Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the treatment of choice for children and adolescents with anxiety and obsessive compulsive related concerns. Parental involvement in CBT is essential for younger children, and the level of involvement will differ depending on the age of the child/teen and the presenting issues.
CBT involves teaching both the child and their parent’s various skills to manage anxiety, practicing these during appointments and then outside of appointments. Once the child has learnt various skills to better manage their anxiety, such as breathing techniques, labelling unhelpful thinking and problem solving, they will develop a fear ladder or hierarchy to gradually ‘face their fears’. This element of treatment is done at a pace which the child can manage and is continually reviewed during appointments.
At Anxiety House Sunshine Coast, we offer specific ‘Cool Kids’ programs. The Cool Kids program (Macquarie University) is a structured, skills-based program that teaches children and their parents how to better manage the child’s anxiety. It involves the participation of both children and their parents and focuses on teaching clear and practical skills. Research shows that young people who complete the Cool Kids® program demonstrate significant improvement in school attendance, academic achievement, confidence, number of friends and involvement in extra-curricular activities, and reduction in worry, shyness, fear and family distress. One of the most beneficial aspects of the Cool Kids® programs is the involvement of parents in learning how best to parent their anxious child or teen. Helping anxious parents learn how to manage their own anxiety and model the skills learned also benefits the parent, the child and the whole family.
Cool Little Kids (children 3-6 yrs of age)
This program is aimed at ‘shy’ children who also have a parent who is somewhat anxious or depressed. The program educates parents about how to help and parent their overly anxious, shy or inhibited young child. The program involves 12 x one hour sessions held over 12-16 weeks, and sessions are for the parents only.
Cool Kids® (children 7-12 yrs. of age)
This program is aimed at children diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. The program has undergone continual scientific evaluation and development to include the latest understanding of anxiety and its treatment. Topics covered in the program include:
- Learning about feelings and anxiety
- Detective thinking, and learning to think more realistically
- Ways that parents can help
- Fighting fear by facing fear (stepladders)
- Learning to solve a problem
- Building assertiveness and dealing with teasing
Chilled® (teens 13-17 yrs of age)
This program is aimed at teenagers with difficulties with anxiety, and parental involvement is required at some sessions. The content is similar to that detailed above for ‘Cool Kids’, and current results indicate that around 80% of young people who complete the program show significant improvement