality
  • How Fear Projects Out into Perception
10:45 am Break
11:00 am Qualities of Fear
  • The Hypnosis of Fear
  • The Lie of Fear
11:30 am Laying Out the Deconstructing Anxiety model:
  • Understanding the origins of fear in the individual
  • The work of Stanislav Grof
  • Three phases in the development of the core fear: Birth, early childhood and adolescence.
  • Description of the 5 core fears, universal themes of loss
12:30 pm Lunch
2:00 pm Continuing with the Model:
  • Our early contact with fear is intolerable...we must restore our original innocence
  • We find our chief defense as a way of protecting ourselves from the core fear
  • We develop secondary defenses, adaptations of the chief defense to the various circumstances we encounter in life
  • The core fear/chief defense dynamic becomes the foundation of our personality; we interpret and respond to all circumstances through their lens
  • All defenses backfire, actually creating the anxiety they are designed to protect us from
3:00 pm The secret to resolving the core fear
  • “Doing the opposite” of the chief defense
  • Three ways to “do the opposite”
3:15 pm Break
3:30 pm Finding the core fear and chief defense
  • Exercise: “Digging for gold”
  • Exercise: “Who are you really?
  • Analyzing secondary defense
5:00 pm End of first day
9:00 am Review of Day One
9:15 am Performing a Life Review
10:00 am New strategies for releasing fear
  • “The Alchemist: Asking ‘What happens next?’”—Didactic
10:45 am Break
11:00 am New strategies for releasing fear (continued)
  • “The Alchemist”—Experiential
12:30 pm Lunch
2:00 pm New strategies for releasing fear (continued)
  • “The Observer”: Enhanced Vipassana (Mindfulness) technique—Didactic
  • “The Observer”--Experiential
  • “The Warrior’s Stance: Active ‘Not Doing’”—Didactic
3:15 pm Break
3:30 pm New strategies for releasing fear (continued)
  • “The Warrior’s Stance”—Experiential
  • Letting go the resistance to resistance
4:30 pm Vision Questing: The Final Step to Fulfillment
5:00 pm Finish