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How CBT can help children who worry

Updated: Apr 18



Help with child worry





🌟 Understanding and Supporting Your Child's Anxiety: A Comprehensive Guide for Parents 🌟



Hello Parents,


Parenting is a journey filled with twists and turns, and one of the toughest challenges you may face is helping your child navigate through worries and anxiety. As a psychologist specializing in child development, I'm here to offer insights into why children experience worry, particularly in the context of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can make a significant difference for your child and your family.



Understanding Your Child's Worries

Worrying is a natural part of life, but when it becomes excessive and interferes with daily functioning, it may indicate the presence of GAD. Children with GAD often experience persistent, uncontrollable worry about various aspects of their lives, such as school, relationships, and their future. These worries can be overwhelming and may manifest in physical symptoms like stomach-aches or headaches.



Why Do Children Worry?

Understanding the underlying factors contributing to your child's anxiety is crucial in providing effective support. Genetics, temperament, environmental stressors, and learned behaviours all play a role in a child's propensity to worry excessively. Additionally, children may develop anxiety by observing and internalizing anxious behaviours in their parents or caregivers. By recognizing these factors, you can better empathize with your child's experiences and tailor your support accordingly.



The Power of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a highly effective, evidence-based therapy approach for treating anxiety in children and adolescents. It focuses on helping individuals recognize and challenge negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to their anxiety. Through structured sessions with a trained therapist, your child will learn practical strategies to cope with their worries and face challenges with resilience.

CBT teaches children to identify and challenge distorted thoughts, gradually confront their fears through exposure therapy, and develop problem-solving skills to manage stressors effectively. Importantly, CBT is a collaborative process that involves the whole family. Parents play a vital role in supporting their child's progress outside of therapy sessions by implementing strategies learned in CBT and creating a supportive home environment.



Benefits for Your Child and Your Family

Participating in CBT can have far-reaching benefits for your child and your family. Not only will your child gain valuable skills to manage their anxiety and build resilience, but you'll also learn how to support their journey and model healthy coping behaviours. By fostering open communication, practicing self-care, and implementing strategies learned in CBT, you can strengthen your relationship with your child and navigate challenges together as a family.



Conclusion

Parenting a child with anxiety can be challenging, but with understanding, support, and access to effective interventions like CBT, you can help your child thrive. Don't hesitate to seek guidance from a qualified mental health professional trained in CBT to support your child's journey towards a happier, healthier life. Remember, you're not alone—reach out for help when you need it, and together, we can navigate this journey.

Warm regards,



Ben Lea

RMN, CBT & EMDR Therapist

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