Effective Treatment for Separation Anxiety in Teenagers

Treatment for separation anxiety in your teenager may involve a combination of approaches:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT is an evidence-based therapy for anxiety. Your child will learn how to better handle their anxiety and understand the situations that lead to it. The therapist will help your child to identify and gently challenge thoughts which are not helping them. They will also learn to approach their fear (separation) rather than avoiding it, taking baby steps.

School Input Whether your child is currently able to attend school or not, they need a clear plan designed with school. What you are looking for in a supportive school is flexibility and nurture.  What specific steps can the school take to help your child feel safe? For example, if your child struggles most at break times what is the designated safe place they can go to, and feel supported?

A written plan is essential. This needs to have the input of school staff, you as parents, your child, and any mental health professionals who are involved. It’s a good idea for parents and the key member of staff to meet regularly to ensure a joined-up aproach.

Anti-Anxiety Medications Antidepressant or antianxiety medicine may help some children. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants and cause fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants.

Medication is usually only prescribed to teens in severe cases. It can sometimes be helpful alongside cognitive behavioural therapy and parent support.