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Childhood Anxiety: Empowering Strategies and Effective Support

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Sat, 03/02/2019 - 04:33

On Thursday, February 28, Courtenay Elementary hosted a presentation by Julie-Anne Richards, a Registered Clinical Counselor and Psychoeducational Consultant, on Childhood Stress and Anxiety: Empowering Strategies and Effective Support. The presentation was tailored for parents, caregivers and educators supporting children ages 5-12.

Speaking to a full gymnasium of parents, caregivers, and educators, she offered strategies for identifying anxiety and how-tos and what-not-to-dos when trying to help a child with anxiety.

She describes children with anxiety as having super powers in that they are sponge for others emotions (empathetic), are good judges of character, are alert to actual dangers, and have above average emotional intelligence
 

Her goals in treating anxiety are to:

  • -Promote realistic estimation of danger.
  • -Foster confidence in ability to cope.
  • -Foster tolerance for uncertainty and unpredictability

She uses the CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) Thought Record to help children cope with their anxiety. It includes tools such as:

  • Mirror back the emotion you see: "I can see that this is really bothering you" (helps form a connection to child)
  • Acknowledgment: "If I believed what you believe right now, I would feel that way too!"
  • Map out the negatives: "Tell me, in your mind what is the worse that could happen?"
  • Map out the positives: "What is the best that can happen?"
  • Map out what they would do if the positive happened: " What would you do after?"
  • Map out the middle ground: " What is MOST likely to happen?"

It was an engaging talk that intertwined audience participation and humour, which made the two-hour presentation fly by in no time.

If you attended the presentation, you can also download a bonus handout from her website

presentation crowd
A full house was on hand for the presentation.
helpful books
Some helpful books for parents and children alike.