Exposure Therapy with Children and Adolescents

Michael A. Southam-Gerow

Hardcovere-bookprint + e-book
May 28, 2019
ISBN 9781462539581
Price: $30.00 $22.50
210 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
April 24, 2019
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $30.00 $22.50
210 Pages
print + e-book
Hardcover + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $60.00 $33.00
210 Pages
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Exposure therapy is highly effective for treating anxiety disorders in children and adolescents, yet implementation with youth and their parents entails unique challenges. Packed with clinical examples, this concise book provides practical, developmentally savvy guidelines for conducting therapeutic exposure with 5- to 18-year-olds. At each stage of the process, it addresses clinicians' most common questions and concerns. Coverage includes how to build a strong initial assessment; develop a fear ladder; individualize exposure exercises for different problem areas, including phobia, social anxiety, worry, separation anxiety, and panic; and monitor progress. Also discussed is when and how to integrate exposure with relaxation and cognitive strategies.

“The examination of integrating cognitive skills with specific disorders, such as phobia, is particularly useful. Fear ladders are considered with bite-size challenges that encourage success, reduce anxiety, and continue to address the fear at the next step in the ladder. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.”

Choice Reviews

“At last, a child treatment book that digs deep on how to do therapeutic exposures, the key ingredient of effective anxiety reduction. Filled with novel clinical strategies, the book presents the nuts and bolts of devising and implementing successful exposures for each anxiety disorder. Whether you are a student or novice or seasoned clinician, you—and the children you treat—will benefit tremendously from this book.”

—Wendy K. Silverman, PhD, ABPP, Alfred A. Messer Professor of Child Psychiatry and Director, Anxiety and Mood Disorders Program, Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine

“This exceptional book creates a viable bridge between basic research and applied clinical practice. In a compelling, conversational style, Southam-Gerow shepherds readers through delivering exposure treatment to young patients. The presentation is punctuated with rich clinical dialogues and detailed strategies. I love this book—and I think a wide range of graduate students, interns, beginning practitioners, and seasoned clinicians will, too!”

—Robert D. Friedberg, PhD, ABPP, Professor and Director, Center for the Study and Treatment of Anxious Youth, Palo Alto University

“Anxiety disorders affect a staggering number of kids, requiring a mental health workforce that is trained in the evidence-based practices that can help. However, exposures can be daunting for trainees and budding clinicians. Southam-Gerow expertly guides the reader through all phases of exposure planning and execution for children and adolescents with varied anxiety concerns. This is no easy task! With realistic case examples and sample dialogues, the how-tos of exposure engagingly unfold page after page. Southam-Gerow writes with compassion, warmth, and humor. He manages to cover the basics while also preparing readers for the challenges that will arise in the therapy room with an anxious child. A 'must-have' resource for child and adolescent clinicians and those who train them.”

—Sandra S. Pimentel, PhD, Chief, Child and Adolescent Psychology, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine

“Southam-Gerow has created an accessible yet sophisticated guide to the theory and practice of a critical component of therapy for childhood anxiety. Exposure requires the therapist to make young people do exactly what terrifies them, making it extremely challenging to deliver. The book includes engaging case material and detailed scripts to support clinicians in developing their skills. Given the clinical richness of the material, this is a valuable teaching tool for instructors in child and adolescent mental health and clinical child psychology.”

—Jennifer L. Hudson, PhD, Director, Centre for Emotional Health, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Australia

Table of Contents

1. Why Exposure? sample

2. Psychoeducation: Setting the Stage for Exposure

3. The Fear Ladder, and Tips on Assessment and Monitoring in Exposure Treatment

4. Conducting Exposures: The Basics

5. Exposure and Coping Skills

6. Exposure for Specific Phobia

7. Exposure for Social Anxiety

8. Exposure for Separation Fears

9. Exposure for Worry

10. Exposure for Panic Disorder



About the Author

Michael A. Southam-Gerow, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. His research focuses on the dissemination and implementation of psychological treatments for mental health problems in children and adolescents. He also studies emotion processes (such as emotion regulation) in children and adolescents, and treatment integrity. Dr. Southam-Gerow is a consultant for PracticeWise, a company offering training to therapists and agencies in evidence-informed approaches to children’s mental health care. He has served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology and the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, has published dozens of scholarly papers, and is author of Emotion Regulation in Children and Adolescents: A Practitioner’s Guide and Exposure Therapy with Children and Adolescents.


Clinical child/adolescent psychologists, counselors, social workers, and psychiatrists.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses.