Nothing But A Pound Dog: A Treatment For Young People With Social Phobia

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Authors: Hanna Schotten, Kristine Constantinou, Vivienne Pearson, Michael Copland

Year: 2000

Event: 2000 TheMHS Conference

Subject: book of proceedings, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service, Therapy Support, cbt , COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Social phobia is a high prevalence mental illness (0.9-13.3%) with an average onset of mid to late teens (Schneier et al 1992) and often chronic in course. In teenagers, Social phobia is associated with loss of schooling, social isolation and difficulty achieving developmental tasks. Those with social phobia and agoraphobia are at increased risk of depressive symptoms, suicide attempt and alcohol abuse. The Pound Dog Group provides a highly engaging and effective group treatment for social phobia and other anxiety disorders for clients who otherwise have difficulty in engaging in treatment due to avoidance and anxiety symptoms. Developed over 3 years with young people who live in the west of Melbourne as part of an adolescent mental health group treatment program, the group uses a combination of an engaging activity (walking dogs at a lost dogs home), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), group work and experiential learning. The paper will describe the group, its theoretical basis and descriptive outcomes for clients. It will also suggest that the group provides learning relevant to group treatment using CBT for other disorders which meets the needs of adolescents.

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