Stress & Anxiety
It is possible for you and your children to live without being so overwhelmed by anxiety.
Our psychologists help many children, teens and families reduce stress and we help parents build resilience in their children and teens. Requests for assistance with stress and anxiety are the most frequent calls for help we receive.
Children and teens come to see us for worries about:
- school marks
- assignments and homework
- sleeping alone
- going to school
- presentations and answering questions in class
- meeting new children
- dying or a parent dying
- parental conflict
- parents’ stressful life circumstances such as job loss, financial troubles
- vomiting or “throwing up”
- and many other things…
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is the most effective therapy for anxiety.
Mindfulness meditation changes the way your child or teen relates to anxiety and stress and your child will learn to respond rather than react.
We will also teach your child or teen relaxation exercises and other good stress reduction tips such as maintaining good sleep hygiene, taking some downtime, and incorporating pleasant events into his or her daily life.
Here are some specific types of anxiety that your child or teen may like assistance with:
Worrying & Generalized Anxiety
This is exhausting. Your child or teen is worrying excessively about everyday things such as tests, marks, the future, health, appearance, being late, making mistakes or your family’s safety and health. All of these “what if’s?” may affect your child or teen’s ability to concentrate, reduce energy, and increase restlessness, fatigue and tension.
This impacts your child or teen’s enjoyment of social situations or gets in the way of being able to do fun activities or schoolwork. Your child may experience a fear of embarrassment or excessively worry about what others think. Your child may become quite nervous in certain situations such as going to birthday parties, giving presentations, being with peers, joining clubs or teams, or meeting new people.
This takes a lot of mental or physical energy. Your child or teen may be having recurrent intrusive thoughts and/or behaviours such as keeping things in order, keeping things clean, washing hands, checking illness symptoms on the internet, counting footsteps, or doing things in certain numbers such as “2’s” or “3’s”.
Your child may have difficulty going to school and cry, fuss or have a tantrum when going. Your child may not sleep alone or go on any sleepovers. Your child may contact you frequently throughout the day and worry about your safety or his or her safety. Your child may try to stay near you and have difficulty calming down when upset.
These are terrifying. Your child may feel a sudden rush of intense fear about fainting, dying, having a heart attack, losing control and/or going crazy. Associated physical symptoms can be racing heart, chest pain, dizziness, tingles, numbness, or feeling floaty.
These fears get in the way of your child or teen doing many activities. Your child may be afraid of dogs, insects, the dark, needles or something else. Your child may endure these situations with intense distress or avoid them.
Trauma and PTSD
These severe situations can have long-lasting effects on your child or teen’s life. If your child has experienced or witnessed a severe life event that replays in his or her mind a significant portion of time, or your child is having nightmares, or flashbacks, your child may have PTSD. Your child likely avoids situations that significantly increase anxiety or endures them with great distress. Your child may also be jumpy, tense and hypervigilant. Some children withdraw when they have been in a trauma and most develop significant anxiety.