Treatments for Anxiety disorders in Children

Treatment for anxiety disorders usually includes therapy, medication, or a combination of both.

The most common and successful form of therapy used to treat anxiety disorders is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT involves helping children to understand how their thoughts affect how they feel (emotionally and physically) and how they behave. For example, if they think dogs are mean and bite, they will feel afraid if they see a dog and may run away. Alternately if they think dogs are nice and friendly, they will feel happy if they see a dog and may approach it. CBT involves changing unhelpful thoughts and behaviors through practicing different skills both in therapy and in daily life. These skills can be learned in individual therapy or as part of a therapy group with other children experiencing similar challenges. Treatment is usually structured and time-limited.

There are many different medications used to help control anxiety. A prescribing clinician (psychiatrist or nurse practitioner) will choose a medication that will work best to help your child.