Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder CE Course Preview

Course Title: Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Accreditation Information

Release date: July, 2020

Expiration date: July, 2022

Estimated time to complete activity: 1.5 hours

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This activity is jointly provided by Medical Education Resources and Symptom Media.

Target Audience

Psychiatrist, psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, substance abuse counselors, allied health professionals, nurses, general practice physicians, and students, interns, and trainees of these disciplines.

Underlying Need for this Course

The purpose of this activity is to increase the learner’s overall knowledge of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, differential diagnoses, co-morbidities,relevant prevalence and statistics, and outcome and treatment options.

  1. There is a strong need for improving recognition, diagnosis, and differentiation of anxiety disorders and the quality of treatment.
  2. GAD frequently co-occurs with other anxiety disorders, depression, substance/etoh abuse. The detection and diagnosis of comorbidity is frequently overlooked.
  3. Clients with GAD frequently report physical problems to their PCP vs. emotional/mood disturbances.  Therefore, important to differentiate between physical/somatic complaints and GAD.

High prevalence, chronicity, frequent comorbidity, associated with significant disability, GAD is the most common mental illness in the United States.  6.8 million/3.1% of US adults suffer from GAD with women being 2x as likely to be affected.  Only approximately 43.2% receive treatment due to many reasons including frequent comorbidity and the fact that individuals frequently seek out treatment for physical ailments vs mood/anxiety or are misdiagnosed.

There is a need to increase detection rates in primary care and in awareness of the potential benefits of existing therapies among the public

  • Diagnostic Gaps – Proper training needed for diagnosis of GAD vs. other anxiety/mood disorders, or physical ailments, or referrals to mental health professionals.
  •  Treatment Gaps – medications alone are not enough for most and 1st line meds have high potential for abuse.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or psychotherapy, in conjunction with medication, is the most recognized treatment for improvements in GAD.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course learners will be able to:

  • Distinguish between Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and other psychiatric or medical disorders.
  • Identify which disorders are commonly comorbid with GAD.
  • Describe the etiology of GAD and anxiety disorders.
  • Identify the latest methods of assessment and treatments.

Meet your instructor: Monica L. Martocci, MA, LMFT received an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado, and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (License #LMFT36882). Monica has over 25 years of clinical experience in diverse settings and has developed, implemented, and supervised several programs that are recognized locally and nationally as being exemplary. She has a broad background in program development and service delivery, clinical supervision, and training for inpatient residential treatment and outpatient day treatment programs working primarily with adolescents, adults, veterans, and their families. Monica has experience with many different client populations in a wide variety of settings, including those with severe and persistent mental illness, co-occurring disorders, addictions, homelessness, and trauma. She has worked closely with the Dept. of Mental Health, Dept. of Children and Family Services, Probation including juvenile and adult justice systems, Drug Court and Veterans Court, LAUSD and school settings, Hospitals, Regional Centers, Adoptions and Foster Family Agencies, VA, Clinical Studies/Drug Research, and has consulted on a number of television shows as an expert on families, addictions, eating disorders, and trauma. In addition, she is a seasoned presenter in nationwide conferences on the topics of trauma and recovery, and co-occurring disorders.

Monica is currently working as Chief Clinical Officer for CLARE Foundation. She also maintains a private practice in WLA and Long Beach specializing in the treatment of children, adolescents, families, active duty military/veterans, as well as individuals and couples. Focus is on addictions, co-occurring disorders, trauma, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, child/sexual abuse, domestic violence, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, mood disorders, grief and loss, school and behavioral issues, ADHD/ADD, personality disorders, self-harm, self-esteem, and interpersonal and relationship issues.

Course Agenda

The content of the training is focused on Generalized Anxiety Disorder, how it presents in clinical settings, signs and symptoms for diagnosis, management, and treatment options.

The course slides provide the learner with an outline of anxiety disorders, with focus on generalized anxiety disorder. Students will learn definition, symptoms, diagnostic criteria according to DSM-5, statistics, differential diagnoses, management, treatment, prognosis. A video is included with expert commentary to show severity of symptoms and impairment in daily functioning.

Physician Credit

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Medical Education Resources (MER) and Symptom Media. MER is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation
Medical Education Resources designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nursing Credit
Medical Education Resources is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

This CE activity provides 1.5 contact hours of continuing nursing education.

Medical Education Resources is a provider of continuing nursing education by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CEP 12299, for 1.5 contact hours.

Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest
Medical Education Resources ensures balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all our educational programs. In accordance with this policy, MER identifies conflicts of interest with its instructors, content managers, and other individuals who are in a position to control the content of an activity. Conflicts are resolved by MER to ensure that all scientific research referred to, reported, or used in a continuing education activity conforms to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, and analysis. MER is committed to providing its learners with high-quality activities that promote improvements or quality in health care and not the business interest of a commercial interest.

The faculty reported the following financial relationships with commercial interests whose products or services may be mentioned in this activity:

The content managers reported the following financial relationships with commercial interests whose products or services may be mentioned in this activity:

Method of Participation
There are no fees for participating in and receiving credit for this activity (or insert fee amount if applicable). During the period July, 2020 through July, 2022, participants must 1) read the learning objectives and faculty disclosures, 2) study the educational activity, 3) complete the posttest by recording the best answer to each question, 4) complete the evaluation.

A statement of credit will be issued only upon receipt of a completed activity evaluation form and a completed posttest with a score of 70% or better.


  1. Mayo Clinic. (2014). Diseases and Conditions: Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/generalized-anxiety-disord er/basics/definitions/con-20024562
  2. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder (With or Without Agoraphobia) in Adults: Management in Primary, Secondary and Community Care. NICE Clinical Guideline 113. 2011.
  3. National Institute of Mental Health (n.d). Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Retrivied from: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad/i ndex.shtml
  4. William A. Kehoe. 2017. Generalized Anxiety Disorder. ACSAP Book 2
  5. American Psychiatric Association (APA). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. Arlington, VA: APA, 2013.
  6. Baldwin D, Anderson I, Nutt D, et al. Evidence-based pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder: a revision of the 2005 guidelines from the British Association for Psychopharmacology. J Psychopharmacol 2014;28:403-39
  7. Katzman M, Bleau P, Blier P, et al. Canadian clinical practice guidelines for the management of anxiety, posttraumatic stress and obsessive-compulsive disorders. BMC Psychiatry 2014;14(suppl 1):S1-S83.
  8. Albert Ellis “Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.” Encyclopedia of Psychotherapy. Vol. 2. p. 483-487. 2002 Elsevier Science USA.
  9. Brambrink, D. K. (2004). A comparative study for the treatment of anxiety in women using electromyographic biofeedback and progressive relaxation and coping with stress: A manual for women. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 65, 3146.
  10. Harvard Medical School, 2007. National Comorbidity Survey (NCS). (2017, August 21). Retrieved from https://www.hcp.med.harvard.edu/ncs/index.php.
  11. Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Merikangas KR, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry.2005 Jun;62(6):617-27.
  12. Baxter AJ, Scott KM, Vos T, Whiteford HA. Global prevalence of anxiety disorders: a systematic review and meta-regression. Psychol Med. 2013;43:897–910.


The content and views presented in this educational activity are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Medical Education Resources and/or Symptom Media. The authors have disclosed if there is any discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA in their presentations. Before prescribing any medicine, primary references and full prescribing information should be consulted. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient’s conditions and possible contraindications on dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management.

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