Parenting Support for Parents of anxious children and Adolescents
Maybe you’ve noticed your child becoming more afraid or avoidant of people, places, and activities that used to be non-issues.
Perhaps you feel tired from providing excessive amounts of reassurance to your child about whatever they are worried about but no amount of reassurance seems to help.
You’ve probably noticed some of your routines and activities have changed in an effort to lessen your child’s distress and anxiety.
All you know is that you feel helpless watching your child become more fearful and losing their independence because of anxiety.
As a parent myself, I know what it is to watch a child with anxiety and feel totally unsure about how to help. Even after doing the basics such as taking them to their primary care provider and getting them in to see a counselor, a parent can still feel unsure of how to help at home. While your child might be receiving help you might be wondering how you as the parent are supposed to interact with and support your child with anxiety in a way that is helpful.
Most treatment for kids with anxiety focuses primarily on working with the child, which is an important part to focus on, but often leaves parents out of the equation. This is where SPACE treatment meets an unmet need.
From the SPACE website,
“SPACE stands for Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions and is a parent-based treatment program for children and adolescents with anxiety, OCD, and related problems. SPACE was developed by Dr. Eli Lebowitz at the Yale Child Study Center and has been tested and found to be efficacious in randomized controlled clinical trials.”
If you are tired of trying to control or force your child to act differently, this is for you. The SPACE approach operates on the principle that when parent’s focus on controlling their own behaviors, rather than the behaviors of their kid(s), they can indirectly reduce their child’s anxiety.
About SPACE Treatment
SPACE treatment involves a collaboration between therapist and parent where the therapist acts as a consultant, coach, and guide. The parent learns about their child’s anxiety cycle and ways the parent is unintentionally participating in the anxiety cycle (accommodations). Then together, the parents and therapist develop and implement a strategic plan to reduce accommodations and increase support. The parents’ participation and resulting changes through SPACE will indirectly impact the child’s anxiety pattern in a helpful way.
The treatment does not directly involve the child with anxiety or OCD which is a benefit as oftentimes children are unwilling or unable to participate in therapy. Additionally, most child therapists have full caseloads and long waiting lists. If accessing a provider for your child is not an option currently for whatever reason, SPACE might be a good fit for you.
Working with your therapist, you will learn about key concepts that you can put into practice to help your child reduce their anxiety.
Key Concepts of Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions
1- Anxiety as an interpersonal phenomenon, you are not to blame
2- Accommodations, differentiating between which are helpful and which fuel the anxiety cycle
3- Personal Boundaries, maintaining boundaries that are in everyone’s best interest
4- Parental Support, finding the sweet spot between being overprotective and over demanding
Through SPACE, you as the parent of an anxious child or adolescent will:
- have greater awareness of how anxiety is impacting your child and your family
- gain confidence in responding to anxiety in a way that is both supportive and helpful
- reduce your child’s anxiety
At Evercare Counseling, we work with parents of anxious kids and adolescents using the SPACE treatment methods. If you are looking for a therapist for your child, we are happy to connect you with clinicians who work directly with children and adolescents with anxiety and/or OCD.
Begin receiving support as a parent of an anxious child online or in-person
Additional Services Offered by Lindsey Pace, LCSW
Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions isn’t the only service offered at Evercare Counseling. We are happy to offer a variety of online or in person services to support you and your mental health. *Parents receiving support for anxious childhood emotions are not considered therapy clients, rather consultation clients. Additionally consultation clients are not also able to be therapy clients. Other services offered by Evercare Counseling are OCD treatment, Christian counseling, depression treatment, ERP therapy, therapy for women, and other services. Please feel free to read our blog or common questions to learn more helpful info.