What is CBT? CBT is an evidence-based, skills-focused therapy focusing on the “here-and-now” of child problems rather than on root causes. CBT is based on the concept that changing children’s negative thinking patterns and self-defeating behaviors can have powerful effects on their emotions and on their overall functioning and successes. CBT is a structured therapy, which involves a partnership between the family and therapist. CBT therapists work with children to develop coping skills to be more in control of their thoughts and their actions. CBT therapists work with parents to help them navigate difficult patterns of child anxiety and avoidance and promote courage and bravery in their children for long term success.
How is treatment delivered? Our cognitive-behavioral programs for anxious children and adolescents are offered to families in a number of different formats. In our first treatment option, we offer evidence-based treatment for anxious children through our general Outpatient Treatment Program, in which services are offered–typically on a weekly basis–at our clinic at the Center for Children and Families at Florida International University. In our second treatment option, we deliver evidence-based treatment for anxious children directly to families in their own homes through our innovative Telehealth Program–in which secure videoconferencing technology is use to offer real-time, therapist-led treatment to families regardless of their ability to travel to an expert mental health care facility. We find that treating families in their own homes–where child problems and symptoms naturally occur–can have particularly powerful effects on the maintenance of children’s treatment gains. In our third option, we offer intensive treatments for anxious children, in which families participate in multiple sessions a day for many days in a row. Our Telehealth Program and our Intensive Treatment Program are particularly useful and popular among families who do not have expert mental health care options in their area.
For more information on the anxiety conditions we treat, click here. Free treatment is available to families who qualify for participation in one of our clinical research programs.