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Featuring: Sharon Heller, PhD
originally recorded September 28, 2015

LiveTalks are hour long audio-only podcasts. The LiveTalk is part of the Sensory Integration and Mental Health Concerns bundle.

Description: Individuals with Sensory Processing Disorders, especially adolescents and adults, frequently experience co-morbid mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression or panic disorders. Many times these concerns are misdiagnosed as mental health problems but may in reality be based on the individual’s lived sensory experience.  This LiveTalk will discuss how these two problem areas overlap as well as signs, symptoms and strategies for identifying and managing anxiety and panic disorders in adolescents and adults with sensory processing problems.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this LiveTalk listeners will be able to:

  1. Identify three signs or symptoms of sensory processing dysfunction that may be common in individuals who exhibit anxiety and panic reactions.
  2. Describe why sensory processing problems and mental health concerns may co-occur.
  3. Describe 3 strategies for managing anxiety or panic reactions in individuals with SPD.

Course Level: Introductory. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Suitable For: Occupational therapists, OT assistants, physical therapists, PT assistants, social workers, mental health professionals.

Domain: Contexts
Process: Intervention

Contact Hours: This course is worth 1.0 contact hour or 0.1 AOTA CEUs.

Completion Requirements: To receive contact hours for this course you must listen to the recorded LiveTalk in its entirety, and complete the accompanying assessment.

About the Speaker: Sharon Heller, PhD is an author, developmental psychologist and college professor specializing in how poor nutrition, internal and external toxicity, drugs, and cranial/sacral misalignment create sensory processing problems, anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems, and on how to heal holistically. She received her master’s degree from the University of Chicago and PhD from Loyola University of Chicago.

ADA/Section 504: If you require special accommodations, please contact the Spiral Foundation at or (617) 969-4410 ext. 231.

Continuing Education:


Occupational Therapy Practitioners/ Occupational Therapy Assistants:  The Spiral Foundation is an Approved Provider of Continuing Education for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants by the American Occupational Therapy Association.  The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.


The Spiral Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and as such your donation is tax deductible.