Advantages of the UP for Patients & Clinicians

Advantages of the UP. The UP was developed in direct response to difficulties addressing comorbid conditions and challenges disseminating empirically-supported treatments (e.g., getting research-based treatments into the hands of front line psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and mental health counselors).

For patients

As the leading transdiagnostic CBT treatment for emotional disorders, the UP has the ability to target symptoms of multiple diagnoses simultaneously, a clear benefit in the face of high rates of comorbidity and clinical presentations that do not fit cleanly into a DSM-5 diagnostic category (e.g., other specified anxiety disorder). For example, if a patient presented with panic disorder and OCD, it might lead to a discussion of what to target first, followed by sequentially addressing each problem. The UP eliminates such conversations because, by targeting the core features that maintain multiple disorders, this intervention can simultaneously reduce symptoms across comorbid conditions. This means more efficient relief from symptoms for patients! Like other cognitive-behavioral (CBT) interventions, the UP is goal-directed, relatively brief, and present-focused. 

For clinicians 

Any therapist who tries to keep up with the latest research on mental health treatment knows that this can be an overwhelming task. Even considering CBT alone, there are multiple treatments (and corresponding manuals) for each disorder in the DSM and it can be difficult to know which protocol is best. On top of identifying the best treatment for each disorder, the therapist then has to learn (either by buying/reading the workbook or receiving some form of training) a different approach for each disorder.  

The UP makes life easier for therapists by providing one intervention that is applicable to a broad range of disorders. To date, the UP has been used to successfully treat panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, OCD, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, anxiety disorder NOS, major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, bipolar depression, borderline personality disorder, non-suicidal self-injury, primary insomnia, and eating disorders. Again, clinicians need only learn one protocol to be able to provide research-supported treatment to their patients with diverse symptoms. This has the potential to save enormous time and financial costs associated with learning numerous single-disorder protocols.


Unified Protocol Institute
Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders
900 Commonwealth Ave, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02215

Phone: 617-353-9610
Fax: 617-353-9609 Attn: UP Institute


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