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Melissa A. Them, Ph.D. Licensed Clinical Psychologist Specialist in Assessment and Treatment of Childhood Mental Health Disorders.

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Presentation on theme: "Melissa A. Them, Ph.D. Licensed Clinical Psychologist Specialist in Assessment and Treatment of Childhood Mental Health Disorders."— Presentation transcript:

1 Melissa A. Them, Ph.D. Licensed Clinical Psychologist Specialist in Assessment and Treatment of Childhood Mental Health Disorders

2 Differentiate between typical and atypical anxiety Understand signs and symptoms of anxiety Discuss strategies for encouraging students to cope with stress Provide guidelines for parents Question & Answer

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4 AGEANXIETIES 7-9 monthsStranger anxiety 1-4 yearsSeparation anxiety 3-6 yearsFears of imaginary things (ghosts, monsters, people in masks) Worries about the dark, the closet, whats under the bed 7-12 yearsReal dangers (fires, burglars, storms, illness, drugs) Magical thinking (magic numbers, counting games) yearsWorries stemming from social comparison (academic or athletic performance) yearsConcerns about social acceptance, moral issues, future plans

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7 Worry is excessive over seemingly insignificant situations Worry and associated avoidance become the automatic responses in many situations Subjective experience of feeling on edge or irritable Support and coaxing are no longer effective Perfectionism and extreme self-criticism

8 Anxiety occurs most days for weeks or months Physical ailments are recurring (headaches, stomach aches, nausea, vomiting) Avoidance is interfering with normal activities (e.g., going to sleep, attending school) Child seeks excessive reassurance that does not appear to relieve the anxiety Parents find themselves becoming extremely frustrated with childs worries or avoidant behaviors

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12 Develop Healthy Habits and Routines Family Mealtimes Bedtime Routines and Reasonable Bedtimes 7-12 years hours years 8-9 hours Homework Routines and Time Management Exercise Relaxation and Down Time

13 Listen quietly and attentively Acknowledge his/her feelings with a word or two Give the feeling a name Understand that the fear is real to your child and dont minimize it All feelings can be accepted. Certain behaviors must be limited. I can see how worried you are about this test, but you have to go to school. Lets work together to find a way.

14 Anxiety is all offense and no defense Anxiety tells you there is something to fear and – worse – you cant handle it. Anxiety tells you to stay away Anxiety = AVOIDANCE Winning the Game To beat anxiety, we must not avoid it Better yet, we could APPROACH it

15 Keep things as typical as possible For instance, set and keep your expectations that your child will attend school Dont cater to fears Support your child and provide encouragement for approaching them Provide reinforcement Verbal praise Non-verbal signs of approval If helpful, positive contingencies

16 School Personnel Guidance Counselors Social Workers School Psychologists Outside Treatment Options Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Medications

17 Test Anxiety What is test anxiety? Test anxiety is NOT a lack of test preparation Test anxiety occurs when a student is well-prepared, but is excessively worried about an exam or enters an exam and his/her mind goes blank Can include shakiness, nausea, light-headedness, etc. What to do Study in advance Ask for help Challenge negative thinking Healthy habits (eat and sleep) Encourage compassion for mistakes

18 Social Media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, gChat Distraction from homework Failure to prepare Cyber-bullying School avoidance Cell Phones Texting distraction, disruption of sleep, cyber-bullying

19 1 Pine West Plaza, Suite 106 Albany, NY Phone: Fax: Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm Weekend and evening appointments by request


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