One of our members came to us for advice on how to address separation anxiety with a client. The anxiety turns aggressive while the mother is leaving, but then subsides and the session can continue normally. The data they collected indicated that the problem was attention maintained, but the emotional component seems very compelling.
We discuss similar situations we’ve encountered in our own practices. In one example, the parents were phased out gradually until the child was comfortable. The “rip the band-aid” approach or withholding reinforcement strategies don’t always work when there’s an emotional component. Also, having parents present during therapy can be very beneficial. You’ll also get to learn what makes the child tick so you can find a reinforcer that will pair them with you.
- How to deal with a child with separation anxiety.
- Strategies to address the issue with the emotional component in mind.
- Why parental input is important.