Full Course Description
Helping Anxious Kids - Module 1
Anxiety is a very persistent master. When it moves into families, it takes over daily routines, schoolwork, and recreation. Depression is often close on its heels.
The most frequent comment I hear from anxious families is “no one told them what to DO.” After multi-session assessment or months of appointments, they still didn’t have a clear plan or understanding of HOW to respond when anxiety shows up.
Imagine being able to offer families immediate and effective tasks to weaken anxiety’s grip!
What if, during a first session, you could give your clients the information and a road map to change the powerful patterns of anxiety disorders?
Join Lynn Lyons, LICSW, internationally recognized psychotherapist, author and speaker, in an intensive 3-day training. She will teach you HOW to interrupt anxiety’s cognitive patterns with simple, process-based strategies. You’ll focus on concrete and often counter-intuitive strategies that normalize worry for families and provide an “umbrella approach” that applies to all anxiety disorders.
Leave this 3-day workshop with new techniques to break the anxiety cycle:
- Untangle complicated presentations of anxiety
- Combat the challenges of somatic symptoms
- Avoid the big mistakes with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- The importance of prioritizing interventions
- … and MORE!
A Process-Based Approach to Anxiety
- Don’t fall into the Content Trap:
- Process of anxiety matters more than the content of the child’s fears
- Patterns of Worried Families;
- ”Don’t Do the Disorder”:
- How to avoid mirroring and supporting the anxiety disorder
Four Critical Concepts: The Foundation of a Skill-Based Approach
- Content versus Process:
- Moving kids and parents out of the details of worry and into a process based approach that applies to all anxiety disorders
- We Are Eliminating Nothing:
- Getting rid of symptoms doesn’t work with paradoxical anxiety
- How to Get on Offense:
- Changing the relationship to worry
- Creating Playful Connection:
- Offer solutions to Anxiety’s demands
Laying the Groundwork: What Families Need to Know Upfront
- Getting Out of the Anxiety Cult:
- Breaking the Anxiety Culture – escaping the high demands of school, home, social life …
- Create a new framework for families to separate from generational anxiety
- The importance of psychoeducation:
- Explanation activates treatment
- Cognitive Patterns:
- Recognize anxiety and interrupt common thought patterns
Putting It Together: Seven Puzzle Pieces
- Expect Worry
- Talk to Worry
- Get Uncomfortable and Unsure ON PURPOSE
- Know What You Want
- Bridge Back to Your Successes
- Take Action on Your Plan
Creating Interventions and Homework: Tasks that Teach
- Role Playing: The importance of experiential learning and practice
- Using Rewards and Consequences: The ins and outs of parent coaching
- Examples of My Favorite Assignments:
- Wall of Flexibility
- Spaghetti Challenge
- Photo Album Investigation
- Ten Good Things … and many more
Schools, Accommodations, and Parents
- Creating Effective Behavioral Plans
- Skill-Based Goals versus Avoidance-Based Plans
- Case Studies and Common Issues
When it’s not just Anxiety …
Untangling Complicated Presentations with Three Frames for Treatment and Prevention
- Experience is Variable: Creating Flexibility in a Rigid System
- The Value of Parts: Skills to Combat Global Thinking
- Action Counts: Counteracting the Passivity of Anxiety and Depression
The Challenge of Somatic Symptoms
- Taking Full Advantage of Relaxation: Are we missing opportunities? (Yes!)
- The Safety Behavior Trap: Common Ways We Exacerbate Physical Symptoms
- Common Diagnoses with Anxious Children (eg GI issues, insomnia, headaches)
- The Mind-Body Connection: What Kids (and Adults) Should Know
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: The Importance of Process
- Myths and Current Research
- The Biggest mistakes therapists make with OCD
- Diagnosis and Misdiagnosis
- Creating a Family Plan
- The benefit of direct language and psychoeducation for families
Anxiety, ASD, OCD: A Tangled Web
- The Executive Overload Model
- Attention and Focus?
- Internal versus External Focus
- The importance of prioritizing interventions
When There’s a Trauma History
- What Modifications are Needed?
- A Cognitive Approach and Complex PTSD?
- The Concept of Differentiation
- Coach adults to interrupt their own patterns of anxious parenting to decrease the modeling of family anxiety.
- Implement active assignments for families that correct the common cognitive traps that bolster both anxiety and depression.
- Articulate the difference between content-based and process-based interventions as it relates to treatment.
- Develop a therapeutic toolbox to include playfulness, humor, games, collaboration, and active homework assignments to reduce anxiety symptoms.
- Create interventions that focus on interrupting the process of OCD in families rather than the content of the OCD.
- Incorporate role playing and active techniques in session with families to facilitate emotional expression and increase engagement in therapy.
- Teach families strategies to decrease the impact of and connection between anxiety, GI symptoms, headaches, and sleep issues.
- Implement the “7 puzzle pieces” of a skill-based treatment plan for decreasing symptoms of anxiety.
- Minimize the use of avoidant and safety behaviors that strengthen anxiety in families.
- Explain to families how to worry and anxiety process works in the brain and body to maximize effectiveness of psychoeducation.
- Provide psychoeducation to parents and children and the relationship to quality of sleep and symptoms of anxiety.
- Incorporate relaxation skills and techniques to effectively treat somatic symptoms of anxiety.
- Consider the differences in clinical presentation of OCD, ADHD and other anxiety diagnoses in order to best inform choice of treatment interventions.
- Adapt a treatment intervention strategy to meet the clinical needs of children with trauma histories.
- Consider the impact of anxiety disorders on attention and focus in order to more accurately diagnosis and intervene with anxious children.
- Adapt a process-based treatment approach to clients with ASD with the goal of increasing flexibility and social engagement.
- Write effective behavioral plans and IEP goals for use in schools.
- Create at least three homework assignments that experientially promote flexibility and an offensive approach to worry.
Medications in the Treatment of Anxiety
- Relate the clinical implications of how SSRIs and SNRIs promote the process of treating anxiety.
- Identify detrimental effects of benzodiazepines as it relates to anxiety treatment outcomes.
- Examine the mechanism of action, onset of improvement, side effects, and consequences of long term use of medications.
Medications and Anxiety Treatments
- The role of therapists regarding medications
- Anxiety management, not anxiety elimination, is the goal
- Beneficial effects of Medications
- Assessing and addressing medication during the initial intake
- Respecting the relationship between the prescriber and client
- Educating clients about the role of medication in treating anxiety
- What are the approved Medications for treating anxiety?
CBT vs. Medications: Comparing Effectiveness and Durability Copyright :
- SSRIs and SNRIs
- The impact of benzodiazepines on therapeutic interventions
- The problem of rebound from benzodiazepine use
- Beta blockers
- Choosing the right medication for specific anxiety disorders
- Mechanisms of Action: How these drugs work
- Explaining the effects to clients
- Benefits, disadvantages, and risks of medications
- Factors that influence the usefulness of medications
- Monitoring therapeutic effects
Lynn Lyons’ Working with Childhood Anxiety
- Teach clients to externalize anxiety as a way to recognize and respond to its patterns
- Design experiential assignments that support exposure and increased activity for anxious clients
- Relate the connection between anxiety and depression in adolescents and its treatment implications
- Create process-based interventions with anxious families to reduce symptoms of worry.
- Describe the pitfalls of accommodations when addressing childhood anxiety as it relates to treatment outcomes
- Explain and utilize the 3 EX’s to families for anxiety symptom management
- Prescribe assignments for anxious families that promote flexibility and tolerance
- Develop effective goals for students to address anxiety symptoms in a school setting
Introductions – Meet Lynn’s Clients and Their Challenges
Principles, Strategies and Techniques
- Stacy – fear of driving and heights, uncertainty
- Addison – rigid rule follower, worries about others, doesn’t want things to go wrong
- Landon – chronic worry, intolerant of change and uncertainty, reassurance seeking
Next Steps and Future Plans Copyright :
- Going on offense with anxiety
- Moving out of the comfort zone
- Don’t get caught up in the content
- Internal and External focus
- What can you control?
- Worry, What-Ifs?, and Problem Solving
- Externalizing and talking back to Anxiety and Worry
- Using Exposure Therapies
- The paradox of elimination strategies
- Recognizing and tolerating uncertainty
- Stop accommodating! Learn to tolerate worry
- The three EX’s for dealing with worry
- Permanent thinking and building reminder bridges
- Coaching families on managing anxiety symptoms
- Addressing anxiety in a school setting