May 24, 2019

Want to Help Teens with Anxiety? Treat the Parents

“Yale researchers have developed an innovative way to address an epidemic of anxiety disorders afflicting the nation’s children: treat the parents.

A new program developed at Yale that counsels parents is as effective in treating common anxiety disorders as cognitive behavioral therapy for the child, according to a randomized trial of the two therapies published in the Journal of the American Academy of Childhood and Adolescent Psychiatry.

One in three children will experience clinically a significant anxiety disorder before adulthood. Unless treated, many will become anxious adults.

“There are currently two evidence-based treatments for anxiety — medication and cognitive behavioral therapy,” said Eli Lebowitz, associate director of the Anxiety and Mood Disorders Program at the Yale Child Study Center and lead author of the study. “Yet only half the children respond to these therapies, so there is a great need for alternate treatments.” The new program called SPACE developed at Yale helps parents handle issues arising from living with an anxious child.”

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