Group Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Phobic/Anxious Children

Problem(s) Addressed by Treatment
Specific Phobia
Social Phobia
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (or symptoms)
Sexual Abuse-Related Trauma (or symptoms)

Program Summary
GCBT is a child-focused treatment intervention with parental involvement, for children with overanxious disorder, social phobia, and avoidant disorder. The key therapeutic procedure in this intervention is exposure to anxious-phobic objects or events, with contingency management and self-control training as additional therapeutic strategies. In the group format, these strategies are generally sequenced between education and application with the parent receiving training on a specific strategy and applying it to the child, then the child receiving training and applying the strategy him or herself.

Program Evaluation/Results
A randomized clinical trial conducted in 1999 evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of this program versus a wait-list control condition. The study found that 64% of the children in GCBT were recovered at posttreatment (i.e., no longer met primary diagnoses) compared with 13% of the children in the control condition. In addition, 82% of the participants showed clinically significant improvement at posttreatment compared with only 9% in the control condition.

An improvement was also observed for ratings of disorder severity and for child- and parent-completed questionnaire measures. A consistent trend for treatment gains was found at the 3-month and 6-month follow-ups. Additionally, participants who were not recovered continued to show improvement into the 12-month follow-ups. The pattern for all of the child- and parent-completed measures similarly indicated a continued reduction in degree and severity of anxious symptoms from posttreatment to the 3-month follow-up, with improvements maintained at 6 and 12 months.

Age Range
6-10 years
11-14 years
15-18 years

Treatment Components
Adult/Family Involvement
Group Therapy
Intersession Assignment (homework)

Treatment Participants


Duration of Treatment
12 Weeks, 8-12 Sessions (55 minutes each)

Treatment Providers
Licensed Professionals
Trainees (Graduate Student, Intern, Post-Doc)

Staffing Requirements/Training

All groups may be treated conjointly by a licensed psychologist and by doctoral-level psychology graduate students totaling three pairs of therapists for each child-parent group. For each pair, at least one therapist should be a licensed psychologist.

It is intended that this program be implemented by mental health professionals with appropriate education, training, credentialing, and experience treating the target population.


Availability of Treatment Program Materials
Replication kit including all treatment program materials available for purchase from Sociometrics.



The CEDETA Treatment Package for this program costs $270 and includes:

1 CEDETA User's Guide 1 Parent treatment manual
1 Child treatment manual 1 Photocopy masters of all handouts
1 Reference copy of the available evaluation instruments used during the original study 1 Reference copy of the age-appropriate PedsQL™ instruments

Sociometrics CEDETA materials are restricted to qualified purchasers in accordance with the ethical and professional standards of the American Psychological Association. CEDETA materials are therefore, only available for purchase by mail, phone or fax. For further details, see the purchaser requirements, or click below to download a qualification/order form.

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