1st Edition

Separation Anxiety in Children and Adolescents
An Individualized Approach to Assessment and Treatment

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ISBN 9781593854829
Published March 29, 2007 by Guilford Press
298 Pages

USD $36.00

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Book Description

This unique book presents a research-based approach to understanding the challenges of separation anxiety and helping children, adolescents, and their parents build the skills they need to overcome it. The authors provide step-by-step guidelines for implementing the entire process of therapy--from intake and assessment through coping skills training, cognitive-behavioral interventions, and relapse prevention. Featuring in-depth case examples, the book is written for maximum accessibility for all clinicians, including those with limited cognitive-behavioral therapy experience, who treat separation anxiety and other childhood anxiety disorders. Useful reproducibles include the Separation Anxiety Assessment Scales, which facilitate individualized case formulation and treatment planning.

Table of Contents

Foreword, David H. Barlow
I. Introduction
1. The Nature of Separation Anxiety
2. Development of Separation Anxiety
II. A Prescriptive Approach to Assessment and Treatment
3. Assessing Separation Anxiety
III. Teaching Child Coping Skills
4. Child Coping Skills I: It's Time to Relax
5. Child Coping Skills II. You Are What You Think
IV. Teaching Parent Coping Skills
6. Parent Coping Skills I: Understanding My Child's Separation Anxiety
7. Parent Coping Skills II: Managing My Child's Separation Anxiety
V. Confronting Separation Anxiety
8. Structuring the Treatment Sessions: Skills Building, Hierarchy Development, and Treatment Planning
9. Negotiating Fear of Being Alone: Being Alone and Sleeping Alone
10. Negotiating Fear of Being Abandoned: School, Camp, and Other Settings
VI. Navigating the Obstacle Course
11. Staying in Control: Managing Pitfalls and Relapse
Appendix A. Assessment Instruments
Appendix B. Handouts

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Andrew R. Eisen, PhD, is Professor in the School of Psychology and Co-Director of the Child Anxiety and Related Disorders Clinic at Fairleigh Dickinson University. His research and clinical interests include childhood anxiety and related problems, learning disorders, and sensory integration issues, with an emphasis on developing individualized treatments for these populations. Dr. Eisen has published numerous articles and chapters, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. He has coauthored or coedited seven books, including Separation Anxiety in Children and Adolescents: An Individualized Approach to Assessment and Treatment and Helping Your Child Overcome Separation Anxiety or School Refusal: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents. Dr. Eisen maintains a private practice with children and their families in Bergen County, New Jersey.

Charles E. Schaefer, PhD, RPT-S, until his death in 2020, was Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. A pioneering play therapist, he was Cofounder and Director Emeritus of the Association for Play Therapy, which recognized him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Schaefer published more than 100 research articles and over 70 professional books, including Prescriptive Play Therapy; Play-Based Interventions for Childhood Anxieties, Fears, and Phobias; and Essential Play Therapy Techniques.


Eisen and Schaefer have produced a near-perfect treatment manual for intervention with separation and related anxiety disorders. They take empirically validated approaches and show how to apply them to real, everyday cases, and successfully adapt them to the individual child, presenting problem, and family context. This book beautifully achieves the oft-sought melding of research-based knowledge and clinical expertise.--Cecil R. Reynolds, PhD, Department of Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University

Drs. Eisen and Schaefer are clearly world leaders in knowledge about separation anxiety in children and adolescents. In this volume they share their decades of combined knowledge in a clear, easy-to-follow format that will be welcomed by therapists and school-based professionals. The detailed case descriptions and practical handouts will allow any qualified practitioner to implement an empirically validated treatment for young people suffering separation fears.--Ronald M. Rapee, PhD, Macquarie University Anxiety Research Unit, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

The synergy of Drs. Eisen and Schaefer's collective experience in child therapy and anxiety disorders is evident in this informative, scholarly, and practical guide. The authors' prescriptive approach optimizes treatment response by providing the practitioner with the tools to identify symptom clusters that are then matched to specific treatment strategies with proven efficacy. Practitioners will find a wealth of information here to guide their treatment planning for children and youth with separation anxiety.--Anne Marie Albano, PhD, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Columbia University
Rarely has a book achieved this perfect blend of research and practice. This is truly the epitome of evidence-based practice. The authors have taken the very real and difficult problem of separation anxiety and provided the reader with an excellent manual for assessment and integrated treatment....What I found most informative was the blending of different therapeutic techniques.
--PsycCRITIQUES, 2/15/2007ƒƒ
This is an excellent resource for the office-based practitioner working with anxious youth and their parents. Refreshingly, the authors do not embrace the medical model, and place a higher value on skill acquisition and problem mastery than on symptom relief using medications.
--American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry Newsletter, 2/15/2007