Very early family-based intervention for anxiety: two case studies with toddlers.

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Very early family-based intervention for anxiety: two case studies with toddlers.

Gen Psychiatr. 2019;32(6):e100156

Authors: Hirshfeld-Becker DR, Henin A, Rapoport SJ, Wilens TE, Carter AS

Anxiety disorders represent the most common category of psychiatric disorder in children and adolescents and contribute to distress, impairment and dysfunction. Anxiety disorders or their temperamental precursors are often evident in early childhood, and anxiety can impair functioning, even during preschool age and in toddlerhood. A growing number of investigators have shown that anxiety in preschoolers can be treated efficaciously using cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) administered either by training the parents to apply CBT strategies with their children or through direct intervention with parents and children. To date, most investigators have drawn the line at offering direct CBT to children under the age of 4. However, since toddlers can also present with impairing symptoms, and since behaviour strategies can be applied in older preschoolers with poor language ability successfully, it ought to be possible to apply CBT for anxiety to younger children as well. We therefore present two cases of very young children with impairing anxiety (ages 26 and 35 months) and illustrate the combination of parent-only and parent-child CBT sessions that comprised their treatment. The treatment was well tolerated by parents and children and showed promise for reducing anxiety symptoms and improving coping skills.

PMID: 31922092 [PubMed]


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