Leilani approved McNair

Leilani J Hipol
Brett J Deacon
Department of
Importance of Study
Research Objective
Clinical trials have clearly established the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral procedures such as
exposure to feared stimuli, elimination of safety behaviors, and cognitive restructuring. However,
dissemination of these procedures has been largely unsuccessful.
Previous studies have demonstrated that community therapists, even those who self-identify as
“cognitive-behavioral” in orientation, rarely use exposure-based treatments with their anxious
patients. It is possible that the poor dissemination of evidence-based psychotherapy for anxiety
disorders is especially pronounced in rural areas like Wyoming in which opportunities for training
and supervision are scarce.
Data Analysis
The first author will attempt to survey all currently practicing psychotherapists in the state of
Wyoming. Participants will be identified through their professional listings and contacted by phone
and invited to participate in an interview for research purposes. If the interview is accepted, an
appointment will be made to conduct the standardized interview via phone or in person depending
on the location.
The survey will be modeled from that of Freiheit, Vye, Swan and Cady (2004) and will ask
respondents how often they use a variety of specific therapy procedures in the treatment of specific
phobias, social phobia, panic disorder, OCD, and PTSD. In addition to listing evidence-based
procedures such as various forms of exposure, the survey will assess use of other popular
techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, diaphragmatic breathing, EMDR, and hypnosis.
Once collected, the survey results will
be organized and analyzed to determine
the overall frequency of the application
of evidence based practices for anxiety
disorders in Wyoming. These results
may be compared with similar studies
in other areas in order to consider
variables such as the geographic
location of urban or rural areas.
Special thanks to Dr. Deacon, and the McNair Scholars Program,
specifically Zackie, Susan and Pilar for their outstanding
commitment to making this project possible, and to my friends
and family who support my endeavors selflessly.