Picturesque morning in Plitvice National Park. Colorful spring scene of green forest with pure water lake. Great countryside view of Croatia, Europe. Beauty of nature concept background.

SPACE stands for Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions and is a short term (8-12 sessions) intervention that is designed to treat childhood anxiety by working with parents. Although parents are the ones who participate in SPACE, the primary goal of the work is to treat your child’s anxiety. This is particularly helpful when children can’t or won’t participate in therapy themselves.

Parents are the participants, but that is not to say that parents are the problem or that parents cause childhood anxiety or OCD. This is very important because it is not helpful to worry that you are to blame for the problem. Much research has shown, however, that parents can be a very important part of the solution.

I can help with any Adolescent Phase of Life Issues, including:

Depression • Impulse control • Anxiety • Bullying • Low self esteem • Substance abuse • Learning challenges • Self-destructive behavior • Parent-child relationship problems



Anxiety is a programmed into all of us as a healthy way to alert us to danger and focus our minds on what we need to do to escape it. It includes bodily reactions, thoughts about the situation and behaviors designed to deal with it.  Children naturally want to avoid situation that makes then anxious, but the more they do that the more their anxiety is maintained. It gets even more complicated with children, however because they are programmed to rely on their parents for assistance in avoiding anxiety.

Sun shining through the trees on a path in a golden forest landscape setting during the autumn season.
Vintage spring background with lovely flowering tree branches

When our children are feeling anxious, however the best approach is one that combines acceptance that their fears are real with the confidence that they can handle it. SPACE calls this approach being “supportive.” So the SPACE program teaches parents how to 1) take a supportive stance towards their child’s anxiety, 2) Stop specifically chosen parental accommodations in order to teach your child that they can handle the anxiety without avoiding it. 3) To develop the appropriate support and structures so that these changes in the family will be successful.

The treatment of teens and their families can often be expedited by family therapy. That is, medication, group therapy and individual therapy, when combined with family therapy, make up a multi-faceted treatment approach. I work to assess which modalities are appropriate at any given moment and consistently reassess in order to be sure that the best interest of the child is being served. Some teens may also require the therapist to interface with teachers or school counselors who may develop an IEP, or Individualized Educational Plan, for a teen who is struggling at school. It may also be necessary to have the teen evaluated by a psychologist who can provide a complete assessment of the teen in terms of mental and emotional capabilities or deficiencies. Needless to say, working with teens and their families can be challenging for the therapist, who not only needs to coordinate these treatment modalities, but who also will field many questions from anxious parents or teen clients in crisis.

Daisies on green nature background, stages of growth
Fantastic foggy river with fresh green grass in the sunlight. Sun beams through tree. Dramatic colorful scenery. Seret river, Ternopil. Ukraine, Europe. Beauty world.

Typically the SPACE program is an 8-12 week series of sessions with homework in between, and it requires commitment and follow-though. It is hard work on the part of parents, but the freedom that comes from realizing that you can do something that will help your child becomes clear right away. When you stop trying to control your child’s behavior and focus on behaviors that are completely under your own control, you begin to see that unilateral action can be compassionate, supportive and highly effective