Description: This book describes a cognitive-behavioral family intervention for young children (ages 5 to 8) who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder. The authors focus on cognitive strategies and E/RP (exposure with response prevention), a psychoeducational approach for both the child and his/her guardians.
Purpose: According to the authors, this book "is devoted to communicating these exciting new interventions for children and their parents to clinicians on the frontlines of practice." They note, "The overall focus of treatment is to provide parents and children with a set of 'tools' to help them understand, manage, and reduce OCD symptoms."
Audience: Clinicians serving the needs of young children with OCD and their families are the intended audience. Both authors are assistant professors at Brown University and co-directors of the Pediatric Anxiety Research Clinic (PARC). Dr. Freeman is the principal researcher for a study of obsessive-compulsive disorder and teaches/supervises psychology trainees. Dr. Garcia works extensively with children who are experiencing anxiety disorders and has published articles on obsessive-compulsive disorder and other childhood anxiety disorders.
Features: The book contains a 12-session program for addressing obsessive-compulsive disorder in young children, which should be combined with the parent workbook. The first two sessions are for parents only. The next nine sessions begin with an introduction and then proceed to explain the E/RP methodology. The final session is a review and celebration (graduation party). Chapters are uniformly organized covering: materials needed, outline, review of past week, problem solving about homework, review of hierarchy, in-session task, homework for parents and children. Each chapter contains numerous figures/charts which make the material easy to understand and teach. The step-by-step approach is very user-friendly. At the end of the book, there are "fidelity checklists" for each session so the therapist can see if he/she has presented the program the way it was designed. Also, the Family Accommodation and Impact Scale-Child (FAIS-C) and the Children's Yale Brown OC Scale (CY-BOCS) Self-Report Symptom Checklist are included. These two standardized measures are important tools in assessing both the child's symptoms and the family's accommodating behaviors.
Assessment: This excellent book presents an evidence-based treatment program that is easy for the therapist to use, and children with OCD and their parents can benefit from the practical ideas. This book will appeal to all clinicians who treat young children, but novice therapists will especially benefit from the well organized information. New graduates often will have some anxiety about their ability to manage treatment, but this wonderful guide will give them confidence.