Take an exampleof a child who has afear of goingto school. When a child feels anxious to go to school then he or she starts to miss school because the child learns that avoidance works in reducing the anxiety. If parents allow the child to miss school to avoid trigger of those fears than the anxiety grows and becomes more powerful. One form of CBT that works for anxiety in children is exposure and response prevention. The child is taught to unlearn avoidant behaviour. The idea is to expose the child to trigger (like going to school) that causes anxiety. A structured plan of providing safe environment in small steps will make them learn how to handle their anxiety rather than controlling it. The children should be exposed to the trigger in mildest form like starting school with the school counsellor where they feel safe for short time and then gradually adding more hours in a day and transitioning them to the classroom. The structured plan needs to be followed until the anxiety subsides. Fear like any sensations diminishes over time once children gain a mastery on how to handle it, the anxiety overtime subsides. Exposure therapy is effective on many different kinds of anxiety, including separation anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and social anxiety.
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