Healthy Living

A New Approach To Treating Anxiety In Children

05/10/2017 04:25pm ET | Updated May 11, 2017

“What if you walked around every day feeling that your heart was pounding in your chest and that you couldn’t breathe? What if your brain was constantly telling you that the scariest, most horrible things were going to happen and that the world felt like an out of control and unsafe place? Now imagine that you’re 7, or 10, or 15, and that this is your daily reality. This is what we need to understand about anxiety and what it’s like to experience it.”

McLean Hospital’s Kathryn D. Boger, PhD, ABPP, program director of the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program (MAMP), delivered a powerful presentation about pediatric anxiety at the TEDxWalthamED event in April. She described anxiety’s debilitating impact as well as the failure of traditional forms of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—the current gold standard therapy for anxiety—to effectively treat many young patients with the condition. Dr. Boger and her colleagues, however, broke from tradition several years ago to develop the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program, an intensive group-based outpatient program for children and adolescents with anxiety that features lengthier and more frequent CBT sessions.

Watch Dr. Boger’s presentation to learn how this innovative program is helping patients who don’t respond well to conventional weekly CBT.

Kathryn D. Boger, PhD, ABPP, is the program director of the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program at McLean Hospital and an instructor in psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. McLean Hospital offers comprehensive mental health services for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults with a range of psychiatric diagnoses.

McLean Hospital

Dr. Boger, center, in a group therapy session at the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program