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  • Counteracting Worry by Savoring Positive Emotions: Outcomes and Mechanisms of a Clinical Trial.

Counteracting Worry by Savoring Positive Emotions: Outcomes and Mechanisms of a Clinical Trial.

  • 05/26/2023
  • 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
  • Virtual


  • Includes 1 CE Credit
  • Includes 1 CE Credit

Registration is closed

When one continually braces for negative future outcomes, it can be difficult to engage with present moment joys. Opening up to happy feelings can bring on a vulnerability to being caught emotionally "off-guard." Those with anxiety and worry may benefit from purposefully enjoying positive emotions, a practice known as savoring. Doing so may do more than increase positive emotions through mindful attention to joy. It may also reduce worry through its acceptance of the potential for unshielded emotional downturns. Repeated savoring practices may both improve well-being and lessen chronic worrying.

 This virtual CE journal club requires advanced reading and is an opportunity for discussion and application of two recent publications: on a savoring intervention for those with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (one brief report and one full-length scientific article). These two papers will cover the outcomes and mechanisms/mediators of a suite of savoring practices trained and engaged in the daily lives of those with GAD. Both papers address a randomized controlled trial comparing savoring to an active treatment control, examining longitudinal changes in benefits. Attendees will discuss the trial and applications of savoring for psychopathology. They will have the opportunity to discuss with the trials' lead author and each other, ask questions, and hear various perspectives on the uses and methods of savoring practices broadly.


 Following this journal club, participants will be able to:

1.) Describe new study findings on the procedures, mechanisms, and outcomes of a novel savoring intervention for Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

2.)Describe how positive emotion upregulation can interfere with emotional contrast avoidance and the worry it promotes.

3.) Describe ways to offer basic psychoeducation to clients on savoring and some of its possible benefits for both worry-based problems and increased well-being generally.


LaFreniere, L. S. & Newman, M. G. (2023). Upregulating positive emotion in generalized anxiety disorder: A randomized controlled trial of the SkillJoy ecological momentary intervention. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Advance online publication.

LaFreniere, L. S. & Newman, M. G. (2023). Reducing contrast avoidance in GAD by savoring positive emotions: Outcome and mediation in a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 93, 1-7.

About Presenter

Dr. LaFreniere specializes in developing and researching interventions for anxiety and worry. His research aims to determine core processes of anxiety psychopathology, devise treatments targeting those processes, test their efficacy, and examine their mechanisms. He has published in outlets such as Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology and Depression and Anxiety. His basic research has revealed Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) deficits in learning the probabilities of future outcomes, learning by reinforcement, and engagement with positive emotions. In his applied research, he has developed and tested interventions for correcting these problems via smartphone with self-monitoring and savoring. For example, his Worry Outcome Journal (WOJ) EMI employed an enhanced form of worry outcome monitoring, guiding participants to see the high costs, low benefits, and inaccuracies of their worries in daily life via smartphone. His SkillJoy EMI guides clients to savor enjoyment of positive experiences, mindfully appreciate good aspects of the present moment, recognize worry’s inaccuracy, and gain exposure to being “off guard. Outside of research, Luc enjoys songwriting, hiking, exercise/weightlifting, reading, short film, and quality time with friends."

Target Audience

This presentation is intended for licensed mental health professionals and advanced graduate student trainees seeking licensure and with some clinical experience. The instructional level of this presentation is INTERMEDIATE.

Continuing Education

  • Philadelphia Behavior Therapy Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Philadelphia Behavior Therapy Association maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • This program provides one (1) hour of CE credits.
  • PBTA is also an authorized provider of CE credits for Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Clinical Social Workers licensed in the state of Pennsylvania.
  • APA guidelines do not permit PBTA to issue partial CE credits. No refunds are provided for CE programs. No exceptions allowed.
  • Full attendance with video display is required to obtain CE credit for this program.
  • Contact if you need any learning accommodations no later than one week before event.
  • * PBTA does not currently offer CE to practitioners licensed in the state of New York.
  • If you do not practice in PA & are not certain about whether or not CE credits from an APA-sponsored CE provider meets criteria for ongoing education,  please inquire with your respective licensing board to confirm.  
  • All events are Eastern Time Zone

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