Anxiety help for Children; Helping my child with anxiety what works.

There are several evidence-based counseling therapies that have been proven effective in helping children with anxiety disorders. Here are five of them:

  1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is widely recognized as one of the most effective therapeutic approaches for treating anxiety disorders in children. It focuses on identifying and challenging negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to anxiety. Through CBT, children learn to recognize and reframe anxious thoughts, develop coping strategies, and gradually face their fears through exposure therapy. CBT equips children with tools to manage their anxiety symptoms and build resilience.
  2. Exposure Therapy: Exposure therapy is a specific technique often used within the context of CBT. It involves gradually and systematically exposing children to feared situations or objects, helping them confront their fears in a safe and controlled manner. By repeatedly exposing children to anxiety-provoking situations and helping them manage their anxiety response, exposure therapy can lead to a reduction in anxiety over time.
  3. Play Therapy: Play therapy is a therapeutic approach that allows children to express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences through play. It provides a safe and supportive environment for children to explore and work through their anxiety. Play therapists use various play techniques and materials to help children communicate and cope with their anxiety in a developmentally appropriate manner. Play therapy can help children gain insight, develop problem-solving skills, and improve emotional regulation.
  4. Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Mindfulness-based interventions, such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), have shown promising results in reducing anxiety symptoms in children. These approaches teach children to focus their attention on the present moment without judgment, cultivating an attitude of acceptance and non-reactivity to anxious thoughts and sensations. Mindfulness exercises and techniques can help children develop self-awareness, emotional regulation, and resilience to manage anxiety.
  5. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT): PCIT is an evidence-based therapy that focuses on improving the parent-child relationship and reducing anxiety symptoms in children. It involves coaching parents in specific skills to manage their child’s behavior and promote positive interactions. Through PCIT, parents learn strategies to provide clear and consistent expectations, reinforce appropriate behavior, and reduce accommodation of anxiety symptoms. PCIT helps parents become more effective in supporting their child’s emotional needs and provides a secure base from which the child can learn to manage their anxiety.

These counseling therapies have demonstrated effectiveness in numerous research studies and clinical practice. However, it’s important to note that individualized treatment plans should be developed in collaboration with mental health professionals based on the specific needs of each child. Combination approaches, including a mix of counseling therapies, may also be used to address multiple aspects of the child’s anxiety disorder.

Articles are not to be taken as a substitute for professional advice or counseling.