Child Anxiety Therapy

Lately, you’ve noticed that your child hasn’t seemed like themselves. As you think about it, things have been different for a while. They worry about everything, and you have no idea where these worries are coming from. It just doesn’t make sense to you.

Just when it seems like you are getting a handle on one fear or worry, another pops up in its place. Before you know it, old worries resurface. Your heart hurts for how much your child worries and you want to make it better.

You realize they are more reluctant to do things you know they enjoy. Incentives and encouragement no longer work to get them to do what they once loved to do.

Your child asks questions over and over, even when they know the answer. They obsess over knowing the tiniest details and need to be constantly reminded of what you tell them. You have no idea where their need for control has come from, but it’s getting overwhelming.

You feel for your child and hate seeing them paralyzed by fear and worry. You want to make it better, but nothing seems to help. Your child’s anxiety is starting to take your family hostage – creeping into everything. Your family life revolves around their anxiety.

You just want them to enjoy their childhood. You want them to know that they don’t need to worry about all of these things. You want them to feel confident. You want them to know that they can handle whatever comes their way. You want to be able to help them through this.

That’s where I come in. I work with you and your child to make sure they understand their anxiety, and that they can overcome it. I will teach you what you can do so that you’re confident that you’re helping rather than wondering if you are making it worse.

Our work together will focus on:

  • Teaching your child, and you, all about anxiety
  • Introducing relaxation and mindfulness to help your child reduce anxiety when it comes up
  • Techniques to help recognize and change unhelpful, anxiety-increasing thinking
  • Recognizing “threats” in a more accurate way
  • Parent support and training to help you help your child
  • Practice, Practice, Practice! Most weeks I will give specific practice tasks for your child to work on between sessions

Keep in mind, the goal isn’t to get rid of anxiety. The goal is to experience anxiety when it makes sense and to keep it at a manageable level. This is what we’ll accomplish. And when we do, your child will be able to have fun without a life of hesitation. Your child will know how to use their anxiety in a healthy and helpful way. They will be able to take control of their emotions – all of them.

Quick Tips for Parents

  1. As tempting as it can be, don’t let your child avoid things because of anxiety. This just reinforces the idea that they should be scared.
  2. Respect/validate the feeling without giving it power. Acknowledge that they are feeling anxious and let them know that you understand.
  3. Express belief in them and their ability to tolerate, handle, and overcome the anxiety. Let them know that you are there to help them through it.

As a Parent, Are You Also Anxious?

I often hear from parents of anxious kids that they also have anxiety, or experienced it as a kid. If you struggle with anxiety, you already know how hard life can be. Your own anxiety might make it harder to help your child and can interfere with being able to help them through theirs. You might need to work hard to keep your anxiety from getting in the way of helping. Because children can sense when an adult is having a hard time, it is important to recognize when your own anxiety might unintentionally worsen your child’s. But rest assured. You didn’t cause your child’s anxiety. Just like I can help your child to reduce and manage their anxiety, I can help you learn to manage yours as well. You can find more information about anxiety here.