Defined as distress associated with separation from one’s parent or caregiver, separation anxiety is developmentally appropriate among infants and toddlers between the ages of 6 and 18 months. However, Separation Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive, persistent worry when separation from home or attachment figures occurs or is anticipated.
Recognizing Separation Anxiety Disorder
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered the treatment of choice with emphasis placed on identifying anxious thoughts regarding separation, challenging those thoughts, and generating alternative coping thoughts. Relaxation techniques targeting physical symptoms of stress and anxiety may also be a helpful component of the treatment plan. These new skills are then implemented in anxiety provoking situations such as attending a birthday party without a parent or staying with a babysitter. This is accomplished gradually beginning with the easiest situations then progressing to the more difficult. Parent education is an important component of treatment as the anxiety is often unintentionally reinforced.
For more information about separation anxiety or to schedule an appointment with an anxiety treatment specialist at Austin Anxiety and Behavioral Health Services please call (512) 246-7225 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are currently accepting new patients at our Round Rock and Austin therapy offices.