The Organising Committee are pleased to announce three pre-conference workshops to be held on Wednesday 17 October 2018.

These have been planned to complement the full program. We encourage you to book early as places are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis. Please register for the below workshops via the online registration form.


Social and general anxiety disorders in children and adolescents: Nature and treatment

Prof. Ron Rapee, Centre for Emotional Health, Macquarie University

Time: 0900-1700hrs (full day workshop)
Cost: $395 inc GST for non-delegates / $295 inc GST for standard delegates / $250 inc GST for trainees/allied health staff
Inclusions: Workshop session and morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea

Workshop details...

For some years we have been conducting the Cool Kids treatment programs for anxious children and adolescents at Macquarie University. Treatment is conducted over approximately 10 sessions and both parents and children attend all sessions for children. A similar but slightly different program, involving some parental input is run for adolescents.

The treatment components include education, cognitive restructuring, parent management strategies, approach to feared situations, and rewards. The Cool Kids program is a generic program that includes all different anxiety disorders. Our more recent work has begun to focus on specific treatment components for social anxiety. The treatment is largely the same, but includes some additional techniques derived from adult models of social anxiety.

In this workshop we will discuss the identification, nature, and treatment of child and adolescent anxiety disorders in general and will highlight social anxiety in particular. Discussion will cover diagnostic criteria, demographic information, interview and psychometric assessment, psychopathology, treatment, and treatment difficulties. We will go over each component of the Cool Kids treatment program and discuss difficulties in application. Specific modifications likely to be important for social anxiety will be discussed.

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants should be able to:

  1. Have a broad appreciation for the recognition and psychopathology of child anxiety disorders in general and social anxiety specifically
  2. Have a detailed understanding of treatment programs for the management of child and adolescent anxiety (eg Cool Kids).
  3. Handle non-responsive cases and difficulties in treatment

Ethical aspects in psychopharmacological research in children and adolescents

Prof. Ralf Dittmann, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim

Time: 0900-1230 hours (half day workshop)
Cost: $270 inc GST for non-delegates / $170 inc GST for standard delegates / $145 inc GST for trainees/allied health staff
Inclusions: Workshop session and morning tea

Workshop details...

Children and adolescents are perceived as a particularly vulnerable population; this holds even more so in the clinical development of new medications including psychotropic compounds in child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP). Related ethical aspects, issues and considerations play an important role in that process, involving positions and attitudes of several stakeholders, e.g. young patients, parents, investigators, sponsors (public, pharma industry), ethical review boards (ERBs), regulatory agencies (RAs), public/media opinions, in multi-site/multi-national studies from various regions/countries.

Based on the author’s extensive long-time clinical research experience in paediatric psychopharmacology, with various responsibilities in both the pharmaceutical industry and in academic settings, a selection of respective ‘ethical aspects’ will be presented/discussed, exemplified by real-life observations from implementing multiple ‘paediatric clinical trials’, sponsored from both the pharmaceutical industry and public funding agencies.
These relate to topics, e.g.: ‘study design (requested by RAs) and burden for patients/parents; control of adherence (Romanos, 2018); different RAs’/ERBs’ requests and votings; informed assent/consent; recruitment and representativity (Bliznak et al., 2013); financing; collaborations and dependencies (sites, third parties); publication/dissemination (Mechler et al., 2017)’.

As in other medical domains, ethical aspects in paediatric psychopharmacology research relate to complex conditions and issues, thus, often, there are no unequivocal views and solutions. Still, in order to develop a compound and achieve market authorization for CAP disorders, decisions have to be found/taken. The interactive workshop intends to stimulate intensive thinking and discussions on ‘ethics in this field’ among an international audience, involving participants’ opinions and experiences.


Brain Mechanisms for parental sensitivity and child development – overview, recent advances and future directions regarding parental mental illness, intervention and child development

A/Prof. James Swain, Stony Brook University Hospital

Time: 1330-1700hrs (half day workshop)
Cost: $270 inc GST for non-delegates / $170 inc GST for standard delegates / $145 inc GST for trainees/allied health staff
Inclusions: Workshop session and afternoon tea

Workshop details...

Early parent–infant relationships play key roles in infant development and relate to parental mental health and childhood development. New parents adapt to parenthood through the developing relationship with their infants and coordinate caring thoughts and behaviors in the milieu hormones, moods and stresses to meet infant needs. In recent years, the governing brain physiology of mothers and fathers has been probed using noninvasive brain-imaging techniques, and linked with psychological, behavioral and endocrine measures. In related work, postpartum depression and harsh parenting appear to be risk factors that influence brain development to mediate the cross-generational transmission of mental illness.

In this workshop, we will review the background for understanding parenting across species, and the current state of parental brain research in humans. We will review neuroimaging approaches and discuss some of the major challenges facing the field as we look for mechanisms of parental mental health, illness, resilience and intervention. New research has just begun to elucidate mechanisms related to postpartum depression and maternal opiate exposure. I will also address the growing research on the effects of adverse childhood environments on the brain.

At the end of the workshop, participants should be able to:

  1. Have a renewed appreciation for parenting and governing neuroendocrine systems
  2. Understand parental psychopathology, including postpartum depression, anxiety and opiate exposure with impact on child development and emerging brain mechanisms
  3. Understand the development of the brain through childhood as a function of chronic stress such as may be associated with harsh parenting
  4. Understand approaches to therapeutic intervention for high-risk parents and emerging brain mechanisms