The treatment described in this Therapist Guide is specifically designed for adolescents with panic disorder and agoraphobia. Panic disorder often first appears in adolescence, making effective treatment for this age group a priority. Left untreated, panic disorder can severely impair an adolescent's development and functioning. It can put an adolescent at risk for depression and have consequences into adulthood.
The program was developed at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University and targets patients ages 12-17. It is comprised of 12 sessions to be delivered over an 11-week period. Adolescents learn about the nature of panic and anxiety and how to challenge their panic thoughts. Exposure sessions help them face their fears and stop avoiding situations that cause heightened anxiety. An adaptation chapter addresses how to modify the program for intensive (8 day) treatment, as well as how to tailor the treatment to different ages. Each session includes an optional parent component and an appendix provides handouts for parents. The corresponding workbook is specifically designed for adolescent use, with easy to understand explanations and teen-friendly forms.
About the Author
Donna B. Pincus is Associate Professor and the Director of Research for the Child and Adolescent Fear and Anxiety Treatment Program at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University.
Jill T. Ehrenreich is Associate Professor, Child Division at University of Miami.