School Refusal

CBT Treatment For School Anxiety

A focused training to treat children who can’t or won’t go to school.

Learn How to Help clients get back to school

Chronic school tardiness and poor school attendance are often symptoms of anxiety about school. Learn to treat school avoidance effectively before your clients suffer long-term, negative consequences.

School refusals can be hard to accept, let alone work through for both parents and students. Inside this training, participants will learn:


Learn how to identify the anxiety triggers that are causing the school avoidance behavior.


Learn how to use psychoeducation to help the student, parent, and school personnel understand the anxiety and why returning to school is important.


Learn how to set up accommodations as temporary scaffolding to facilitate the student’s return to school.

Learn from Clinical Examples and Nationally Recognized Experts

This class highlights a clinical example of a child who overcame school anxiety, an interview with an school refusal expert, and a roleplayed exposure.

Learn from school refusal expert, Johanna Kaplan, PhD. She’s the founding Director of Washington Anxiety Center.

This class is led by Elizabeth DuPont Spencer, LCSW-C. Spencer is a licensed clinical social worker, board approved supervisor, and trainer. She has been in private practice in Rockville, Maryland for almost 30 years. Elizabeth graduated from Columbia University and received her clinical training at the National Institutes of Health. She is a Founding Clinical Fellow of the Anxiety and Depression Association of American (ADAA) where she also earned the Clinician Outreach Award and the Clinician of Distinction Award. She has co-authored several books, including The Anxiety Cure and The Anxiety Cure for Kids.

Why Take This Course?

School Refusal describes the behavior of an anxious child who either refuses to go to school, has frequent difficulty getting to school on time due to anxiety, or frequent absences due to anxiety.

While many children experience some of these symptoms, especially during transition times of school (starting elementary, middle, and high school), historically 1 – 3% of children have School Refusal in any given year.

Anecdotal reports and preliminary research shows that rates are on the rise due to the disruptions from the pandemic, making it vital for mental health providers to understand how to successfully treat this problem before it leads to negative long-term consequences for the child.

Studies show that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is highly successful in treating children with School Refusal – at a one-year follow-up, the majority of children who completed treatment were attending school.

In this 1-hour training, you will learn why it’s important to understand how a child may be avoiding school to solve a problem, the warning signs to watch for, how to set realistic goals, and the specific steps to take to help the child get back to school.

Course Curriculum

  • On-Demand Instruction
  • Review of Anxiety Disorders that may contribute to School Refusal
  • Warning signs of increased anxiety
  • Case Study & Clinical Example: Interview with a mother whose daughter overcame School Anxiety
  • School Refusal complications to watch for
  • Evaluating the severity of the problem
  • Expert Perspective: Interview With School Refusal Specialist, Johanna Kaplan, PhD.
  • Goal setting and using Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)
  • Role Played Demonstration: An exposure example
  • Using accommodations appropriately
  • Helping the child move toward valued activity
  • Celebrating success
  • Assess Your learning

Continuing Education & Approved Accrediting Agencies

Anxiety Training, ACE Provider Number 1637, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. Anxiety Training maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (10/17/22 – 10/17/25). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 12 continuing education clock hours.
New York State Education Department’s State Board of Social Work
Anxiety Training is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0640.

Anxiety Training has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7108. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Anxiety Training is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's Included in the class?

When you purchase this class, you receive one hour of content taught by an expert providers and continuing education credit to advance your career.

How long do I have to complete the class??

Complete this one-hour class the day you purchase it, or as it fits into your life. You will have one year of access to the content so you can decide when you complete it.

However, we do recommend completing it as soon as you can, so you can start creating life-changing results for your clients.

How long do I have access to the content?

You have one year of access so you can return to the curriculum as you need.

How do I receive CE credit? How many CEs do I get?

To receive CE credit, you must complete the classes, answer the completion questions correctly, review each handout, and complete the course evaluations. If you do not answer the questions correctly, review the materials and re-take the tests.

A CE certificate will be immediately emailed to you once you have completed the requirements for each class.

This class qualifies for one continuing education hour.

What accommodations does Anxiety Training make?

We are committed to making this course accessible to all.  Contact to request accommodations.  In some cases, documentation is requested for review.