Brief Transdiagnostic Intervention for Parents With Emotional Disorder Symptoms During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Example

Jill Ehrenreich-May, Elizabeth R. Halliday, Ashley R. Karlovich, Rinatte L. Gruen, Adriana C. Pino, Niza A. Tonarely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Concerns regarding parent mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic are justifiably on the rise. Although anxiety, depression, and traumatic stress levels have risen precipitously across all demographics during the pandemic, parents residing with their children are under particular and unique strain. Caregivers with children in the home are responsible not only for their own health, financial security, and safety during this time, but often full-time caregiving, household management and, in many cases, their children's schooling. In this case paper, we describe the development of the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders for Caregivers (UP-Caregiver) and provide a case example of its implementation. This 4-session indicated prevention for caregivers is a modification of existing versions of the Unified Protocols for adults and children, modified to maximize its responsiveness to issues faced by parents and caregivers living with youth (ages 6–13) during the current pandemic. UP-Caregiver was offered as part of a randomized, controlled trial via telehealth in a small group format to any parent with a child in the specified age range with mild or greater anxiety, depression or traumatic stress symptoms during an initial screening. The case example provided is of a White, Hispanic mother with a range of self-reported emotional disorder concerns at an initial assessment. Declines in anxiety, depression and traumatic stress symptoms were all noted, as well as improvements in parenting self-efficacy and distress tolerance 6-weeks after initiating UP-Caregiver. An ongoing randomized, controlled trial of UP-Caregiver will further evaluate the utility and feasibility of this approach to alleviate parental distress during COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Practice
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • anxiety
  • depression
  • parent
  • transdiagnostic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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