An Evidence-Based Practice
The Coping Cat program is a cognitive-behavioral therapy intervention that helps children recognize and analyze anxious feelings and develop strategies to cope with anxiety-provoking situations. The program focuses on four related components: (1) recognizing anxious feelings and physical reactions to anxiety; (2) clarifying feelings in anxiety-provoking situations; (3) developing a coping plan (for example, modifying anxious self-talk into coping self-talk, or determining what coping actions might be effective); and (4) evaluating performance and administering self-reinforcement. By incorporating adaptive skills to prevent or reduce feelings of anxiety, the Coping Cat therapist uses a workbook to guide the child through consideration of previous behavior in situations in which the child felt anxious, as well as the development of expectations for future behavior in anxious situations. The Coping Cat workbook is used for children aged 8 to 13 years and the C.A.T. Project workbook is used for children aged 14 to 17 years. The C.A.T. Project differs from Coping Cat only in the use of developmentally appropriate pictures and examples for older ages.
Goal / Mission
The goal of this program is to help children recognize and deal with anxiety.
Results / Accomplishments
All three evaluation studies of Coping Cat found that participants experienced a wide range of significant, positive outcomes when compared with control group participants. Specifically, the intervention group had better outcome scores than the control group on anxiety measures, fear scores, perceived ability to cope with most-dreaded situations, frequency of negative thoughts during the past week, and depression. Findings for child self-report measures were the most robust across the studies, while parent reports and behavioral observations were somewhat mixed.
About this Promising Practice
- Primary Contact
- Philip C. Kendall, Ph.D., ABPP
Department of Psychology
Director, Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic
Weiss Hall 478, Temple University
1701 North 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6085
Health / Mental Health & Mental Disorders
Health / Children's Health
- Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic, Philadelphia
- SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP)
- Date of publication
- Oct 2006
- Philadelphia, PA
- For more details
- Target Audience