How Desensitization Works: The HPA Axis in Treatment for Trauma and Anxiety

How Desensitization Works: The HPA Axis in Treatment for Trauma and Anxiety

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The Hypothalamus-Anterior Pituitary-Adrenal Cortex (HPA) axis has been a cornerstone in understanding mental health.  This course will review the evidence provided by research and teach participants how to integrate it into their practice.


Areas of focus for the course will include the neurological and physiological impacts of each part of the HPA axis. The interactions between each part of the HPA axis will be taught. Most of the material will be focused on giving the clinicals the tools to be able to provide psychoeducation to clients on the subject while avoiding confusion or patronization. The clinical use of analogy, visual handouts, and videos will be completed.

  • Learner will be able to identify the function of each piece of the HPA axis
  • Learner will be able to explain the interactions between the HPA axis including negative feedback
  • Learner will be able to provide psychoeducation on the HPA axis in verbal or visual format.

Leo DeBroeck is a Mental Health Practitioner and Child Mental Health Specialist in Washington State (USA). He is CBT Plus certified through the University of Washington and Harborview Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress Centre. He has completed his Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology at Eastern Washington University with his thesis on factors in suicide. He has experience working with children and adolescents at an intensive inpatient program in Spokane, Washington for several years.


Leo works full-time at a community health centre as a therapist with a team of  Marriage and Family Therapists,  Clinical Social Workers, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners, and Psychologists. He has worked in several different levels of care for mental health treatment including long-term inpatient care, WISE wraparound intensive services, school-based therapy services, and outpatient clinical settings. He also works as a quarterly faculty lecturer for Eastern Washington University’s satellite campus at Bellevue College. He teaches night classes to graduate and undergraduates in foundations of psychotherapy, trauma: assessment, management, and treatment, cognitive and behaviour change, and others. He has published peer-reviewed scientific research on young adults related to suicidality.


He has written several children’s therapy books, which are published on Amazon, for use in therapy settings addressing grief, addiction, neglect, abuse, and others. He is the president and founder of Counsellor’s Choice Award, LLC which reviews and promotes scientifically validated therapeutic tools and books.

This online workshop will give you instant access to the seminar content (1-hour) accessible via streaming on our website, as well as supporting material, including PowerPoint slides and references. You can view the course content in your own time, there is no time limit on access.


The duration of this workshop is 1 learning hour.


A certificate of completion will be generated upon finishing the course and completing a short evaluation quiz. Please consult your professional organisation/association to confirm whether you are able to claim any CPD points/hours for this online workshop.