Objective: The primary objective of this study was to provide an initial test of the efficacy of acceptance-based behavioural therapy in reducing pathological worry and anxious symptomology in children. A secondary objective was to examine the benefit of supplementing standard acceptance-based behavioural therapy with a multisensory learning aide (MSA). The MSA provides kinaesthetic, tactile, and visual stimuli to facilitate children's understanding of acceptance-based behavioural therapy principles and the development of acceptance- and mindfulness-based skills. Method: Two variations of an acceptance-based behavioural therapy treatment were administered over 8 weeks to children aged 7–11 years: a standard acceptance-based behavioural therapy treatment condition, and a condition that supplemented acceptance-based behavioural therapy with a novel MSA. Anxious symptomology and pathological worry were measured at pre-treatment and post-treatment. A program evaluation questionnaire was also administered to parents at post-treatment. Results: Results demonstrated that children in the acceptance-based behavioural therapy with a novel MSA condition reported significant reductions in worry and anxious symptomology at post-treatment. Furthermore, parents in this condition reported the model to be effective in helping their children understand concepts of acceptance, defusion, and meta-cognition. Conclusions: The present study found that acceptance-based behavioural therapy, adapted for children and supplemented with a novel multisensory aide designed specifically to enhance treatment, led to reductions in child-reported worry and parent-reported anxiety. Parental feedback suggested that the multisensory aide was highly acceptable, and that it may have facilitated children's understanding of abstract therapeutic principles.
- acceptance-based behavioural therapy