Continuing Education

COVID-19 Uncertainty and Avoidance in Anxiety Related Disorders

Alma Teresa C. Molino, PhD, ABPP & Kathryn Kriegshauser, PhD, ABPP


Evidence-based practice inherently involves critical thinking and flexibility to deliver these treatments in an efficacious yet tailored manner. Experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic presented us with a new question: When is avoidance an adaptive response to a shifting and uncertain environment, and when is it a symptom? We discuss ways in which avoidance emerged following the start of the pandemic. Clinical and ethical considerations are also presented, with a focus on discerning when avoidance is problematic versus a reasonable response to a novel stressor, as well as how to responsibly proceed when the context of treatment dramatically changes.

Keywords: COVID-19, anxiety related disorders, exposure, treatment modification, OCD, PTSD

Credit 1
Level Intermediate
Price $25.00
Learning Objectives
  1. Utilize novel treatment approaches and interventions.
  2. Revise case conceptualizations to better account for changing patient pressures.
  3. Describe how avoidance and exposure-related concerns shifted during COVID-19.

Molino, A.T.C., Kriegshauser, K. (2023). COVID-19 Uncertainty and Avoidance in Anxiety Related Disorders. J Health Serv Psychol 49(3), 137–143.

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