Childhood and adolescence are critical times for emotional and psychological development. During these stages, anxiety patterns can begin that continue into adulthood. Anxiety represents our body’s natural alarm system, signalling the possibility of danger. When this response arises too frequently or intensely and doesn’t match actual situations of danger, it can interfere with life and cause great distress. Having caregivers who are equipped to support and teach children and youth skills for managing and interrupting their anxiety patterns is crucial for early intervention. This workshop will provide a structure for understanding how anxiety works in the nervous system. Participants will also learn a diverse range of skills that can be taught and practiced with children and youth. These skills are designed to decrease anxiety and expand the capacity for managing emotions and anxious thought patterns.

Some of the Topics Reviewed

  • Anxiety and its Natural Purpose
  • The Link to Caregiver Response
  • The Nature of Stress, Fear, and Anxiety
  • Understanding the Stress Response System
  • Statistics: Prevalence and Trends
  • Overview of Working with Anxiety
  • Body-Oriented Anxiety Reduction Strategies
  • Mind-Body Anxiety Reduction Strategies
  • Cognitive-Behavioural Anxiety Reduction Strategies
  • Building a New Pattern: Steps Toward Change

Target Audience

This is an introductory level workshop intended for parents, childcare providers, school personnel, support workers, and anyone working in a helping role with children or youth struggling with anxiety.

Method of Delivery

Presentation, video, case study exercises, experiential practice, personal reflection, and small group discussions.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the definition and role of anxiety
  • Identify when anxiety is becoming more ‘disordered’
  • Describe how anxiety manifests in the brain and nervous system
  • Recognize signs of regulation
  • Identify an integrated plan for treating anxiety
  • Apply strategies for increasing regulation and reducing anxiety