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What to expect during our three-week anxiety program

29 September 2017 Blog
Mental health
Consultant Clinical Psychologist Ian Smith explains how St John of God Burwood Hospital’s anxiety program is designed to help patients develop their ability to manage anxiety levels and associated behaviours.

As the only mental health provider in metropolitan Sydney with the core value of hospitality, our mission is to care for, nurture and support your return to health and wellbeing. Our three-week inpatient anxiety program, St John of God Burwood Hospital, involves psychoeducation, skills practice and discharge planning to help you manage your anxiety levels and other associated behaviours. 


Who will care for you?

During your stay at Burwood, our multidisciplinary team will care for you, considering all aspects of your health and wellbeing.

Depending on your needs, you will be support by psychiatrists, physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, chaplains/ spiritual counsellors, dietitians and pharmacists.

Our dedication to Hospitality also means we include your wider support system in your care plan and, at your discretion, your family is encouraged to participate in your journey.

During your stay

Over your three-week inpatient stay at St John of God Burwood Hospital, you will learn and practice a range of anxiety management strategies. The below is our program schedule:

Week 1

  • Learning to understand the physiological nature of anxiety, the cycle of anxiety and the role anxiety has played in your life.
  • Understanding the cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) model of anxiety.
  • Learning the ABC approach to CBT, and practicing the ABC model.
  • Increasing your capacity to identify the thought process underlying your particular experience of anxiety.

Week 2

  • Increasing your understanding of your intermediate and core beliefs leading to your automatic negative thoughts.
  • Conducting a personal beliefs inventory.
  • Practicing challenging your automatic negative thoughts, and developing personal behavioural goals to keep challenging them.
  • Understanding and applying cognitive defusion techniques.

Week 3

  • Learning distraction techniques to challenge negative thoughts.
  • Understanding your own habits of avoidance, and developing an ‘Exposure Ladder’ to address an avoidant behaviour.
  • Examining your motivation to change and barriers to making changes.
  • Understanding your personal boundaries and their role in maintaining your anxiety symptoms.
  • Learning and practicing assertive communication techniques.
  • Preparing a wellness discharge plan to promote safe recovery.
Ian Smith - Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Associate Professor Ian Smith is a clinical psychologist with an interest in general psychological disorders.

Ian Smith Consultant Clinical Psychologist