SPACE stands for Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions and is a parent-based treatment program for children and adolescents with anxiety, OCD, and related problems.
SPACE was developed by Dr. Eli Lebowitz at the Yale Child Study Center and has been tested and found to be efficacious in randomized controlled clinical trials.
SPACE aims to treat children and adolescents with anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Although children do not have to attend SPACE sessions – they are the patients! When SPACE treatment is successful children feel less anxious and function better following treatment, especially for some of the most common anxiety issues children face, including: Separation anxiety, Social anxiety, Generalized anxiety, Specific fears and phobias, Panic disorder and Agoraphobia, Selective mutism and Obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Parents/caregivers are the focus of SPACE treatment sessions and in most cases, the child or adolescent does not need to attend the treatment sessions. Why, because parents who participate in SPACE will learn skills and tools to help their child overcome anxiety, OCD or related problems by focusing on changes that parents can make to their own behavior.
At the core of the SPACE treatment is attention to family accommodation or parent accommodations.
Family accommodation address all the different changes the parents make in response to their child’s anxiety or distress. It is these changes the parent makes to help their child feel less anxious.