Systems-Centered Therapy: A Protocol for Treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder


The systems-centered short-term therapy protocol was adapted and applied in three single case studies with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) patients in a ten-session individual treatment over a two week period. All three subjects showed substantial improvement and no longer met diagnostic criteria post-treatment. Changes were maintained at follow up both six months and one year later. These results are promising and suggest the importance of further research on SCT as a viable, alternative treatment for generalized anxiety disorder.

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Correspondence to Lawrence J. Ladden.

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Author’s Note: Systems-centered®, Systems-Centered Therapy® and SCT® are registered trademarks owned by Dr. Yvonne M. Agazarian and the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute. Much appreciation to Rich Armington, Susan Cassano, the Austin community, Susan Odom, Fran Carter, Claudia Byram, Dorothy Gibbons, David Speights, Jim Peightel and Wayne Whitehouse.

Contributors: Lawrence J. Ladden, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice and a consulting affiliate to the University of Pennsylvania’s Stress Management Program. Susan P. Gantt, Ph.D., ABPP is the Director of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute and an Assistant Professor with Emory University School of Medicine. Stephanie Rude, Ph.D. is Professor of Educational Psychology and Director of the doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at the University of Texas. Yvonne M. Agazarian, Ed.D., FAGPA, FAPA developed a theory of living human systems and its systems-centered therapy and founded the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute.

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Ladden, L.J., Gantt, S.P., Rude, S. et al. Systems-Centered Therapy: A Protocol for Treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder. J Contemp Psychother 37, 61–70 (2007).

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  • Systems-centered therapy
  • SCT
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Short-term therapy