Introduction to Affect Phobia Therapy

Brattleboro , Vermont
Friday, April 20, 2012

Kristin A. R. Osborn, MA, LCMHC

"The APT therapist helps their patient focus on developing adaptive emotional reactions, which leads to symptom reduction but also more satisfying personal relationship s and productive lives.   Over 30 years of research, including case series and randomized controlled trials, have demonstrated the effectiveness of APT, at the end of treatment and in short- and long-term follow-ups.  Kristin Osborn, lead APT trainer and supervisor, was trained extensively by Leigh McCullough, the founder of APT.  This is a workshop that provides invaluable training in using affect in therapy, whether or not you are an APT therapist."

                Bruce Wampold, Ph.D., ABPP and
                Patricia Wolleat,  Professor of Counseling Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison 

Introduction to Affect Phobia Therapy
Friday, April 20, 2012 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

The Brattleboro Retreat
One Anna Marsh Lane
P.O. Box 803
Brattleboro , Vermont 05302
United States

Map and Directions

This one-day workshop introduces “Affect Phobia Therapy” (APT), an integrative, affect-focused, psychodynamic model of psychotherapy. 

APT is based on the premise that internal conflicts about feelings underlie most psychologically-based disorders.  The affect phobia therapist views these conflicts as “affect phobias,” a phobia about feelings.  Similar to external phobias, a patient with an affect phobia avoids the experience and expression of certain feelings like anger and grief in a similar way a person with a phobia about bridges would avoid bridges.  This workshop covers how to identify an “affect phobia,” how to distinguish between adaptive and maladaptive affect, how to regulate inhibition and gently confront defenses in order to help clients experience underlying healthy affective experiences. The theory is demonstrated with extensive video illustrations.

APT was developed by Leigh McCullough Ph.D., and integrates techniques from psychodynamic, cognitive- behavioral, and experiential therapies and has been a required course for psychiatry residents at Harvard Medical School. It is effective in treating anxiety, depression, self-defeating behaviors, and somatic complaints.  Case-series videotaped research over the past 30 years has established the effectiveness of the methods in both short and long term follow-up. 

Recommended though not required reading for this course: Changing Character (Basic Books 1997) and Treating Affect Phobia (Guilford 2002).

At the end of this workshop, partipants will be able to:

1. Define and diagnose an “Affect Phobia.”

2. Use “Malan’s Triangles” to organize and focus  a session.

3. Create a core conflict formulation to help guide treatment.

4. Utilize techniques that help patients express avoided affects like grief, positive feelings of the self, and anger.

5. Discuss adaptive and maladaptive affect.

6. Apply APT interventions in therapy sessions.

Kristin A. R. Osborn, MA, LMHC, is a licensed mental health counselor with over 15 years of clinical experience.  In addition to seeing patients in her private practice in Cambridge and Concord MA, Kristin Osborn conducts training and supervision groups for mental health professionals in North America and Europe. She has a faculty appointment at Harvard Medical School at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and is the Co-Director of the Harvard Medical School Psychotherapy Research Program.  She is a member of the continuing education faculty at Rino-Nord Holland in Amsterdam and at Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology in Roxbury, MA. She is on the Board of the International Experiential Dynamic Therapy Association (IEDTA) and is the IEDTA Executive Coordinator of Continuing Education. She wrote a chapter for Clinical Strategies to Become a Master Psychotherapist (2005) and recently had an article published in the June 2011 Psychotherapy Journal, "Learning how to rate video-recorded therapy sessions: A Practical Guide for Trainees and Advanced Clinicians.”  You can learn more about Kristin Osborn at and


Contact Information

  • Please contact Gay Maxwell
     with any questions:

Payment Instructions

  • If you prefer to pay by check,
    Mail in registration fees are as follows:

    Paid 30 days or more prior to event: $140.00
    Paid less than thirty days prior to event: $160

     On-line discounts do not apply with mail-in registration 

    Follow this link to download our registration form and return to:
    The Brattleboro Retreat,
    Continuing Education,
    P.O. Box 803, Brattleboro, VT 05302.



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