The case of Molly L.: Use of a family cognitive-behavioral treatment for childhood anxiety

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child anxiety; family; cognitive-behavioral treatment


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The present case study illustrates how a family cognitive-behavioral therapy (FCBT) was used to treat a 9-year-old girl diagnosed with separation anxiety disorder and agoraphobia without panic. The first half of treatment focused on teaching specific coping skills, whereas the second half consisted of exposure tasks that provided opportunities for Molly to practice what she had learned. The therapy also addressed issues of family communication and emotional expression. Through flexible application of the manual, the therapist helped Molly with her own self-image and expectations for coping. Following treatment, Molly and her parents reported that her anxiety had decreased and that her coping skills had improved. Overall, this case illustrates the successful and application of FCBT and highlights the importance of applying a treatment manual flexibly to address client needs.

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