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Working with Parents of Children with anxiety

Cathy Creswell, Gemma Halliday

28 Apr 2023


Please note this is a carried over 22/23 event and not part of the 23/24 programme

Anxiety problems are extremely common in children, can interfere with life at home, at school, and with friends and, if untreated, can run a chronic course. Parents can play a strong role in helping their children overcome anxiety disorders if given the right tools. Parent-led CBT approaches provide a means to deliver treatment efficiently, bringing potential to increase access to evidence-based treatment. However, therapists can face a range of challenges in implementing the approach, including:

  • confidence in working with parents

  • challenges with engaging parents with the approach (e.g. where parents lack parenting efficacy, where the problem is located outside of the home, where parents/carers have competing priorities due to challenging circumstances or co- occurring difficulties);

  • managing parents’ differences of opinion about the nature of the problem and how to manage it;

  • challenges in applying specific techniques, including working with parents to collaboratively identify maintenance cycles and supporting parents to design exposures that effectively test children’s fears.

The event will be equivalent to 5.1/2hrs of CPD.


This workshop will focus on how to address the common challenges of engaging parents, making the programme work across the age range, managing differences in opinion, and applying specific techniques in ways that adhere to the treatment model.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this webinar, attendees will be able to:
• develop an understanding of the common challenges that may be encountered whilst delivering and/or supervising parent-led CBT for child anxiety problems.
• Learn how to overcome these challenges whilst adhering to the treatment model.

Training Modalities

The presenter will use case illustrations, experiential exercises, Q&A, and polls.

Key References

Creswell, C., Waite, P., & Hudson, J. (2020). Practitioner Review: Anxiety disorders in children and young people–assessment and treatment. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 61(6), 628-643.

Creswell, C. & Willetts, L. (2019). Helping your child with fears and worries. Robinson: London.
Creswell, C., Parkinson, M., Thirlwall, K. & Willetts, L. (2019). Parent-led CBT for child anxiety: helping parents help their kids. Guilford: New York.

Thirlwall, K., Cooper, P. J., Karalus, J., Voysey, M., Willetts, L., & Creswell, C. (2013). Treatment of child anxiety disorders via guided parent-delivered cognitive–behavioural therapy: Randomised controlled trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 203(6), 436-444.

Creswell, C., Violato, M., Fairbanks, H., White, E., Parkinson, M., Abitabile, G., ... & Cooper, P. J. (2017). Clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness of brief guided parent-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy and solution-focused brief therapy for treatment of childhood anxiety disorders: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Psychiatry, 4(7), 529-539.

Plaisted, H., Waite, P., Gordon, K. & Creswell (2021). Optimising Exposure for Children and Adolescents with Anxiety, OCD and PTSD: A Systematic Review. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev 24, 348–369.

About the presenter

Cathy Creswell is a Professor of Developmental Clinical Psychology who leads The Oxford Psychological Interventions in Children and adolescents (TOPIC) research group at the University of Oxford. Cathy’s research focuses on the development, maintenance and treatment of anxiety disorders. With Lucy Willetts, she developed the parent-led CBT programme ‘Helping Your Child with Fears and Worries’ in its second edition published by Robinson. With Lucy and others Cathy also published the ‘Parent-led CBT for Child Anxiety: Helping Parents Help Their Kids’ published by Guilford Press.

Gemma Halliday is a Research Clinical Psychologist in the TOPIC research group (University of Oxford). Gemma has extensive experience in delivering, supervising and training a wide range of clinicians to deliver and supervise parent-led CBT for childhood anxiety problems. She is currently working on child anxiety early intervention and prevention research evaluating the delivery of digital parent-led CBT to parents of primary school-aged children. Gemma previously worked with young people and their families in CAMHS, paediatrics and the care system.

Who should attend

This workshop is aimed at practitioners, trainers, and supervisors who have some experience and/or knowledge of parent-led CBT for anxiety problems in pre-adolescent children.

Low Intensity clinical contact hours survey - BABCP Low Intensity Special Interest Group

Please click below if you are interested in contributing to the survey.


The BACP Low Intensity SIG are interested in the impact of clinical contact hours on Low Intensity/Wellbeing Practitioner wellbeing. This questionnaire contains six multi-choice questions and a free text box for you to share your experiences. The answers to these questions will help the BABCP SIG plan how to meet CPD topics and other developments within the SIG.  The SIG hope to produce a write up of the answers to this questionnaire to be shared with SIG members and to be used in training.

View Survey

This FREE conference is for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners working in Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression services and is brought to you by Bespoke Mental Health in collaboration with the NHS England Talking Therapies National PWP Leads Network

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