Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Title: Biases about biases : what do we really know about threat interpretation in childhood anxiety disorders
Cathy Creswell is a NIHR Research Professor at the University of Reading and an Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist in Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Her research focuses on the development and treatment of childhood anxiety disorders, with a particular emphasis on improving outcomes from and access to evidence based treatments.
CBT is generally considered to be the treatment of choice with children with anxiety disorders, despite surprisingly little being known about what maintains anxiety in children. Treatments typically include a major focus on modifying threatening interpretations, based on studies that have found that children and young people with anxiety disorders are more likely to interpret ambiguity in a threatening way than non-anxious children. These studies (including our own) have typically included children and young people from a broad age range and with a range of anxiety disorders. Furthermore few studies have examined causal influences of interpretation of ambiguity on anxiety. Our recent studies have raised a number of questions about the place of threat interpretation in models of childhood anxiety disorders and highlight the need to question our own biases about its central role.