Coping Cat: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Anxious Children

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

Program Summary
COPING CAT: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Anxious Children uses a cognitive-behavioral approach to treat anxiety disorders in children and young adolescents between 8 and 14 years old. Included among these disorders are generalized anxiety, social phobia, and separation anxiety. COPING CAT can be presented in 16 individual therapy sessions or in 18 group therapy sessions. The treatment program includes education, coping skills training, and graded exposure activities, all coupled with a workbook used for in-session and homework activities. The overall goal of COPING CAT is to teach children to recognize signs of anxious arousal and use these signs as cues to apply anxiety management strategies.

Program Evaluation/Results
Two different randomized clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of COPING CAT. The first study, conducted in 1997, tested the efficacy of individual therapy sessions of COPING CAT. Results indicated significant improvement in anxiety symptoms in the treatment group, with over 50% of children being free of their primary anxiety disorder after treatment. The improvement was maintained at the one-year follow-up.

A randomized controlled trial in 2000 tested the efficacy of the COPING CAT program in both individual and group format. Participants were 37 children between 8 and 14 years old with a childhood anxiety disorder who were randomly assigned to group treatment, individual treatment, or a wait-list control. Study results indicated that more treated children in both individual therapy (73%) and group therapy (50%) no longer met diagnostic criteria after treatment, compared with the Wait-List group (8%). Further, children in individual therapy (64%) and group therapy (50%) no longer met diagnostic criteria for comorbid diagnoses (general anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, social phobia) after treatment.


Age Range
6-10 years
11-14 years

Treatment Components
Adult/Family Involvement
Individual Therapy
Group Therapy

Intersession Assignment

Treatment Participants


Duration of Treatment
Group: 18 Weeks, 18 Sessions (90 minutes each)
Individual: 16 Weeks, 16 Sessions (50-60 minutes each)

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

Staffing Requirements/Training

Trained mental health professionals or appropriately supervised doctoral trainees under 2 hours of weekly supervision. In the group therapy setting, treatment program developers recommend the use of co-therapists for groups with more than five children.

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 $335 and includes:

1 CEDETA User's Guide 1 Therapist Manual for Individual Treatment
1 Therapist Manual for Group Treatment 1 Coping Cat Workbook
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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