Book review : Working With Parents of Anxious Children: Therapeutic Strategies for Encouraging Communication, Coping & Change


Author: C. McCurry
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company

McCurry is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychology, as well as working in private practice, in the assessment and treatment of childhood anxiety. In this book, he draws on the latest clinical and developmental research in relation to parental behaviours and provides a guide to the assessment and intervention process.

The book is divided into three parts, with the first outlining classifications of different types of anxiety, such as Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Parts 2 and 3 cover areas including: ‘Talking to Parents About Anxiety’, ‘Helping Parents Develop Effective Communication Skills’ and ‘Fostering Self-Care and Resilience’.

The book also includes appendices with handouts, a questionnaire and resources such as breathing activities.

The author provides some background to early brain development in the context of anxiety, using case studies to illustrate his points.The chapters are well-written and accessible and provide clear insights into causes and strategies that can support the anxious child. A summary of key ideas at the end of each chapter provides the reader with a clear and helpful overview of content. 

The meaning of the child’s symptoms and behaviour is explored and linked to ways to improve communication skills and to face difficult conversations. In terms of schools, McCurry claims that real changes to a child’s anxiety require changes to the systems/ situations where the anxiety typically occurs.An interesting insight into anxiety in childhood.

Mary Mountstephen
Author: Mary Mountstephen

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