This book is a practical guide to addressing family accommodation in the treatment of childhood anxiety. Accommodation refers to changes that parents make to their own behavior to help a child avoid or alleviate anxiety (e.g., sleeping next to their child at night, providing repeated reassurance). The book deals with addressing accommodation within the context of a broader treatment strategy that includes additional interventions such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, as well as addressing accommodation as a stand-alone parent-based treatment. There is consensus among experts and acknowledgement among practitioners that family accommodation is a key aspect of child anxiety, with major impact on clinical course, severity of symptoms and impairment, family distress, and treatment outcomes. Yet, most treatment programs do not focus on this important element of childhood anxiety, and most clinicians feel ill-equipped to effectively address accommodation in their clinical work. After briefly reviewing the relevant research on accommodation in child anxiety, this concise and easily accessible primer focuses on the practical and pragmatic aspects of addressing parental accommodation in the treatment of child anxiety. The book includes rich clinical illustrations and many suggestions for how to broach the topic of accommodation with both parents and children including a wealth of easily understood metaphors to approach the topic in an empathic and nonjudgmental manner. Therapists working with anxious children and their families will find useful tips and numerous suggestions for addressing accommodation in every part of the treatment process.
Keywords: anxiety disorders, family accommodation, childhood, adolescence, parents, parent-based treatment, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder