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Literature review on research methods;How effective is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in the treatment of Childhood Anxiety?

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Introduction

How effective is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in the treatment of Childhood Anxiety? Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, also referred to as CBT is an approach that "focuses on thought processes and how these might be maladaptive" (Sanders P 2009 p 58). The following literature review will explore and summarise four selected pieces of research that look at the use of CBT in the treatment of childhood anxiety and how effective it is. The term childhood in this case is referred to as children aged between 4 and 7 years. The term anxiety as referred to in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is an Anxiety Disorder which is a psychological condition (DSM-IV 2010). It manifests itself as unusual or abnormal behavior such as; Panic attacks, Agoraphobia or Obsessive - Compulsive Disorder amongst others. (DSM-IV 2010) Search Strategy An online search was conducted using the University of Salford's research data base SOLAR. This is accessed online via the University of Salford's Blackboard. In SOLAR you opt for the ' find databases' search area. This area then enables you to access online research specific to the school or area of study, in this case Health and Social Care and then the subject area, Counselling and Psychotherapy. ...read more.

Middle

It was based on the collaboration of numerous factors that ordained a successful outcome (Hirshfield-Becker 2010, Gosh 2006, Monga 2009, Surveg 2006). Factors such as parental involvement (Surveg 2006) the competence of the therapist (Gosh 2006) and variations to the methods used. (Gosh 2006, Monga 2009, Hirshfield- Becker 2010) The methodologies used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy included a method known as the Coping Cat Program (Kendall et al 1992). The Coping Cat Program incorporates skill building and relaxation techniques to help soothe the anxious child. This method was used in all the chosen research articles and was concluded as successful (Surveg 2006, Gosh 2006, Monga 2009 & Hirshfield-Becker 2010). The ultimate goal of CBT with anxious youth is for the child to gain a sense of mastery over his/her anxiety (Kendall & Hedtke 2006) and the Coping Cat program assists with this. Hirshfield-Beckers (2010) team adapted Kendall's (2006) method slightly, for its use with younger children. They included games and immediate positive reinforcement and greater parental involvement to reinforce coping strategies. Through parent/therapist only sessions questionnaires where offered to evaluate the child's condition and also increase awareness of the symptoms of anxiety disorders (Surveg 2006, Gosh 2006, Monga 2009, and Hirshfield-Becker 2010). ...read more.

Conclusion

Childhood anxiety is often left undiagnosed and those fortunate to receive therapy such as CBT have a greater chance to resolve anxieties such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Panic Attacks among others noted in the DSM-IV (2010). It became obvious throughout the reviewed research that parental involvement hugely effects a positive outcome. Points to consider for further research could include the question 'Is CBT effective without parental involvement?' Most agree that further research should be considered to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of further interventions (Surveg 2006, Monga 2009,Hirshfield-Becker 2010). If parental involvement facilitates treatment then the parents involvement in the origins of the anxiety disorder should also be considered, it is often said that in the illness lies the cure. To explore child anxiety further It would be beneficial research to look at the parental involvement in the child's anxiety this could be addressed through a more long term therapy program such as the Person Centred Therapy approach (Rogers 1951) or Transactional Analysis (Berne 1961). CBT seems to offer a quick solution to alleviate symptoms, but to get to the route of the anxiety and arrest it completely other modalities of psychotherapy could be considered. ...read more.

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