One of the most common types of anxiety disorders is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Children and adolescents with GAD experience frequent worry, anxiety and physical tension. They worry about numerous things and find it difficult to stop or “control” their worry. The amount of distress and worry that individuals with GAD experience is excessive and may interfere with functioning and quality of life. Children and adolescents with GAD often experience physical symptoms, including headaches, stomachaches, restlessness, fatigue, muscle tension and sleep difficulties, among others.
Treatment for GAD:
At AATC, treatment for clients with GAD is individualized to meet each child’s specific symptoms and unique needs. Our approach is likely to include cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), the scientifically-supported treatment for GAD. In treatment, children and adolescents are educated about anxiety and learn how to identify unhelpful ways of thinking that lead to anxiety and stress. They are taught cognitive and behavioral strategies to replace anxious thoughts with more helpful, accurate and rational ways of thinking. Coping tools to manage feelings of anxiety and associated physical symptoms are also part of treatment. Children and teens with generalized anxiety and frequent worry may also develop unhelpful habits such as perfectionism and procrastination, so these may also be addressed as part of treatment.
Because stressors of day-to-day life may lead to worry and anxiety, there is also a supportive component to therapy that allows the child to discuss life stressors and concerns. Parents are educated on the tools their child is learning so they can support a child’s progress outside of treatment. With parent permission, our therapists will work with your child’s school, pediatrician, psychiatrist and other community providers as needed.
Our focus is on treating the “whole child,” so issues other than anxiety may also be addressed in treatment.
For more information regarding treatment for children and adolescents, or to schedule an initial evaluation for your child, please contact Dr. Lori Kasmen at (610) 667-6490 ext 21 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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