Studies conducted in Stockholm, Sweden and in Virginia, U.S. show promise in treating children's phobias. According to the research, children received an intense, three-hour treatment. More than one half of the children received relief from symptoms of anxiety due to their phobia.
During the session the children were gradually exposed to that which they feared. With the help of a therapist, children learn to face their fear and understand that the feared consequence does not occur. Since the children needed to remain in the situation for an extended period, they learn to understand their fear and that nothing bad will happen.
According to Lena Reuterskiold, "One-session treatment has also proven to be effective over time. Adults who have been treated with this method have been able to notice the effects of the treatment more than a year after the session. And nothing indicates that the effect would taper off sooner in children, which we assume will soon be confirmed by a follow-up study."
In addition to helping with specific phobias, children receiving this treatment showed improvement in other anxiety symptoms.
Research into this type of treatment shows that there are no side effects, children and adolescents receive a benefit for at least six months and is beneficial in different cultures and different countries.
This research is extremely promising, as past research has shown that when anxiety is not addressed and treated in children, additional anxiety can develop later in life.
Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council) (2009, March 31). Half Of Group Free Of Phobia After A Single Treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2009/03/090326085222.htm
Published On: April 02, 2009