Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions
What is SPACE?
Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE) is an evidence-based program developed at the Yale Child Study Center by Eli Lebowitz and his team. SPACE is designed to help parents manage their child’s anxiety disorders and OCD with the help of a SPACE-trained therapist. The overall goal of this program is to coach parents to minimize escalations, improve self-regulation, help the child cope with big emotions, and restore the child’s autonomy. Additionally, as part of the program, we establish effective parenting strategies by teaching parents tools and techniques to help decrease and eliminate parent accommodations. The program emphasizes methods that cultivate a supportive role for parents and the community alike.
What to expect?
This is a three-part program that systematically leads parents through the course of treatment. The length of the program is between 12-15 sessions, however, we continue the program beyond 15 sessions if needed. Every step of the program is individually tailored to your unique situation.
We start the program with psychoeducation about foundational concepts. We teach parents how to identify and monitor accommodations. Parents and the therapist collaboratively choose one initial target problem to work on. The therapist coaches parents on ways to communicate with the child about reducing accommodations and also on handling the child’s reactions. There is an emphasis on transparency with the child and we encourage collaboration with the child.
The next stage of the program is for planning and implementing a specific plan. The therapist helps with problem-solving and outlining safety precautions for the interventions. Over time, we see an increase in the autonomy for the child, an increase in the target behaviors, and a decrease in problematic behaviors.
The final stage of therapy focuses on reviewing changes in behaviors and handling situations for both the parents and the child. Finally, we focus on strategies to maintain gains, set additional goals, and review how to handle future situations where the child is anxious.
All sessions are 45-50 minutes and we typically see clients once a week.