With over 10% of all children meeting the criteria for an anxiety disorder, these disorders are among the most common psychiatric problems experienced by schoolage kids, and can significantly interfere with their family and peer relationships and their performance at school.
Ranging from mild and transient to severe and intractable, high levels of anxiety in children can lead to avoiding school, not participating in class, shying away from peer groups, worrying persistently, or even experiencing phobias and acute separation anxiety from parents. Despite the prevalence, effective, evidence-based therapeutic strategies for helping children overcome anxiety have been lacking, leaving psychologists, school counselors, and other child mental health professionals to rely on more generalized CBT and individual therapy approaches that don’t necessarily target the problems at issue. In Child Anxiety Disorders, Wood and McLeod present a clinically-proven treatment protocol based on a collaborative, family-based intervention approachone that has seen remission rates of 80% in children. Incorporating family therapy strategies and targeted CBT techniques, the authors lay out session-by-session guidelines for implementing the protocol, offering all those who work with and counsel children a hands-on toolkit to effectively resolve childhood anxiety, whether generalized or severe in nature. Preliminary chapters cover anxiety typologies, screening and assessment techniques, family and genetic influences, the nature of evidence-based practices, and other clinical considerations, such as pharmacotherapy. The second part of the book, the treatment manual, presents the 15-session protocol, including optional family therapy modules to strengthen family interactions, and worksheets and handouts to be used in and out of the therapy room.