One of the most common forms of mental health disorders in children today is anxiety.
The literature indicates that somewhere between 4 to 25% of youths suffer from some form of anxiety disorder. The literature indicates that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of treatment for childhood anxiety disorders. Recent research has suggested that CBT family based (involving child and parent sessions) interventions are also effective in reducing childhood anxiety. Participants were 21 children aged between 6.5 and 14 years and their parents, who were assigned to either the treatment or waitlist control group. Treatment involved completing the family based CBT treatment for childhood anxiety, ‘Do as I Do’ and ‘Facing Your Fears’, which was conducted in a group format. The research revealed some mixed results, however overall the findings of this pilot study suggest that participants who completed treatment had lower levels of anxiety, than participants who completed a no-treatment wait period.
Further it was found that participation in the group treatment program resulted in reduced levels of anxiety and that the improvements were generally maintained at the 3 to 6 month follow-up point. Implications of this pilot research are discussed. The current research on group based, family focused, CBT treatments of childhood anxiety, is relatively limited. The current study builds on this research using an innovative family focused program.