Fantasy-Exposure Life-Narrative Therapy (FELT) for anxious children : a pilot and feasibility study.
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Steadman, Jason L.
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A small, pilot study was conducted for the development of the Fantasy-Exposure Life-Narrative Therapy (FELT) treatment manual. One primary objective of the study is to investigate initial promise of efficacy of training therapists to use case conceptualization, analyze play themes, and use play interventions within a manualized play therapy. Child participants between the ages of 6 and 11 who presented with pathological anxiety that was neither trauma-related nor of the obsessive-compulsive type participated in the study. Initial screening included multirater-multimethod assessment and involved numerous broad- and narrow-band instruments (BASC-2, RCMAS-2, PSWQ-C) as well as a diagnostic and clinical interview. Of 9 potential recruits, 6 met full inclusion criteria, and 5 completed the full treatment program. Therapy lasted for 12 consecutive weeks, and assessment was conducted pre- and post-treatment and at 6-week follow-up. Qualitative feedback was also gathered using a structured format from all participants. Small sample size limited statistical power; however, effect sizes (Cohen's d) were calculated and found to be large or medium and ranged from 0.5 to 1.26, depending on the measure used. Additionally, a content analysis of qualitative data provided additional indicators of positive response to treatment. FELT displays promise as a potentially efficacious treatment for anxious children. Future randomized, controlled studies are currently being planned.