The Coping Bear: Group and Individual Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Children with Anxiety Disorders and their Parents

Problem(s) Addressed by Treatment
Specific Phobia
Social Phobia
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Separation Anxiety Disorder

Program Summary
The Coping Bear is an intervention with parental involvement for children with: social phobia, depression, simple phobia, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and/or separation anxiety disorder. The treatment program utilizes a group process problem-solving approach with the overall goals of: 1) teaching children to recognize their emotional distress, and to learn and practice new coping skills; and 2) facilitating the generalization of these coping skills by involving parents in the treatment process. The program can be implemented in both individual and group settings and includes systematic desensitization techniques, reinforcement principles, approaches to resistant behavior, aids to exposure to anxiety-provoking situations, and relaxation techniques.

Program Evaluation/Results
Two separate randomized clinical trials evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of this program. In the 1999 study, participants were randomly assigned to a child only therapy group (no parental involvement), parent only group (no child involvement), or child and parent group (separate groups of children and parents run concurrently), or a wait list control condition. Less anxiety and depression were reported post-treatment by all children. Children who were treated with their parents used more active coping strategies than children in the other treatment groups.

In the 2002 study, participants were randomly assigned to either separate individual therapy sessions for child and for parent, or concurrent child-only and parent-only groups. Assessments pre- and post-treatment showed that regardless of treatment setting, children and mothers reported decreased anxiety and improved global functioning post treatment. In addition, children with high social anxiety had more improvement in an individual treatment setting than in a group setting.

Age Range
6-10 years
11-14 years

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

Other: Relaxation audio, book (for parents), mood ring

Treatment Participants


Duration of Treatment
12 Weeks, 12 Sessions (90 minutes each)

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

Staffing Requirements/Training

Individual therapy sessions are conducted separately for child and parent with the same therapist, each session lasting approximately 45 minutes. Group therapy sessions are conducted separately for children and parents with both groups running concurrently. Two co-therapists conduct each group, with one experienced and one less experienced (some less experienced therapists can be psychiatry residents or psychology interns), for a total of four therapists.

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 $445 and includes:

1 CEDETA User's Guide 1 Child treatment manual
1 Parent treatment manual 1 Clinician’s reference copy of Group Workbook (for in-session activities)
1 Clinician’s reference copy of Individual Workbook (for in-session activities) 1 photocopy master of Group Workbook for in-session activities
1 photocopy master of Individual Workbook for in-session activities 1 Clinician’s Reference copy Notebook (child homework)
1 photocopy master of Notebook 1 Mood ring
1 copy of the book Keys to Parenting Your Anxious Child (one copy of the book to each parent group) 1 copy of the DVD 1-2-3 Magic: Managing Difficult Behavior in Children 2-12
1 copy of the CD Let Go: Relaxation for the Mind which can also be provided to parents for inter-session with their child 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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