(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Researchers from Tel Aviv University are suggesting that a computer-based treatment for children with anxiety could be an alternative to medication or even cognitive behavioral therapy.

The researchers say that utilizing a technique called Attention Bias Modification (ABM) on computers reduces anxiety in children because it draws them “away from their tendency to dwell on potential threats, ultimately changing their thought patterns.”

The initial clinical trial, which was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that ABM was equally as effective as medication or cognitive behavioral therapy.

“This could be a game-changer for providing treatment,” said researcher Yair Bar-Haim. Because children are comfortable with computers and because of the potential side effects of medications and the possible difficulty in obtaining cognitive behavioral therapy, he says, it is good to have an alternative treatment method like ABM.

Read the rest of the article 

Source: Tel Aviv University

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.

Follow Counseling Today on Twitter.