Kids Can Beat Phobias By Facing Them

Ghosts, goblins and creepy Halloween fare might be just what the doctor ordered for some kids. New research finds the best way for children to overcome their fears is to face them.

While fear of everything from spiders and gore to social events and separation from parents is normal in kids and adults (to some extent), when such fears get in the way of normal living there’s a problem, say researchers.

A typical treatment called cognitive behavioral therapy involves both having kids face their fears along with teaching relaxation techniques and some mental tools to beat down those oversized anxieties.

Turns out, having kids face their fears, such as calling up friends for social events to beat social anxiety or staying in a room alone without parents, is the best prescription.

Past research, however, has shown that Halloween fright can be a little heavy for some kids.

“We have children face their fears, and we teach them techniques for managing their anxiety, but research isn’t advanced enough to show which element should be the main part of treatment or whether both parts are necessary for improvement,” said researcher Stephen Whiteside of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Read more at MSNBC


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