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Spending More Time on Exposure Tasks During CBT May Improve Outcomes in Anxious Youth

Encouraging youth with anxiety disorders to gradually confront anxiety-provoking situations is recognized as a key component of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), but few studies have examined specific exposure characteristics that predict treatment outcomes. Astudy published Monday in theJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry suggests the number of CBT sessions in which exposure tasks are practiced may predict treatment outcomes.“[T]he findings support the importance of prioritizing exposure tasks within CBT sessions, revealing a positive link between the number of sessions in which exposure is practiced and favorable outcome,” Tara S. Peris, Ph.D., of the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and colleagues wrote. “This link appears to be especially important for younger children, whose developmental level may limit the benefit of cognitive restructuring, another critical element of treatment.”Peris and colleagues analyzed a subset of data from youth aged 7 to 17 who participated in the Child/adolescent Anxiety Multimodal treatment Study (CAMS). The study participants, all whom had been diagnosed with separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or social phobia, were randomly assigned to CBT (n = 139) or a combination of CBT and sertraline (n = 140) for 12 weeks. Youth in both groups received 14, 60-minute sessions; during CBT sessions 1-6, youth learned about skills for managing anxiety,...
Source: Psychiatr News - Category: Psychiatry Tags: anxiety cognitive-behavioral therapy exposure therapy Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Tara Peris Source Type: research

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