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All Children 8 and Older Should be Screened for Anxiety, U.S. Task Force Says


A recent article by Christian Caron in the New York Times shines light on the importance of anxiety screenings for all children 8 to 18. “Most kids in need of mental health care don’t get it” says Dr. Stephen Whiteside, an ABCT member and at the Mayo Clinic, noting why this may be especially true of children with anxiety disorders. Caron explains how routine anxiety screenings help parents and professionals monitor children’s mental health, detect early signs of difficulties, and seek services when needed.

Caron offers tips on steps parents can take if they suspect their child might be struggling with anxiety. If you wish to learn more about childhood mental health, ABCT’s Children’s Mental Health page may be of interest. As noted in the article, psychotherapy is the fist-line treatment for childhood anxiety disorders. You can find providers specialized in pediatric mental health using ABCT’s Find a Therapist Tool. To see more on CBT treatments for children, visit ABCT’s page on Children’s Mental Health

Read the article here:

Foreword by Maria Jiménez-Salazar, M.A.

Edited by Nicholas C. Crimarco Ph.D.


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What Is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of treatment that is based firmly on research findings.  It places emphasis on changing your cognitions (thoughts) or behaviors (actions) in order to effect change in how you feel. These approaches help people in achieving specific changes or goals.

Changes or goals might involve:

A way of acting: like smoking less or being more outgoing;
A way of feeling: like helping a person to be less scared, less depressed, or less anxious;
A way of thinking: like learning to problem-solve or get rid of self-defeating thoughts;
A way of dealing with physical or medical problems: like reducing back pain or helping a person stick to a doctor’s suggestions.

Cognitive behavioral therapists usually focus more on the current situation and its solution, rather than the past. They concentrate on a person’s views and beliefs about their life. CBT is an effective treatment for individuals, parents, children, couples, and families. The goal of CBT is to help people improve and gain more control over their lives by changing behaviors that don’t work well to ones that do.

How to Get Help

If you are looking for help, either for yourself or someone else, you may be tempted to call someone who advertises in a local publication or who comes up from a search of the Internet. You may, or may not, find a competent therapist in this manner. It is wise to check on the credentials of a psychotherapist. It is expected that competent therapists hold advanced academic degrees. They should be listed as members of professional organizations, such as the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies or the American Psychological Association. Of course, they should be licensed to practice in your state. You can find competent specialists who are affiliated with local universities or mental health facilities or who are listed on the websites of professional organizations. You may, of course, visit our website ( and click on “Find a CBT Therapist”

The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) is an interdisciplinary organization committed to the advancement of a scientific approach to the understanding and amelioration of problems of the human condition. These aims are achieved through the investigation and application of behavioral, cognitive, and other evidence-based principles to assessment, prevention, and treatment.

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