Lebowitz’s parent training is theoretically similar to traditional therapy, says Muniya Khanna, a psychologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and director of the OCD & Anxiety Institute in Philadelphia, who was not involved with the work. “But, this gets at it from a different angle,” she says. “It targets lifestyle change and says, yes, if you change lifestyle and family life, it can have almost the same effect as changing the child’s theoretical understanding about [anxiety].”
Khanna thinks that combining this parent program with traditional therapy might yield even better results, particularly for children who haven’t responded to behavioral therapy alone. “It’s encouraging for families where kids may not be developmentally or emotionally ready to take on cognitive behavioral therapy,” she says.