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  • Embracing Enjoyment: Implementing Savoring Practices for Anxiety, Depression, and Positive Wellbeing

Embracing Enjoyment: Implementing Savoring Practices for Anxiety, Depression, and Positive Wellbeing

  • 06/07/2023
  • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Virtual


  • Includes 2 CE Credits
  • Includes 2 CE Credits


Savoring is the purposeful enjoyment of positive emotion. It involves generating, amplifying, and sustaining pleasant emotions from enjoyable experiences. Those with anxiety disorders and depression not only have deficits in positive emotion and reward response (e.g., LaFreniere & Newman, 2019), but also tend to dampen pre-existing positive emotions (e.g., Eisner et al., 2009). Recently, savoring practices have shown significant clinical benefits when compared to active treatment controls in both randomized controlled trials (RCTs; e.g., Craske et al., 2019; LaFreniere & Newman, 2023a) and single-session experiments (e.g., Rosen & LaFreniere, 2023). Savoring practices have significantly reduced pre-existing worry, anxiety, depression symptoms, and “kill-joy thinking” in clinical samples. They have also increased positive emotion, prioritization of positive activities, and optimism (LaFreniere & Newman, 2023b), which have a host of benefits across life (Fredrickson, 2013). Savoring practices can feasibly complement existing behavioral techniques, weakening symptoms while strengthening joy.

 In this virtual clinical training workshop, attendees will develop skills for the clinical use of intentional engagement with positive emotions. They will first learn about the theoretical foundations, mechanisms, and empirical support of savoring. The presenter’s SkillJoy program and its RCT will be described as an illustrative example. The majority of the workshop will then focus on active training in a variety of savoring practices, tools, and tips. Attendees will participate in a range of savoring exercises themselves. Lastly, attendees will learn about and discuss client problems and maladaptive beliefs regarding positive emotion, as well as ways to address them.

 Continuing Education (CE) Objectives Learning Objectives:

 Following this virtual workshop, participants will be able to:

 1.)  Describe the definition and theorized mechanisms of savoring in the treatment of anxiety and depression.

2.) Provide at least 3 findings on the clinical effects of savoring interventions from experimental research.

3.) Teach the basic principles and procedures of savoring to clients (provide psychoeducation)

4.) Lead clients in the practice of at least 3 separate savoring techniques/exercises.

5.) State at least 2 common client problems or maladaptive beliefs related to positive emotional engagement.

Suggested Reading

Craske, M. G., Meuret, A. E., Ritz, T., Treanor, M., Dour, H., & Rosenfield, D. (2019). Positive affect treatment for depression and anxiety: A randomized clinical trial for a core feature of anhedonia. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 87(5), 457–471.

Eisner, L. R., Johnson, S. L., & Carver, C. S. (2009). Positive affect regulation in anxiety disorders. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23(5), 645-649.

Fredrickson, B. L. (2013). Positive emotions broaden and build. In P. Devine & A. Plant (Eds.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 47, pp. 1-53). Academic Press.

LaFreniere, L. S., & Newman, M. G. (2019). Probabilistic learning by positive and negative reinforcement in generalized anxiety disorder. Clinical Psychological Science, 7(3), 502-515. doi:10.1177/2167702618809366

LaFreniere, L. S. & Newman, M. G. (2023a). 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. (2023b). 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 (CE)

  • 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 two (2) 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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