Many children and teenagers refuse to attend school or have anxiety-related difficulties that stop them from remaining in classes for an entire day. School refusal behaviour can contribute to a child's academic, social and psychological problems, can impact upon their chances for future educational, financial and personal success, and can significantly affect family functioning. This Therapist Guide outlines treatment protocols based on CBT techniques that can be used to effectively address the main types of school refusal behaviour. It concentrates on four primary reasons why children typically refuse school: to relieve school-related distress; to avoid negative social or evaluative situations at school; to receive attention from a parent or a significant other; and to obtain tangible rewards outside of school. The guide includes tools for assessing a child's reasons for school refusal behaviour and presents well-tested techniques arranged by function to tailor treatment to a child's particular characteristics.
Each treatment package also contains a detailed discussion of special topics pertinent to treating young people with school refusal behaviour, such as medication, panic attacks and being teased. A corresponding Workbook is available for parents, who often play an important part in a child's recovery.