Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions

Treating Child and Adolescent Anxiety & OCD

by Reducing Parental and/or Familial Accommodation

S.P.A.C.E. stands for Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions. It is an evidenced based approach to treating anxiety and obsessive compulsive related disorders in children and adolescent by working with the parents, caregivers or other family members in the child or adolescent's life. This approach was developed by Dr. Eli Lebowitz and others at the Yale University Child Support Center and Tel Aviv University. This approach focuses on identifying the parents and family accommodate the anxiety or obsessive compulsive patterns for the child or adolescent. Accommodation behaviors refer to a myriad of behaviors that the parents and family engage in help the child or adolescent avoid or alleviate the anxious triggers and situations. While the parents and family often mean well, these accommodating behaviors often keep the anxiety and obsessive compulsive reactions alive and don't allow the child or adolescent important opportunities to learn that they can face their anxiety. 

Research has show this the S.P.A.C.E. program and protocol is just as effective at treating and reducing anxiety and obsessive compulsive related disorders in child and adolescents as standalone CBT interventions that work on an individual basis with the child. This makes S.P.A.C.E. both an excellent treatment for parents to engage in while their child is also in individual treatment or an effective alternative for parents to engage in on their own. Having this alternative is especially important in cases where the child or adolescent may not be willing to engage in treatment on their own.

See the graphics below for more information about S.P.A.C.E. and an important aspect of the program: How to speak to an anxious child or adolescent in way that is supportive!

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