This article outlines the results of a recent study comparing two approaches for the treatment of childhood anxiety: conventional cognitive behavioural therapy and a new approach focusing on the relationship between child and parents. The first group of children attended therapy to recognise and control symptoms of anxiety and to overcome the causes with exposure therapy. The second group did not attend therapy or interact with a therapist at all, instead their parents were coached on how to stop accommodating the child’s behaviour and to support them in coping with anxiety.
The results of the study showed that both groups of children had improved by roughly the same amount in terms of managing their anxiety, but also that parents in the second group reported a much improved relationship with their child. Although still a preliminary trial, these results suggest that appropriately educated parental support can be just as effective as therapy, excellent news given the skyrocketing rates of youth anxiety and for those who can’t access therapy or whose children refuse treatment.
– Matt Kristofferson, Yale News
Read the article: New childhood anxiety treatment focuses on the parents