Centre for Continuing Education

Managing Anxiety Disorders in Primary Care Course

Psychiatry. Encouraging a healthier community.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

Developed and delivered by the Discipline of Psychiatry at Sydney Medical School, the University of Sydney, and open to all health professionals for continuing professional development.


This one-day training course on anxiety management is designed for health professionals in primary care to improve their skills in using psychological approaches and medications to treat patients with anxiety disorders.

Anxiety Disorders in Primary Care

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent of all mental disorders, affecting around one in seven Australians. The disability associated with anxiety disorders is comparable to chronic physical illnesses and their presence worsens the prognosis for other mental and physical conditions. Costs associated with anxiety disorders are very high, both for the sufferer as well as to the community and society at large. Fortunately, effective psychological and pharmacological treatments are available for anxiety disorders, yet recent research indicates anxiety disorders remain under-recognised in primary care and the majority of sufferers do not receive adequate treatment.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • discuss the symptoms, prevalence, and burden of anxiety disorders
  • develop imaginal and in vivo exposure hierarchies for feared situations
  • identify and challenge cognitive distortions common to anxiety disorders
  • design a behavioural experiment to test an anxious cognition
  • systematically appraise the basis for the selection of particular treatment approaches to anxiety disorders
  • identify appropriate medications to complement cognitive-behavioural treatments for anxiety disorders.


This course covers the following topics:

  • Anxiety and anxiety disorders
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Learning theory and behaviour therapy
  • Cognitive theory and cognitive therapy
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy.

CPD Accreditation

  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP): 40 Category 1 points

Recommended reading

The Sydney Handbook of Anxiety DisordersThe Sydney Handbook of Anxiety Disorders: A Guide to the Symptoms, Causes and Treatments of Anxiety Disorders
Editors: Philip Boyce, Anthony Harris, Juliette Drobny, Lisa Lampe, Vladan Starcevic, Richard Bryant
Publisher: The University of Sydney
Publication Date: 30 March 2015
9780994214508 (paperback)
9780994214515 (Kindle e-book)

Delivery style

Before the workshop, you will be required to view a 30-minute educational video on assessment of anxiety disorders in primary care as part of the predisposing activity.

During the full-day training, a wide range of teaching methods will be used, including didactic presentations, case vignettes, group discussions, role plays, worksheets, and video reviews. Through hands-on learning activities, you will learn how to differentiate between the different anxiety disorders, the benefits and limitations of different psychotropic medications, and how to identify and challenge cognitive distortions and design a behavioural experiment.

A reinforcing activity sheet will be provided for you to consolidate your learning after the workshop at your own time.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

What others say.

  • A very useful and clinically relevant day.

  • I thought both tutors were excellent. I was impressed by their knowledge, presentation and the scope of the material presented. Both came across as caring health professionals.

What others say.

  • I’m very pleased that I decided to attend this course. I have gained so much confidence which will improve the quality of care for my patients with anxiety disorders. I’m looking forward to attending the other psychiatric topics.
  • I thought both tutors were excellent. I was impressed by their knowledge, presentation and the scope of the material presented. Both came across as caring health professionals.
  • A very useful and clinically relevant day.
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