patients have anxiety disorder, their children need help
In a study designed to prevent anxiety disorders in
the children of anxious parents, researchers at the Johns
Hopkins Children's Center have found that a family-based
program reduced symptoms and the risk of developing an
anxiety disorder among these children.
The study suggests that as few as eight weekly family sessions
of cognitive behavioral therapy go a long way to prevent or
minimize the psychological damage of childhood anxiety.
Results of the study appear in the Journal of Consulting
and Clinical Psychology.
"If psychiatrists or family
doctors diagnose anxiety in adult patients, it's now
clearly a good idea that they ask about the patients'
children and, if appropriate, refer them for evaluation,"
says senior investigator Golda Ginsburg, Ph.D., a child
psychologist at Hopkins Children's and associate professor of
psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. "Right now, most doctors don't think about this,
let alone broach the subject."
Ginsburg says data show that the children
of parents diagnosed with an anxiety disorder are up to
seven times more likely to develop an anxiety disorder
themselves, and up to 65 percent of children living with
an anxious parent meet criteria for an anxiety disorder.
Prevention, rather than
treatment, of childhood anxiety is critical because
anxiety disorders affect one in five children but often go
unrecognized, according to a recent editorial
in The New England Journal of Medicine. Delay in diagnosis and treatment can lead to
depression, substance abuse and poor academic performance
throughout childhood and well into adulthood.
The Hopkins team studied 40 children between 7 and 12 not
diagnosed with anxiety themselves but who had one or both
parents diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Half of the
children and their families were enrolled in an eight-week
cognitive behavioral therapy, while the other half were put on
a waiting list and received no therapy at the time of the
study, but were offered therapy a year later.
The program, consisting of hour-long weekly sessions was
designed to help parents identify and change behaviors
believed to contribute to anxiety in the children, while at
the same time teaching children coping and problem-solving
Within a year, 30 percent of
the children in the no-intervention group had developed an
anxiety disorder, compared to none of the children who
participated in the family-based therapy.
Parents along with researchers who evaluated the children and
their parents independently reported a 40-percent drop in
anxiety symptoms in the year following the prevention program.
There was no reduction of anxiety symptoms among children on
the waiting list.
The parental behaviors
modified with treatment included overprotection, excessive
criticism and excessive expression of fear and anxiety in
front of the children. The program targeted such childhood
risk factors as avoiding anxiety-provoking situations and
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions 01 06 09
therapies are offered in conjunction with our fellow
professionals. Where beneficial to you, we may suggest a
“combo” program, combining all or some of the therapies
For more details or to book an appointment for Hypnosis, Reiki, NLP,
contact: us (some out of office hour appointments may be
available from time to time)
Copyright: 2009 KK
Advanced Scientific and Clinical Hypnotherapy Consultant
Certified Instructor in Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis
Board Certified Hypnotist
NLP Master Practitioner
Certified Trainer of NLP
Corporate and Professional Motivation Workshops
Professional Hypnotherapy Training and Hypnotherapy