Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Anxiety Disorders: Introduction | Empirical Support | Theoretical Underpinnings and Key Concepts | Developmental and Gender Considerations | Indications and Contraindications | Positive Outcomes That May Be Expected | Factors Affecting Outcome | Economic Cost-Benefit Issues | Baseline Assessments | Setting Treatment Goals and Monitoring Progress | Adverse Effects and Complications | Research Directions | Summary Points | References
Historically, psychiatric descriptions of childhood anxiety
disorders date back to case reports in the early part of the twentieth
century (e.g., Little Hans, Little Albert, Little Peter; see Beidel and Turner 2005). These descriptions, although differing
in theoretical orientation, share a common theme—anxiety
in children is not simply a "developmental phase." Rather,
anxiety symptoms can be serious, distressful, and functionally impairing.
Yet, despite their importance, the notion that children would outgrow
their fears limited scientific investigation. Until the early 1990s,
there were few randomized controlled trials (RCTs) addressing the
pharmacological or psychological treatment of anxiety disorders
in children. Since that time, there has been an explosion of interest
in treatment, primarily from pharmacological and cognitive-behavioral
perspectives. In this chapter, we review cognitive-behavioral treatment
(CBT) for anxiety disorders.