Separation Anxiety Disorder Specialists
Clinical Psychologists, Therapists, and Psychiatrists in Southlake and Flower Mound, TX
As parents, it's natural to be concerned when your child displays excessive and inappropriate fear or distress about being apart from you or other loved ones. At Dr. Messina & Associates in Southlake, Texas, and Flower Mound, Texas, our dedicated clinical psychologists, therapists, and psychiatrists specialize in providing compassionate care for children and teenagers struggling with separation anxiety disorder.
Understanding Separation Anxiety Disorder in Children
It’s entirely normal for toddlers to experience a period of separation anxiety. Your toddler may cry the first time you drop them off at daycare or leave them with a babysitter. In most cases, children tend to outgrow this stage by the time they reach around 3 years of age.
However, if your child experiences prolonged or intense separation anxiety that significantly interferes with their school or daily activities, it may be a sign of separation anxiety disorder. This specific anxiety often focuses on the fear of being separated from a parent or another close caregiver.
Recognizing the Signs of Separation Anxiety Disorder in Children
Recurrent Nightmares About Separation
Refusing to Be Away From Home Due to Separation Fears
Excessive and Recurrent Anxiety About Being Apart From Loved Ones
Persistent Worry About Losing a Parent or Loved One to Illness or Disaster
Constant Fear That Something Bad Will Happen, Leading To Separation From Loved Ones
Refusal to Sleep Away From Home Without a Parent or Loved One Nearby
Complaints of Physical Symptoms Like Headaches or Stomach Aches When Anticipating Separation
Some Children With a Separation Anxiety Disorder May Experience Panic Attacks and Sudden Episodes of Overwhelming Terror That Peak Within Minutes.
Diagnosis and Effective Treatment for Separation Anxiety Disorder
Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial to prevent future difficulties in school, work, and social relationships. To diagnose separation anxiety disorder, our experienced providers conduct a comprehensive psychological evaluation. Based on the assessment, they recommend a tailored treatment plan for your child’s specific condition.
At Dr. Messina & Associates, we utilize cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a highly effective form of psychotherapy for children with separation anxiety disorder. CBT equips your child with the tools to confront and manage their fears about separation. Additionally, it empowers parents and caregivers with the knowledge and strategies to support and encourage their child’s independence.
If you’d like to learn more about how CBT can help your child overcome separation anxiety disorder, we invite you to reach out to the caring team at the office of Dr. Messina & Associates. You can easily book an appointment online or contact us by phone today.