Discover more about our program and how you can get involved

The Pre-Schoolers Overcoming Phobias (POP!) program is currently examining the effectiveness of brief cognitive-behavioural treatment (CBT) for specific phobias in children 3 to 5 years of age. The study is a randomised controlled trial (RCT) aiming to learn more about the course of childhood fears in young children, and involves testing a novel, brief intervention for childhood phobias, which has proven effective in older children and with adults.

POP! is FREE and involves:

  • comprehensive psychological assessment
  • random assignment to one of two treatment conditions or a waitlist monitoring condition.
  • a series of follow-up phone calls spanning 24 months.

Principal Investigator

Associate Professor Lara Farrell

Ph: (07) 5678 8224


Relevant publications

  • Farrell, L., Waters, A., Oar, E., Tiralongo, E., Garbharran, V., Alston-Knox, C.,Ollendick, T. H. (2018). D-cycloserine-augmented one-session treatment of specific phobias in children and adolescents. Brain and Behaviour, 8(6), e00984.
  • Ollendick, T. H., Öst, L. G., & Farrell, L. J. (2018). Innovations in the psychosocial treatment of youth with anxiety disorders: implications for a stepped care approach. Evidence-based mental health, 21(3), 112-115.
  • Farrell, L. J., Kershaw, H., & Ollendick, T. (2018). Play-modified one-session treatment for young children with a specific phobia of dogs: A multiple baseline case series. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 49(2), 317-329.
  • Kershaw, H., Farrell, L. J., Donovan, C., & Ollendick, T. (2017). Cognitive behavioural therapy in a one-session treatment for a preschooler with specific phobias. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 31(1), 7-22.
  • Oar, E. L., Farrell, L. J., Conlon, E. G., Waters, A. M., & Ollendick, T. H. (2017). Patterns of Response and Remission Following a One-Session Treatment for Blood-Injection-Injury Phobia in Youth. Child & Family Behaviour Therapy, 39(1), 43-63.
  • Oar, E.L., Farrell, L.J., Waters, A.M., & Ollendick, T.H. (2016). Blood-Injection-Injury Phobia in Youth: Psychological characteristics relative to youth with Animal Phobia. Behaviour Therapy, 47, 3112-324.
  • Roberts, Farrell, Waters, Ollendick (2016). Parents' Perceptions of Novel Treatments for Child and Adolescent Specific Phobia and Anxiety Disorders. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, DOI 10.1007/s10578-015-0579-2
  • Oar, E. L., Farrell, L. J., & Ollendick, T. H. (2015). One Session Treatment for Specific Phobias: An Adaptation for Pediatric Blood-Injection-Injury Phobia in Youth. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review.
  • Oar, E.L., Farrell, L.J., Waters, A.M., Conlon, E.G., & Ollendick, T.H. (2015). One-Session Treatment for Pediatric Blood-Injection-Injury Phobia: A controlled multiple baseline trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 73, 131-142.
  • Ollendick, T. H., Halldorsdottir, T., Fraire, M. G., Austin, K. E., Noguchi, R. J., Lewis, K. M., ... & Whitmore, M. J. (2015). Specific phobias in youth: A randomised controlled trial comparing one-session treatment to a parent-augmented one-session treatment. Behaviour therapy, 46(2), 141-155.
  • Oar, E., & Farrell, L.J., (2014) Intensive Cognitive Behavioural Treatment Phobias in Youth. Psychopathology Review, 1(1), 175-181.
  • Waters, A. M., Farrell, L. J., Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J., Milliner, E., Tiralongo, E., Donovan, C. L., McConnell, H., Bradley, B. P., Mogg, K., & Ollendick, T. H. (2014). Augmenting one session treatment of children’s specific phobias with attention training towards positive stimuli. Behaviour Research and Therapy. 62, 107-119.
  • Ollendick, T. H., Öst, L. G., Reuterskiöld, L., Costa, N., Cederlund, R., Sirbu, C., ... & Jarrett, M. A. (2009). One-session treatment of specific phobias in youth: a randomized clinical trial in the United States and Sweden. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 77(3), 504.


  • Farrell, Ollendick and Muris. (Eds). (in press). Innovations in CBT for Childhood Anxiety, OCD & PTSD: Improving Access & Outcomes. Cambridge University Press.

Book Chapters

  • Milliner, E., Farrell, L.J., Ollendick, T.H. (2013). CBT for Childhood Specific Phobias (pp. 255 – 274). In Graham & Reynolds (Eds.), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in Children and Families, third edition. London: Cambridge University Press.
  • Oar, E., Farrell, L.J., Byrne, S., & Ollendick, T.H. (2017). Specific Phobia. In C.A. Flessner and J. Piacentini (Eds.). Clinical Handbook of Psychological Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Step-by-Step Treatment Manual. Guilford Press.

Get in touch

For more information, please visit our contact us page