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The Coping Cat program is a CBT manual-based and comprehensive treatment program for children from 7 to 13 years old with separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and/or related anxiety disorders.[1] It was designed by Philip C. Kendall, PhD, ABPP, and colleagues at the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic at Temple University.[2] A related program called C.A.T. Project is aimed at adolescents aged 14 to 17.[3] See publishers webpage []

The goals of the treatment are three-fold:[4]

  • the child learns to recognize, experience, and cope with anxiety
  • the child learns to manage their level of anxiety
  • the child learns to master developmentally appropriate, challenging, and difficult tasks


In 16 individual therapy program is divided into two parts: The first eight sessions are the training segment, and the second eight sessions are the practice (exposure tasks) segment). Sessions last approximately 50 minutes. In addition, two sessions between the therapist and the parent(s)/guardian(s) are scheduled at session 4 and session 9. While the therapist follows a treatment manual, the youth uses the Coping cat workbook to guide completion of the exercises and to aid involvement and skill acquisition.

The therapist and youth together create a personalized FEAR plan for the youth to use in anxiety-provoking situations. FEAR stands for Feeling frightened?; Expecting bad things to happen?; Actions and attitudes that can help?; Results and rewards.

Youth are also given homework, referred to as a STIC (Show That I Can) task.[5]


Coping Cat is a "well supported" intervention for treating separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.[6] Based on the numerous rigorous research evaluations, the program has met the criteria for an "empirically supported treatment".[7] The program has been evaluated in several randomized clinical trials with one-year follow-up data conducted both in the United States,[8][9] Norway,[10] and in Australia.[11] The outcomes have been very favorable, with 3.35 year-follow-up of one study[12] and 7.4 year follow-up of the second study[13] providing evidence of the maintenance gains. One trial comparing the effects of Coping Cat, sertraline, and their combination, demonstrated that youths who received the combination of Coping Cat and medication received the most benefits, and both Coping Cat and sertraline alone resulted in significant improvements that were also greater than a pill placebo.[14] Coping Cat has also been found to be effective in treating children with anxiety with high-function autism spectrum disorder.[15]


  • Adolescents: The C.A.T. Project is a version of Coping Catin a format and with language that is designed for adolescents aged 14 to 17.[3]
  • Group: A group version of Coping Cathas also been designed to work with 4 to 5 children together.[16][10]
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Family Therapy for Anxious Children[17]
  • Prevention: The prevention program based on Coping catis called EMOTION. It is designed for youth and their parents and targets both anxiety and depression. The program reduced the likelihood of children developing an anxiety disorder 6 months post-treatment.[18]
  • Other languages: The Coping Cat has been translated into Spanish,[19] Chinese, Hungarian, Japanese, and Norwegian.[6]
  • Computer assisted: Camp Cope-A-Lotis an online computer-based program based on Coping Catdeveloped by the authors of the Coping Catprogram. Camp Cope-A-Lotis designed to be used by school and mental health professionals working with children 7-13 struggling with anxiety. Camp Cope-A-Lothas been evaluated as a 12-week computer-assisted treatment, with 6 computer-guided and 6 therapist-guided sessions[20]
  • Parent Training: The Child Anxiety Tales program is an online parent-training program based on the cognitive-behavioral principles from the Coping Cat. Child Anxiety Tales can be found at

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kendall, P. C., Crawford, E. A., Kagan, E. R., Furr, J. M., & Podell, J. L. (2017). "Child-Focused Treatment of Anxiety". In J. R. Weisz & A. E. Kazdin (ed.). Evidence-Based Psychotherapies for Children and Adolescents. New York, NY: The Gilford Press. pp. 17–34.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Kendall, P.C., & Hedtke, K.A. (2006). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxious children: Therapist manual (3rd ed.). Ardmore, PA: Workbook Publishing.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b Kendall, Choudhury, Hudson, & Webb (2002). "The C.A.T. Project Manual".CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Tracy L. Morris; John S. March (MD.) (January 2004). Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents. Guilford Press. p. 313. ISBN 978-1-57230-981-4.
  5. ^ Eva Szigethy; John R. Weisz; Robert L. Findling (1 January 2012). Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Children and Adolescents. American Psychiatric Pub. p. 231. ISBN 978-1-58562-406-5.
  6. ^ a b "CEBC » Coping Cat › Program › Detailed". Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  7. ^ Hollon, S. D. & Beck, A. T. (2013). "Cognitive and cognitive-behavioral therapies". In Lambert MJ (ed.). Bergin and Garfield's Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change (6th ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Wiley.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Kendall, P. C. (1994). "Treating anxiety disorders in children: Results of a randomized clinical trial". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 62: 100–110. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.62.1.100.
  9. ^ Kendall, P. C.; Flannery-Schroeder, E.; Panichelli-Mindel, S. M.; Southam-Gerow, M. A.; Henin, A.; Warman, M. (1997). "Therapy for youths with anxiety disorders: A second randomized clinical trial". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 65 (3): 366–380. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.65.3.366.
  10. ^ a b Villabø, M.; Narayanan, M.; Compton, S.; Kendall, P. C.; Neumer, S. (2018). "Cognitive-behavioral therapy for youth anxiety: An effectiveness evaluation in community practice". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
  11. ^ Barrett, P. M., Dadds, M. R., & Rapee, R. M. (1996). "Family treatment of childhood anxiety: A controlled trial". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 64 (2): 333–342. doi:10.1037/0022-006x.64.2.333.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Kendall, P. C.; Southam-Gerow, M. A. (1996). "Long-term follow-up of a cognitive–behavioral therapy for anxiety-disordered youth". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 64 (4): 724–730. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.64.4.724.
  13. ^ Kendall, P. C., Safford, S., Flannery-Schroeder, E., & Webb, A. (2004). "Child anxiety treatment: Outcomes in adolescence and impact on substance use and depression at 7.4-year follow-up". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 7 (2): 276–287. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.72.2.276. PMID 15065961.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ Walkup, J. T.; Albano, A. M.; Piacentini, J.; Birmaher, B.; Compton, S. N.; Sherrill, J. T.; et al. (2008). "Cognitive behavioral therapy, sertraline, or a combination in childhood anxiety". The New England Journal of Medicine. 359 (26): 2753–2766. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0804633. PMC 2702984. PMID 18974308.
  15. ^ Keehn, R. H. M.; Lincoln, A. J.; Brown, M. Z.; Chavira, D. A. (2013). "The Coping Cat program for children with anxiety and autism spectrum disorder: a pilot randomized controlled trial". Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 43 (1): 57–67. doi:10.1007/s10803-012-1541-9. PMC 3537891. PMID 22588377.
  16. ^ Manassis, K., Mendlowitz, S. L., Scapillato, D., Avery, D., Fiksenbaum, L., Freire, M., ... & Owens, M. (2002). "Group and individual cognitive-behavioral therapy for childhood anxiety disorders: A randomized trial". Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 41: 1423–1430. doi:10.1097/00004583-200212000-00013.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ Kendall, P.C., Hudson, J., Gosch, E., Flannery-Schroeder, E., & Suveg, C. (2008). "Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety disordered youth: A randomized clinical trial evaluating child and family modalities". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 76: 282–297. doi:10.1037/0022-006x.76.2.282.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ Rodriguez, K., Kendall, P. C., Stark, K., & Martinsen, K. (2013). EMOTION: Coping kids' workbook. Ardmore, PA: Workbook Publishing.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ Kendall, Hedtke, & Ramirez. El Gato Valiente: Cuaderno de Actividades (2nd ed.). Workbook Publishing.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ Khanna, M. S., & Kendall, P. C. (2008). "Computer-assisted CBT for child anxiety: The Coping Cat CD-ROM". Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. 15: 159–165. doi:10.1016/j.cbpra.2008.02.002.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)