This study will compare the effectiveness of three treatments in reducing symptoms of phobia
in children and adolescents.
Children with specific phobias may experience academic, social, and personal distress, as
well as interference in day-to-day activities. One-Session Treatment has been found a rapid
and effective treatment for adults with phobic disorders. However, its utility in the
treatment of childhood phobia has not been examined.
Participants are randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: a one-session treatment group, an
education/support group, and a waitlist control group. The one-session treatment group is
directly exposed to a phobia object or situation during a 3-hour treatment session. In the
education/support group, children are given information about fear and phobias and are
taught how to deal with them through workbook activities. Children who participate in the
one-session treatment group or the education/support group are assessed 1 week
post-treatment and again after 6 months. Participants with improved symptoms have a 1-year
follow-up. Participants with phobias that persist at 6 months are encouraged to participate
in alternative treatment. Waitlist control participants are assessed pre-treatment and 1
month post-treatment. Those who continue to have phobias at the 1-month assessment are
randomly assigned to 1 of the 2 active treatments.
- Primary diagnosis of specific phobia disorder
- Mental retardation
- Developmental disabilities
- Suicide threat