Anxiety and depression are the most prevalent mental health problems for children and adolescents, with nearly 1 in 5 youths suffering from a significant episode before adulthood. Without intervention, these emotional issues can have lasting impacts on youths' development, with links to persistent struggles with mood, poorer physical health, school drop-out, and an increased chance of substance abuse across the lifespan.
Brief Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety and Depression in Youth: Therapist Guide is based on an innovative program of research suggesting that the complex youth problems of anxiety and depression can be efficiently treated with a core set of behavioral tools. The treatment is a problem-focused, short-term intervention that combines exposure and behavioral activation to promote rapid change in youth symptoms in 8 to 12 sessions. In the manner of third-wave behavioral approaches, the program targets youths' avoidance of stress and negative feelings and promotes active engagement with the important activities of youth's lives - school, family, friendships. The program has proven to be both clinically effective and cost-effective in primary care and has been delivered successfully in a variety of other clinical practice settings. Further, BBT has shown positive effects with both children and adolescents and with diverse families and youths.
Designed to work alongside a participant Workbook, BBT can be implemented by care providers at varying levels of training and discipline. The BBT treatment allows flexibility to accommodate youth's cultural values, family structure, developmental level, and specific symptoms and areas of impairment.
With thoughtful collaboration between therapists, parents and their children, Brief Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety and Depression in Youth will help young people learn that they can endure situations that are scary, unpleasant, or overwhelming and reach their goals in life.
"I am so pleased to see the Brief Behavioral Therapy manual come to publication. BBT's behavioral focus provides a solid foundation for new therapists and enhances the skills of therapists who want more engagement and action in their therapeutic approach to anxiety and depression. Further, BBT is based on an impressive clinical trial in primary care, where the program was both clinically and cost-effective and worked with diverse families. Bringing high quality therapy for anxiety and depression to pediatric primary care is the only chance we have to meet the behavioral health needs of the 10-15% children and adolescents who currently suffer from anxiety and depression. BBT is a full-strength, transdiagnostic intervention perfect for explosive dissemination in diverse communities." --John T. Walkup, MD, Margaret C. Osterman Professor of Psychiatry, Chair, Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
"Access to mental health services for youth is a significant public health challenge. Drs. Weersing, Gonzalez, and Rozenman's BBT approach offers an innovative model to address this challenge. The BBT elements - primary care delivery, a brief transdiagnostic intervention model, focus on clearly defined, evidence-based skills, ability to tailor to each child, and emphasis on improving functional outcomes -- fit the needs of today's youth, families, and care providers. The Guide provides a clear roadmap for positive behavioral change, making it an essential tool for every clinician." --Elizabeth McCauley, PhD, Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UW/Seattle Children's Hospital
About the Authors:
V. Robin Weersing, PhD, is the Director of the Child and Adolescent Anxiety and Mood Program (ChAAMP) at San Diego State University (SDSU) and a Professor and Associate Director in the Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at SDSU and UC San Diego. Dr. Weersing's research focuses on the development of efficient and effective interventions to prevent the onset and treat the occurrence of anxiety and depression in youth. Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and acknowledged with numerous awards and fellowships including recognition from the Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation, the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research, and the William T. Grant Foundation.
Araceli Gonzalez, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology at California State University Long Beach. Dr. Gonzalez has expertise in the assessment and treatment of anxiety, depression, and traumatic stress in youth, with a focus on improving mental health outcomes among underserved youth and parents and reducing mental health treatment disparities. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Psychological Foundation.
Michelle Rozenman, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of the Behavioral Research for Anxiety interVention Efficiency (BRAVE) Lab at the University of Denver. Dr. Rozenman is an expert in evidence-based assessment and treatment of youth internalizing and obsessive compulsive and related disorders. Her research focuses on identifying and directly targeting mechanisms underlying anxiety-related problems in youth using experimental therapeutic and behavioral approaches. Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the International OCD Foundation.