In what can be called a novel approach to dealing with childhood anxiety, a new line of therapy might not require children to undergo treatment and do the work. A new method of anxiety therapy for children called Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions, or SPACE, has been found to be as effective CBT, which is considered to be the most popular way of addressing childhood anxiety.
CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy, is one of the most effective lines of treatment for childhood anxiety and related issues, presently. It involves equipping the child with the confidence to face and deal with anxiety every day using the required approaches. A new randomized noninferiority study has found that SPACE could be equally effective to tackle these issues, if not more.
SPACE is a therapy approach where children are more involved than their parents. They are trained and educated to better respond to their child’s anxiety by conveying acceptance of distress and confidence in the child’s coping ability. Furthermore, it also guides parents to reduce accommodative behavior.
“There are currently two evidence-based treatments for anxiety—medication and cognitive behavioral therapy,” says Dr. Eli Lebowitz, Associate Professor at the Yale Child Study Center. “Yet only half the children respond to these therapies, so there is a great need for alternate treatments.”
The study involved 124 children between the ages of 7 to 14 who were diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. These participants were randomly assigned to either CBT, or their parents were assigned to undergo SPACE. It was observed that both systems of therapy worked with approximately the same efficacy.
The results of this study have been published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.