How can I tell if a child has problematic anxiety?
This module introduces you to anxiety, what it looks like in children and teenagers, in terms of their feelings, their thinking, their actions, and their physical selves. It compares “normal” or typical worries that children have to the kinds of anxiety that can be problematic. It also introduces the concept of a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy model to help us structure the help we can offer.
Understanding how a child’s brain processes anxiety.
We cover the concept of the “upstairs” or “thinking” brain (neocortex) and how it has evolved to be involved in rational thought, planning, judging risk, problem-solving and mediating our impulsivity. We also look at the concept of the “downstairs” or “feeling” brain (brainstem) and how it is involved in our instinctive responses to stimuli, our strong and intense feelings (love, hunger, fear, anger, etc). We use this understanding to learn how children then perceive and deal with risk. (with thanks to Dr Dan Siegel for the "upstairs, downstairs" analogy!)
Be Still my Racing Heart
Helping children to respond to the physical symptoms of anxiety.
We focus on understanding the physicality of anxiety, giving you the skills to teach a child about what is happening in their body and two techniques that they can use to reduce their levels of adrenaline, such that they physically feel less anxious.
I Think Therefore I Am
How a child’s cognition's affect anxiety.
We look at the impact of thinking on a child’s subsequent behavior and feelings. Specifically, we cover what kinds of thinking patterns a child might be stuck with that could increase anxiety and look at ways to help a child to challenge and overcome common anxious thoughts, including two specific techniques to help them be more in charge of their thinking.
Walk in my Shoes
How children’s emotional understanding impacts on anxiety.
We look at how children process their emotions, including anxiety, showing how children’s anxious feelings can get “bottled up”. We then look at how those bottled up anxious feelings will impact on a child’s inner emotional world. We covered the concept of empathy and what it looks and sounds like when we use it with children to help them create congruent emotional experiences that fit with their experiences of the world.
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway
Addressing a child’s anxious behaviour.
We cover the effect that role-modelling will have on children’s or teenager’s anxiety. We explore the four most likely behavioural responses a child will have to anxiety. We learn how to help children be more in touch with their bodies, and use physical activity to relieve anxiety. We cover the “zone of proximal development” such that it can guide us in creating the right kind of behavioural experiments for children to challenge their anxious thoughts or behaviours.
I Worry Too
Resolving adult anxiety so we can help children resolve theirs.
We look at how adults can become more aware of their own anxieties (that might be making children’s anxieties worse). We learn a whole series of effective stress/anxiety reduction techniques that adults can use to deal with their own anxieties, freeing them up to be better able to support children’s worries.
A Second Opinion
Knowing when a child’s anxiety might need professional help.
We look at a range of common anxiety disorders that might indicate a child needs more help than we can offer. Specifically, we explore OCD, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Selective Mutism and a range of Phobias.
When kids get anxious they need us adults to help them make sense of their worries and to give them the skills and strategies to cope with it. This course is designed to equip you to do just that!
This course is for anybody who either lives with children, cares for children or works with children
Deepen your understanding with background information provided about anxiety as well as further exploring how the workings of the brain relate to anxiety
You will be provided with lots of take away strategies to enable you to work with the child to help them process and deal with their anxiety, so it doesn't stay a problem for them in the long term
The main aim is that the person doing this course comes away with great confidence, a set of skills, techniques and ideas they can use to help children with anxiety, as well as addressing any personal adult anxiety
The course is written to support children within the age range of 6 to 18 years old
What people are saying
In his own words…”I wasn’t always known for being on the TV. Before I got “found” by a television producer I was already a busy clinical psychologist and I have always specialised in working with children, teenagers and their families. I’ve been a psychologist for over 20 years.
Before I started working as a psychologist, I studied for years in University College Dublin. I did several degrees there, the last of which was my Masters in Psychological Science, the degree that qualifies me as a clinical psychologist here in Ireland.
When I am not working I hang out with my family. We live in Co Clare; I’m married with three children, two of whom are teenagers. I try to practice what I preach, but I am sure they could tell you the truth… which is that I make as many mistakes as anyone in parenting.”
David has become best known in Ireland as the presenter of the hit RTÉ television series Families in Trouble, 21st Century Child, Teens in the Wild and Families in the Wild and the IFTA awarding winning documentary Bullyproof.
David is a weekly expert contributor to the Health and Living Supplement with the Irish Independent newspaper every Monday. He is also a regular contributor to the Sean O'Rourke Show on RTÉ Radio 1, as their parenting and family expert.
David is also a bestselling author of “Parenting is Child’s Play” a guide to raising young children. His second book, is a guide for parents of teenagers called “Parenting is Child’s Play: The Teenage Years”. David’s third book “The Thriving Family” is a guide to having a happy and harmonious family life, across all ages and stages of family.
David is co-founder of Headspace Adventures, an adventure therapy programme for teenagers. Alongside Sinéad Pollock-Orr (Adventure Leader), Headspace Adventuress transport teenagers to the wilds of the Atlantic coast of Ireland, to experience real adventure, like coasteering, abseiling, kayaking and more, in a week long group setting. Alongside the adventure, David guides participants in a strengths-based programme of development, focused on personal development and dealing with stresses, anxieties and low self-esteem.
David still practices as a Clinical Psychologist and unsurprisingly specialises in working with children, teenagers and their families. David is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Psychology in UCD, Dublin and is also an ambassador for the ISPCC.
Anokha Learning are delighted to collaborate with David in developing his first online course ‘Scared Kids - Helping Children to Cope with Anxiety’.