Your Therapy

A new approach for children, teens or young adult struggling with anxiety

Is there a child or teen in your life struggling with anxiety, but reluctant to access mental-health supports? Are you living with a young person who has failed to launch? If so, I’m excited to share the details of a promising new therapeutic approach that I’ll be offering at Your Therapy.  

I was recently trained by Dr. Eli Lebowitz, of the Yale Child Study Center, to provide an evidence-based treatment for anxious children, adolescents and young adults. Developed by Dr. Lebowitz, it’s called SPACE, which stands for: Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions. This is an innovative and effective parent-based therapy. The SPACE treatment offers hope to families whose children, teens or young adults are reluctant or unwilling to engage in therapy. It can also be offered alongside child therapy. SPACE therapy helps parents and young people feel more secure and build their competence and confidence.  

The treatment focuses on changes that caregivers can make to their own behaviour, in order to support their child. The two main changes that parents learn to make are:  

  1. Responding more supportively to their anxious child, by accepting and validating their emotions, and expressing confidence in their ability to handle those feelings 
  2. Reducing the accommodations they have been making for the child. 

SPACE has been researched by the Yale University School of Medicine, using randomized controlled clinical trials, and found to be effective. In fact, research has found that using SPACE to support caregivers of anxious kids, is just as effective as individual therapy for the kids themselves.  

SPACE Therapy typically involves meeting with a parent or parents every 1 or 2 weeks, for 8 to 12 sessions. In each session, the therapist teaches new components of the program, reviews progress since last session, and assigns “homework” to be done between sessions. The program is thoughtful and collaborative, and the therapist works with parents to make sure they are ready for the next step before moving forward.  

Some of the main anxiety problems treated with SPACE include:  

  • Separation anxiety  
  • Social anxiety  
  • Generalized anxiety 
  • Fears and phobias  

 I know that it’s very difficult to see your child or teen dealing with serious anxiety issues, and it puts serious strain on entire families. With SPACE therapy, I’m really hopeful that we can offer a fresh and effective approach that will help many young people and their families. If you think the SPACE program would be helpful for your family, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  

For more information about SPACE, please see the resources below. I suggest starting with the first video, which gives a great overview.  


 Website: Official SPACE website 

 Books & rticles 

 Ellie Lathrop, MSW, RSW  is a registered social worker / psychotherapist specializing in individual, family and parent based treatment of anxiety and other concerns at our clinic.  

 Your Therapy is a safe, welcoming, counselling therapy practice in the Greater Toronto Area. Thanks for reading and, as always, please feel free to reach out with questions about therapy or other mental health issues.  

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