1st Edition

Parent-Led CBT for Child Anxiety Helping Parents Help Their Kids

    Parents can play a strong role in helping their children overcome anxiety disorders--given the right tools. This innovative, research-based book shows clinicians how to teach parents cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to use with their 5- to 12-year-old. Session-by-session guidelines are provided for giving parents the skills to promote children's flexible thinking and independent problem solving, help them face specific fears, and tackle accompanying difficulties, such as sleep problems and school refusal. User-friendly features include illustrative case studies, sample scripts, advice on combining face-to-face sessions with telephone support, and pointers for overcoming roadblocks. Several parent handouts can be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8 1/2" x 11" size.

    1. Introduction
    2. Conducting a Comprehensive Assessment and Establishing Treatment Goals
    3. Psychoeducation and Individualizing the Treatment Model
    4. Promoting Independence in Day-to-Day Life
    5. Helping Parents to Promote Flexible Thinking and a “Have a Go” Attitude
    6. Helping Parents to Support Their Child in Facing Fears
    7. Helping Parents to Promote Independent Problem Solving
    8. Keeping Things Going
    9. Tackling Sleep Problems
    10. Tackling School Refusal
    11. Treating Child Anxiety within Challenging Contexts


    Cathy Creswell, DClinPsy, PhD, is Professor of Developmental Clinical Psychology in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading, United Kingdom. She is also Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Joint Director of the University of Reading Anxiety and Depression in Young People clinical research unit. Dr. Creswell’s research and clinical interests focus on the development and treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. In addition to numerous academic publications, she is coauthor (with Lucy Willetts) of two self-help books for parents of children with anxiety disorders.

    Monika Parkinson, DClinPsy, is a clinical psychologist and Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Reading, United Kingdom. She has worked clinically for the U.K. National Health Service and on several large treatment trials at the University of Reading, as well as running her own private practice. Dr. Parkinson’s interests focus on identifying effective components of treatments for youth and finding cost-effective ways of supporting families and parents of youth with mental health difficulties. She is coauthor (with Shirley Reynolds) of two self-help books on teenage depression.

    Kerstin Thirlwall, DClinPsy, PhD, is a chartered clinical psychologist and Honorary Fellow at the University of Reading, United Kingdom. She led a treatment trial funded by the U.K. Medical Research Council that assessed the effectiveness of a guided parent-delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy approach for childhood anxiety disorders. Dr. Thirlwallcontinues to have a special interest in evidence-based treatments for childhood anxiety disorders, with a particular focus on parent-led approaches;delivers teaching and training to mental health professionals; and provides treatment for children and their families.

    Lucy Willetts, DClinPsy, PhD, is a chartered clinical psychologist and accredited cognitive-behavioral therapist. She worked as a clinical psychologist within the U.K. National Health Service for nearly 20 years and most recently was Clinical Director of the Berkshire Child Anxiety Clinic. Dr. Willetts now works in private practice and is Visiting Fellow at the University of Reading. She is coauthor of several books on childhood anxiety.

    "This book fills an important gap by helping therapists to empower parents with the skills and confidence to help their anxious child. Creswell and her coauthors give us a science-based, engaging, extremely practical book that is underpinned by years of experience. Detailed exercises and case examples ensure that any therapist will deliver consistent results. The strategies in this book will change the lives of children with anxiety disorders and their families."--Ronald M. Rapee, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and founding director, Center for Emotional Health, Macquarie University, Australia

    "Creswell et al. have harnessed their collective talent and considerable clinical experience in this eminently readable, highly useful guide. Unlike most treatments for anxious children--which are directed primarily, if not exclusively, to the children themselves--this approach is oriented toward the parents. By actively and collaboratively engaging the parents, the clinician can bypass many barriers to effective treatment with children. The approach is developmentally sensitive, contextually informed, evidence based, and low intensity (four of the eight sessions can be conducted by telephone). This is an impressive book with considerable potential."--Thomas H. Ollendick, PhD, ABPP, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech

    "Creswell and colleagues present an efficient and effective CBT-based program that enables parents to help their children overcome the distress and functional impairment associated with problematic anxiety. Clearly written and well organized, this book guides providers at all levels through each step of the treatment process, from the initial assessment through relapse prevention. It contains a multitude of useful charts, figures, and case examples."--John C. Piacentini, PhD, ABPP, Director, Childhood OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Program, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

    "A succinct, incredibly practical, and well-written book. Therapists get knowledge and tools for working effectively with parents of children struggling with anxiety. I hope that many parents have the opportunity to experience this empowering approach."--Wendy K. Silverman, PhD, ABPP, Alfred A. Messer Professor of Child Psychiatry and Director, Anxiety and Mood Disorders Program, Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine

    "When I teach Introduction to Child and Family Therapy, one of the first questions that comes up is how to work with parents. This book is the best resource for students seeking answers to this question. It is so clear, scientifically grounded, and clinically useful that I strongly recommend it as a supplemental text and a resource for clinicians at all levels. Teaching parents how to implement the skills that therapists have been studying for years will expand the reach of our efforts with anxious children, and, most probably, will improve our outcomes."--Eduardo L. Bunge, PhD, Clinical Psychology PhD Program, Palo Alto University

    "I can't wait to use this book in my practice with parents! The authors present a clear, step-by-step, evidence-based guide for therapists. With this book, practitioners can teach parents (who often believe erroneously that reassuring their anxious child will help) to foster their child’s independence, 'curiosity' about his or her worries, and testing of possible solutions. Parents will see their children gain perspective, mastery, and confidence as their fears decrease."--Cynthia G. Whitham, MSW, LCSW, private practice, Los Angeles, and Director, UCLA Parenting and Children's Friendship Program, University of California, Los Angeles