Stuck? Enhancing Treatments for Anxiety and Depression With Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Jennifer L. Taitz, PsyD
Director, Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program
American Institute for Cognitive Therapy

Dr. Taitz explains how the skills and strategies learned in dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, can help people who have anxiety and depression. Skills include mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.

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Conference Highlights

On the Cutting Edge of Wellness: Behavioral Medicine and Its Application to Anxiety and Depressive Disorders

Anxiety and depressive disorders are characterized by significant functional limitations and comorbid mental and physical health conditions that diminish quality of life and sense of well-being. Behavioral medicine, an interdisciplinary field combining medicine and psychology, provides increasingly popular evidence-based approaches to the remediation and healing of mental and physical health concerns and the emergence of wellness.

Be More Social


Be More Social is a peer support group where people with Social Anxiety, Social Phobia and Excessive shyness can learn to improve Social Skills in a safe and confidential environment without being judged by others. It is your space to be yourself. Acceptance and friendship are given freely in this group.

College-Aged Adults Face Less Mental Health Stigma

College-aged adults (age 18–25) have more accepting views of mental health care than other adults, but they still see challenges when it comes to accessing care, according to results of a nationwide poll. The survey was conducted online among more than 2,000 adults, including 198 age 18–25, by Harris Poll on behalf of Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) and two partnering organizations.

Dose Timing of D-Cycloserine to Augment CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder

Eligibility Criteria

Male and female outpatients 18 or older:

  • With a primary psychiatric diagnosis (designated by the patient as the most important source of current distress) of social anxiety disorder as defined by DSM-5 criteria
  • A total score ≥ 60 on the LSAS.
  • Physical examination and laboratory findings without clinically significant abnormalities
  • Willingness and ability to participate in the informed consent process and comply with the requirements of the study protocol


Exclusion Criteria
  • A lifetime history of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis, delusional disorders or obsessive-compulsive disorder; an eating disorder in the past 6 months; organic brain syndrome, mental retardation or other cognitive dysfunction that could interfere with capacity to engage in therapy; a history of substance or alcohol abuse or dependence (other than nicotine) in the last 6 months or othersie unable to commit to refraining from alcohol use during the acute period of study participation
  • PTSD within the past 6 months. Entry of patients with other mood or anxiety disorders will be permitted if the SAD is judged to be the predominant disorder, in order to increase accrual of a clinically relevant sample. Patients with significant suicidal ideation or who have enacted suicidal behaviors within 6 months prior to intake will be excluded from study participation and referred for appropriate clinical intervention
  • Patients must be off concurrent psychotropic medication (e.g., antidepressants, anxiolytics, beta blockers) for at least 2 weeks prior to initiation of randomized treatment
  • Significant personality dysfunction likely to interfere with study participation
  • Serious medical illness or instability for which hospitalization may be likely within the next year
  • Patients with a current or past history of seizures
  • Pregnant women, lactating women, and women of childbearing potential who are not using medically accepted forms of contraception (e.g., IUD, oral contraceptives, barrier devices, condoms and foam, or implanted progesterone rods stabilized for at least 3 months)
  • Any concurrent psychotherapy initiated within 3 months of baseline, or ongoing psychotherapy of any duration directed specifically toward treatment of SAD is excluded. Prohibited psychotherapy includes CBT or psychodynamic therapy focusing on exploring specific, dynamic causes of the phobic symptomatology and providing management skills. General supportive therapy initiated > 3 months prior is acceptable
  • Prior non-response to adequately-delivered exposure (i.e., as defined by the patient's report of receiving specific and regular exposure assignments as part of a previous treatment)
  • Patients with a history of head trauma causing loss of consciousness, seizure or ongoing cognitive impairment. Current use of isoniazid or ethionamide compounds
  • Insufficient command of the English language

This study aims to evaluate whether d-cycloserine (DCS) can enhance the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in improving treatment outcomes for social anxiety disorder, including whether the timing of the dosage is important for memory consolidation. Each patient’s participation will help investigators determine whether administering a dose of DCS before a therapy session will help the patient retain the new behaviors learned in session and therefore, reduce symptoms associated with social anxiety disorder.