ISSN 2051-8315
Psychopathology Review
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 Volume 1, Issue 1, 201-208, 2014
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Intensive Treatments for Separation Anxiety Disorder in Children and Adolescents

  Cornelia Mohr - Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Germany
  Silvia Schneider - Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Germany

Volume 1, Issue 1, 2014, Pages 201-208

Childhood separation anxiety disorder (SepAD) has only recently been recognized as a highly frequent disorder, precursor of panic disorder, and pacemaker of anxiety and other mental disorders. Although cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has proven effective for the treatment of anxiety disorders in children, including SepAD, intensive forms of treatments have been developed recently to further improve treatment efficacy. This brief article describes a rationale for the development of intensive, disorder-specific treatments for SepAD, focusing on extinction learning and parental involvement in the child's therapy. We further provide an overview of three cognitive-behavioral and one psychodynamic intensive treatment programs for SepAD and review the empirical evidence for each of these programs. In conclusion, one promising treatment-intensification strategy is to deliver exposure in high doses and in multiple contexts. Parents can be coached to conduct such exposure in-between treatment sessions. In the light of initial findings from RCTs, the involvement of parents seems to benefit younger children more so than older ones.

Table of Contents
Rationale for Developing Brief Treatments and the Potential Benefits for Doing So
 Mediators of Treatment Outcome: Extinction Learning
 Moderators of Treatment Outcome: Child Age and Parental Involvement
Description of Brief Treatments for SepAD and Evidence Base Associated With Their Use
 The TAFF Treatment Program for SepAD in Children Aged 4-13 Years
  Psychoeducational sessions 1 to 8.
  Exposure practice sessions 9 to 16.
 Summary and Future Directions - Clinical and Research Implication

Correspondence to
Prof. Dr. Silvia Schneider, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Massenbergstrase 9 - 13, 44787 Bochum, Germany.

Separation anxiety; children; disorder-specific CBT; family-based CBT; intensive treatments; brief treatments

Received 5 Nov 2013; Revised 11 Nov 2013; Accepted 12 Nov 2013; In Press 1 May 2014

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