Children & Teens with Anxiety

Anxiety therapy for kids and adolescents

Severe Anxiety May Not be “Just a Phase”

When your child is exhibiting signs of severe anxiety, it can leave you feeling worried, fearful, and helpless. Or, you might assume (or hope) that it is just a phase and will go away soon.

But untreated anxiety often does not go away. And aside from the unhappiness creates, it can have a host of other negative effects. Left untreated, your child’s severe or chronic anxiety can interfere with their schoolwork, behavior, and friendships.

Kids with chronic anxiety often learn that avoiding certain activities reduces stress or discomfort in the short term. Over time, it’s easy for them–and you–to fall into the habit of avoiding triggers. Unfortunately, this often makes the anxiety stronger and more difficult to deal with.

How CBT Works

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is based on the fundamental idea that our thoughts and beliefs affect how we think and feel. When we can identify the ways that our thinking is misguided, distorted, or inaccurate, we can change or better deal with our difficult emotions.

Since young children are less adept at describing their thoughts and emotions, CBT for children focuses more heavily on behaviors. The therapist may identify behaviors that maintain or worsen anxiety (such as avoidance), and then teach your child to use new, more effective behaviors when they are feeling anxious.

Another powerful technique is exposure therapy—which involves helping your child gradually experience difficult situations, while giving them tools to deal with the anxiety until it fades away. As your child goes through the therapeutic process, they learn that fear is something that can be faced and surmounted.

CBT Teaches Your Child to Overcome Anxiety

As a parent, you want your child to be happy and comfortable. But you also want them to be able to handle whatever life throws at them. CBT will give them skills to deal with life’s challenges, long after therapy has ended.

Because anxiety can look very different from one child to the next, considerable skill is required to properly diagnose and design an effective treatment plan. Our expert clinicians are well-versed in CBT and complementary treatment approaches, and they use these approaches to guide their treatment decisions.

Access our guides to managing anxiety in children and teens

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Video & Phone Sessions

Video and phone sessions are a convenient solution for people who can’t find a specialist in their area or would rather not drive across town to an appointment. Research has proven that remote and in-person sessions are equally effective.

Learn more about video & phone sessions

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