Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Research Article

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Japanese Children and Adolescents with Anxiety Disorders: A Pilot Study

Shin-ichi Ishikawaa1 c1, Naoyasu Motomuraa2, Yasuo Kawabataa2, Hidetaka Tanakaa2, Sakie Shimotsua3, Yoko Satoa4 and Thomas H. Ollendicka5

a1 Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan

a2 Osaka Medical College, Japan

a3 Ryukoku University, Kyoto, Japan

a4 University of Miyazaki, Japan

a5 Child Study Center, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA


Background: Thirty-three Japanese children and adolescents diagnosed with an anxiety disorder participated in individual or group Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) that was modelled after evidence-based intervention programs developed in Western countries. Method: The treatment consisted of: (a) building rapport and education; (b) identifying emotions and recognizing cognitive self-talk; (c) challenging anxious self-talk; (d) developing an anxiety hierarchy and in vivo exposures; and (e) planning for future challenges. Results: Three months following treatment, 20 of the 33 children and adolescents (60.91%) no longer met criteria for their principal anxiety disorders and 16 (48.48%) were free from all anxiety disorders. Self-reported anxiety, depression, and cognitive errors also decreased significantly from pre- to post-treatment and these gains were maintained at 3-month follow-up. For the most part, similar outcomes were found in both the group and individual formats of CBT. Conclusions: This study provides preliminary support for the transportability of CBT in both an individual and group format to Japan.

(Online publication January 04 2012)


c1 Reprint requests to Shin-ichi Ishikawa, Faculty of Psychology, Doshisha University, Imadegawa-dori, Karasuma, Higashi-iru, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan 602-8580. E-mail: