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BACKGROUND: Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is common. It usually starts in adolescence, and without treatment can disrupt key developmental milestones. Existing generic treatments are less effective for young people with SAD than with other anxiety disorders, but an adaptation of an effective adult therapy (CT-SAD-A) has shown promising results for adolescents. AIMS: The aim of this study was to conduct a qualitative exploration to contribute towards the evaluation of CT-SAD-A for adoption into Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). METHOD: We used interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to analyse the transcripts of interviews with a sample of six young people, six parents and seven clinicians who were learning the treatment. RESULTS: Three cross-cutting themes were identified: (i) endorsing the treatment; (ii) finding therapy to be collaborative and active; challenging but helpful; and (iii) navigating change in a complex setting. Young people and parents found the treatment to be useful and acceptable, although simultaneously challenging. This was echoed by the clinicians, with particular reference to integrating CT-SAD-A within community CAMHS settings. CONCLUSIONS: The acceptability of the treatment with young people, their parents and clinicians suggests further work is warranted in order to support its development and implementation within CAMHS settings.

Original publication




Journal article


Behav Cogn Psychother

Publication Date



1 - 15


CAMHS, CBT, IPA, adolescents, psychological therapy, qualitative, social anxiety disorder, young people