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Separation Anxiety Disorder

The LodeStone Center provides a variety of types of therapy for treating separation anxiety in children. It is our goal to match you with a therapist that will best fit your needs and provide you with the best care possible. If you would like more information, or would like to request a first visit with a therapist, you can either fill out the contact form on this page and we will get in touch with you or you can also call us directly at 847-802-4058.

What is Separation Anxiety?

It’s not at all uncommon for children to experience anxiety when separated from parents, siblings or their home environment. For some kids, however, this anxiety becomes debilitating. Separation Anxiety Disorder can lead to intense symptoms in the child, school refusal, and disruption to the functioning of the family as a whole. The child can begin to suffer academically as well as socially, and may start to show signs and symptoms of depression. This reaction is above and beyond what would be normally expected for most children, and parents are often left frustrated, worried and unsure how to resolve the situation. Children who suffer from separation anxiety many times come from a close knit family and have endured some major life change such as the death of a close pet or relative. It is also commonly seen when children are placed in a new environment, such as a move into a new neighborhood or switching schools. Anything that is perceived as a threat to the security of the child’s relationships or stability of home life can trigger this disorder in a child that is predisposed to experience anxiety.

What are the signs and symptoms of Separation Anxiety?

  • Recurrent and excessive distress on separation from home or major attachment figures
  • Homesickness
  • Fears that something bad (accident or illness) will transpire in attachment figures
  • Fears that he/she will be lost and never reunited with their parents
  • Reluctance or refusal to go to school, camp, or sleep at a friend’s house
  • Nightmares
  • Desire to sleep in parents’ and/or siblings bed
  • Physical complaints, such as stomachaches, nausea, vomiting, and headaches

What is Separation Anxiety Counseling?

Children with this disorder must go through the process of re-learning that the world is a safe place, while protecting their perceived “attachment security.” Child therapists use a range of behavioral and attachment-based interventions to encourage, reward, and build confidence. Counselors work with parents to find creative, real-world applications to the behavioral principles that help undo this learned fear response. The most beneficial aspect of therapy comes from the coping skills that the child begins to develop, which research suggests are permanent, helping them in adolescence and into adulthood. When separation anxiety develops, it can help to regularly meet with someone trained to help develop appropriate changes in thinking, behavior and in relationships that alleviate the symptoms.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding therapy for separation anxiety, please don’t hesitate to call and speak with one of our therapists. We are happy to answer questions, help look into your insurance benefits or explain how counseling might be beneficial to you. If you have questions, and would like to speak to one of our mental health professionals, contact us today.

Care for adults, children, and families.