The Overcoming Programme is a guided self-help CBT programme for parents of anxious children developed by Lucy Willetts and Cathy Creswell. It involves 8 sessions for parents, 4 of which are conducted face to face and 4 that can be delivered by telephone (or face to face if you prefer).
Does it work?
A number of NHS CAMHS services now use the Overcoming Programme as their first line treatment for childhood anxiety disorders due to both its clinical and cost effectiveness. Recent research trials suggest that the Overcoming Programme is at least as effective, if not more effective, than many comprehensive CBT interventions delivered one to one with a child – http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/early/2013/08/10/bjp.bp.113.126698
What are the advantages of this approach?
One of the major advantages is time limited nature of this approach; parents only need to attend 4 appointments. A further 4 sessions can be conducted by telephone. The aim of the programme is for parents to become anxiety management experts who can continue to use the strategies that they have learned to help their child after the sessions have finished. It also means that children do not have to miss school or other activities to attend sessions.
Can others learn how to deliver this approach?
Lucy Willetts and her colleagues run training days for CAMHS and other health professionals in delivering this programme. They also provide regular supervision sessions following training. Please contact Lucy for more information and fees.