Whether you read scientific journals or The Washington Post, you have no doubt seen many pieces about how anxious kids are these days. Unfortunately, it’s true. The numbers are grim and they’re everywhere, so I won’t bore you with them here. As a clinical psychologist, I’ve trained practically all my life for this. Many of my colleagues and I use a highly effective, state-of-the-art treatment for child anxiety disorders called exposure therapy. The idea is simple, but the science is complicated.
Exposure therapy is currently the best treatment we have, but it’s not doing a damn thing to slow down the runaway train of anxiety in children and adolescents. We need something new, and some of us may be on to a solution—intense and frequent child independence. The beauty of this approach is that practically anybody can do it, and you don’t need to pay for some highfalutin Ph.D.