Training for parents could help anxious children.
21 Nov 2007
Special skills workshops in the School of Psychological Sciences.
Parents of anxious young children could see a breakthrough in addressing this difficult problem by attending special skills workshops at the School of Psychological Sciences.
Providing psychological treatments for children under ten with anxiety disorders is problematic for health professionals, as the approaches that are most successful with teenagers and adults are difficult to apply to the very young. The team is therefore investigating a new approach, which allows parents to be much more involved.
"Parents raising an anxious child need a very special set of skills which nobody ever teaches you," Dr Sam Cartwright-Hatton explains, "so we're trying out a course which helps them develop the skills to give their child the best chance of becoming a confident, mature adult."
The team is eager to hear from parents of children under ten who display symptoms of anxiety, such as extreme fears, phobias, frequent worry or distress at separating from their parents. If they participate in the study they will either undertake a weekly two-hour session for ten weeks (starting September) at the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility on Grafton Street in Manchester, or receive a thorough assessment and detailed advice on how to get the right help for their child.
"Parents who have already completed the course say they have found it enjoyable and useful, and would recommend it to others," she says. "The therapists are very easy to talk to and the course is designed to be fun - there's no point in being all 'doom and gloom' about these things as people learn new skills best when they are relaxed. So we make sure that we have plenty of laughs along the way."
The course covers techniques for raising children's self-esteem and dealing with fears and worries, as well as offering strategies for managing difficult behaviours like tantrums calmly.
To take part:
- Contact Wendy Symes on 0161 275 2599
- Visit PACMan trial website