Upcoming Seminars

Please select the blue "View & Purchase" button below next to the event you wish to attend.

Course Information

Deconstructing Anxiety

A groundbreaking, cutting-edge seminar for rapidly uncovering the root causes of anxiety. You will learn never-before-presented techniques for releasing the resistances that keep anxiety alive, getting at their source and transforming them into a sense of high purpose and meaning.
There is a "core fear" at the root of all anxiety, expressing itself in five major universal themes of loss:
abandonment (loss of love)
loss of identity
loss of meaning
loss of purpose (the chance to express oneself)
fear of death (including fear of pain)

We develop our primary defenses as our best attempt to protect ourselves from these fears, but always at too great a cost. This leaves us constantly holding vigil, on the lookout for the resurfacing of the threat. We build our entire personality upon this fear-defense dynamic. when it gets out of control, an anxiety disorder develops.

The theory and techniques offered in this workshop will teach you how to uncover the core fear and chief defense quickly and reliably. Armed with this knowledge, new strategies for dismantling the chief defense have proven extremely successful. Participants will undergo the actual techniques being presented, making for a rich and highly experiential presentation. Come prepared for an exciting adventure into the deepest regions of the unconscious, where the hidden fears at the source of our clients' difficulties live, making them available for rapid and deep transformation.

This Course is for 6 CE


“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.


Target Audience:

Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Social Workers, MFTs, Counselors, Substance Abuse Counselors, Occupational Therapists, Nurses, Dentists


Course Objectives:

  • Describe the core fear/chief defense model of how we build our personalities                    
  • Predict how anxiety disorders develop according to this model                    
  • Utilize these techniques for releasing resistance and resolving fear                    
  • Create a "vision" for clients to find fulfillment and purpose, the best remedy for anxiety


8:30 - 9:00  Registration and check-in
9:00 - 9:15 Introduction and overview
9:15 - 9:30 The creation story revisited -- understanding the birth of fear in the psych
9:30 - 10:45 Laying out the "Deconstructing Anxiety" model:
  • Each of us lands on a particular core fear in childhood
  • Description of the 5 core fears, universal themes of loss
  • This first contact with fear is intolerable -- we must restore our original innocence
10:45 - 11:00 Break
11:00 - 12:00 Continuing with the "Deconstructing Anxiety" model:
  • We find our chief defense as a way of protecting us 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 that lens
  • All defenses backfire, actually creating the anxiety they are designed to protect us from
  • We therefore employ our defenses even more rigerously and the whole cycle spins out of control, creating an anxiety disorder
12:00 - 1:30              Lunch
1:30 - 2:45 New strategies for releasing fear
  • The way to release fear is to "do the opposite" of the chief defense
  • Digging for Gold: Finding the core fear
  • Who Are You Really?: Uncovering your chief defense
  • Analyzing secondary defenses
2:45 - 3:00 Break
3:00 - 4:30 New strategies for releasing fear (continued)
  • The Warrior's Stance: Active "not doing"
  • The Observer: Enhanced Vipassana (Mindfulness) technique
  • The Alchemist: Asking "What happens next?"
  • A subtle defense: Trying too hard to let go of fear
4:30 - 5:00 Finding a "Mighty purpose": It's not enough to simply let go of fear -- our deepest need is to express ourselves
  • The Reverse Maze -- asking "What do you need to express?"
  • Keeping accountable by making commitments -- the Gandhi approach
  • Vision Questioning (the key to "Deconstructing Anxiety")