Evidence-Based Practice Project

Coping Cat Program


Six Components of the Coping Cat Program

Psychoeducation - Helps the child and family to understand the manner in which abnormal levels of anxiety are learned, maintained and treated. Children keep a diary and use learning techniques from the workbook.


Somatic management techniques - because the body is conditioned to respond in a heightened state of avoidance or escape (fight or flight) to external stimuli that is perceived as threatening or fearful, children are taught relaxation techniques to calm this response.


Cognitive restructuring - The child or adolescent learns new ways to deal with feared situations by investigating, uncovering and challenging anxiety-provoking thoughts. The following techniques are incorporated into this component: identification of automatic thoughts (AT), gathering evidence to dispute negative AT's and keeping a diary to monitor daily thoughts. The Fear Plan is a four step acronym that incorporates the use of behavioral experiments that challenge AT that create anxiety & fear in very young children. F = feeling frightened (recognize the fear), E = Expecting bad things to happen (recognize the fearful self-talk), A = attitudes and actions that will help (developing & using coping skills) and R = results and rewards (self-evaluation and self-reward).


Problem solving - A child is taught to identify real life problems, then to list and evaluate actions for resolving a specific problem.


Exposure - Involves gradual and systematic exposure to a feared situation. It can take the form of guided imagery (the therapist guides the child through step-by-step visual imagery of confronting the feared situation); symbolism (the use of pictures or props); simulation (role-playing a feared situation); or in vivo (contact with the real situation). Graduated exposure - For instance, a child that is afraid of dogs. He can become used to dogs through a series of graduated exposure to a dog. He may first be confronted by using pictures of dogs in friendly situations (symbolism) and later encouraged to stand near a dog, next to a dog and then to touch a dog (in vivo). Response prevention - Relates to an intervention that blocks the escape from the feared object or situation. Kids are encouraged to confront anxiety provoking thoughts, situations or objects to show that they are unrealistically connected with danger. Response (ritual) prevention (RP)* is an important component of treating OCD in children. A decrease in the urge to engage in ritualistic behavior occurs when kids are exposed to obsessional cues but are prevented from engaging in the ritual. Anxiety and discomfort are reduced over time as kids learn that nothing bad will happen if the ritual is not performed. Relapse prevention - Follow-up to maintain treatment goals. Methods can include keeping a diary of ongoing progress and challenging stress provoking thoughts.


The Coping Cat Program provides a child with new information and ways of coping with situations that previously generated anxiety and fear.


Ordering Information for the Coping Cat Program and Assessment Tool

For children ages 8-13

Cognitive-behavior therapy for anxious children: therapist manual, 2nd ed. by Philip C. Kendall, Ph.D.
Cost: $13.00
ISBN: 1-888805-13-7 


Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxious children: therapist manual for group treatment. By Ellen Flannery-Schroeder, Ph.D., and Philip C. Kendall, Ph.D.
Cost: $13.00
ISBN: 1-888805-11-0 


Cognitive-behavioral family therapy for anxious children: therapist manual 2nd ed. by Bonnie Howard, Ph.D, Brain C. Chu, M.A., Amy L. Krain, M.A., Abbe L Marrs-Garcia, M.A. & Philip C. Kendall, Ph.D.
Cost: $13.00
ISBN: 1-888805-14-5 


Managing anxiety in youth: the "coping cat" video by Philip C. Kendall, Ph.D & W. Michael Nelson III, Ph.D.
Cost: $45.00
ISBN: 1-888805-16-1


For adolescents ages 14-17


"The C.A.T. project" manual for the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxious adolescents by Philip C. Kendall, Ph.D., Muniya Choudhurry, M.A., Jennifer Hudson, Ph.D., & Alicia Webb, M.S.
Cost: $17.00
ISBN: 1-888805-18-8


To order books or videos on coping cat visit: http://www.workbookpublishing.com/anxiety.html or call: (610) 896-9797 or fax: (610) 896-1955


A brief description of the books or videos listed at: http://www.workbookpublishing.com/anxiety.html

 Page Updated on 04/07/08