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What is SPACE Treatment? - Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions

Fear and anxiety are normal aspects of life; however, when anxiety or fears inhibit daily life, an anxiety disorder may be present. Parents and caregivers of children or adolescents with anxiety know how difficult it is to see their child in distress. Most parents/caregivers want to help their child navigate and handle their anxiety in any way they can. Sometimes the ways that parents help their child will quell anxiety and distress in the moment but it can often lead to a cycle of anxiety that is hard to break from. Parents and caregivers are not to blame for their child’s anxiety nor are they the cause; however, parents and caregivers can play an integral role in treatment and providing a solution for their child! SPACE, an acronym for “Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions” is a treatment developed by Dr. Eli Lebowitz at the Yale Child Study Center. Treatment is for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents with anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder. This treatment model aims to provide parents and caregivers with awareness of family behaviors that accommodate anxiety. SPACE treatment works best where parents or caregivers are involved in some way with their child’s anxiety. This could be by reducing a child's anxiety by removing stressors or accommodating requests to avoid situations that cause anxiety. SPACE treatment provides parenting skills and tools so parents/caregivers can respond supportively while reducing accommodations. Sometimes child anxiety does not involve any parental accommodation - a child has test-taking anxiety but does not seek parent support or does not refuse to attend school. In this case, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) involving the child may be a better option for treatment. A combination of CBT treatment for children and adolescents and SPACE treatment for parents can be a great way to tackle childhood anxiety. SPACE treatment alone is a great option - for families where the child does not want to participate in treatment, the child’s anxiety is affecting parent or family dynamic in an impactful way, or caregivers have difficulty in reaching agreement with how to approach the child's anxiety. Art It Out Therapy Center offers individual parenting sessions in-person or virtually for families interested in SPACE treatment. Art It Out also offers an 8 week skills-based parent group for parents to learn skills and techniques for childhood anxiety. The skills and techniques are based in the SPACE treatment protocol. Supportive Parenting Skills for Anxiety (based in SPACE treatment protocol) with Chelyan McComas, MS, LAPC, NCC

  • 8 week skills group for parents and caregivers

  • Tuesdays at noon to 1 pm - all sessions will meet virtually through the Zoom platform

  • Starting March 1st through April 26th (group will not meet on Tuesday, April 5th)

  • Due to the nature of the group, consistent attendance is strongly encouraged. Attendees will pay for each session even if unable to attend.

  • $60 per group ($480 for all groups)

  • New clients to Art It Out must schedule a 30 minute initial consultation ($50 via Zoom)

By Chelyan McComas, MS, LAPC, NCC


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