In recent years, there has been rapidly increasing interest in the construct of family accommodation in anxiety disorders, generating data on the underlying theoretical mechanisms, associations with anxiety disorders, and intervention research. Today, family accommodation is considered a key factor impacting child anxiety. Family accommodation of child's anxiety refers to changes that parents make in their own behavior to help their child avoid or alleviate distress related to the anxiety disorder. Although it is intended to reduce anxiety in the short-term, family accommodation is associated with greater symptom severity and impairment.
Supporting these theoretical understandings and empirical findings, novel parent-based interventions of child anxiety have shown much promise. The SPACE Program (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions) is a theory-driven intervention informed by research into parental entanglement in the symptoms of childhood anxiety and by the biology of mammalian parental behavior. SPACE teaches parents to recognize their accommodating behaviors, and to implement specific plans for reducing the accommodation while maintaining an empathic and supportive attitude towards the child. The treatment also includes tools for: Increasing parents' ability to work cooperatively together; Coping with responses to the reduced accommodation, including anger and distress; And for enlisting the support of family and friends in what can sometimes be a difficult process.
This webinar presents attendees with an overview of family accommodation and its associations with child anxiety and provide an introduction to the SPACE Program. Clinical trials in anxiety and OCD support the ability of SPACE to reduce family accommodation children's symptoms. Results of a recently completed funded randomized clinical trial of SPACE are presented and discussed.
- Attendees will understand the concept of family accommodation and the role it plays in child anxiety.
- Attendees will gain a basic understanding of the theoretical background underlying SPACE.
- Attendees will gain an overview of the therapeutic process and learn to apply practical tools.