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Anxiety Session BRIDGES Program Stephanie Mealey MSW, RSW Karen Mackey OT (R) NL.

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Presentation on theme: "Anxiety Session BRIDGES Program Stephanie Mealey MSW, RSW Karen Mackey OT (R) NL."— Presentation transcript:

1 Anxiety Session BRIDGES Program Stephanie Mealey MSW, RSW Karen Mackey OT (R) NL

2 Anxiety  Statistics Vary….  Anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental health problems, affecting approximately 1 in 10 people. (Canadian Mental Health Association)  Most common, chronic costly emotional disorder in the US (NIMH) and in countries (WHO)  Practice evidence-BY FAR the most common mental health referral to Central Intake

3 Why the increase???? Increased awareness about anxiety Lifestyles “bigger…better…faster…smarter…” Lack of skill building (modeling, integrating, naturally occurring) (modeling, integrating, naturally occurring) World Messages Economy, illness, threats Economy, illness, threats Pathologizing normal stress

4 Anxiety IS NORMAL Anxiety is normal and needed. It serves as a natural alarm system that tells us there is danger. Some people have sensitive alarm systems. It helps us survive!

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6 Anxiety – Not all Bad!  Liabilities  Higher levels of stress  Personalizes  Easily exploited  Difficulty setting limits/saying no  Excessive time spent doing or thinking about tasks  Consumed by things  Assets  Cooperative  Motivated/driven  Thoughtful/reflective  Organized  Sensitive/Intuitive  Loyal  Creative

7 Development of Anxiety Predisposition Biological sensitivity Personality Temperament Stress (good or bad) Learned Anxiety Lack of stress skills “Treadmill of life” ANXIETY!!

8 Continuum of Anxiety

9 Common Anxieties  5 years - separation, dark, animals, “bad people”  6 years - separation, harsh weather, ghosts, dark, sleeping alone, bodily injury (all ages)  7-8 years - ghosts, dark, fears based on TV viewing, staying alone  9-12 years - tests, school performance, start of physical appearance, death  years - family and home issues, world concerns, preparation for the future, personal appearance, social relations  Older - fear of isolation, natural events, sexual issues, economic issues, morality Taken from “The Worried Child.”

10 Effects of Anxiety Physical Feelings (Body) Muscle tension Racing heart Belly pain Nausea Head ache Sweating Behavior Avoid/Escape/Flight Disruptive or pressured behavior/fight Freeze Seeking reassurance Thoughts (Brain) What if…? Thinking the worst

11 Anxiety Reactions Flight  Avoidance  Tummy aches & pains  Quitting  Lying Fight  Behavior  Refusal  Extreme persistence  Perfectionism  Self-imposed pressure Freeze  Indecision  Inaction

12 When does it become a disorder...  Distress or interference is much greater than anxiety experienced by other children of the same age  When it interferes with daily functioning/causes impairment  When it is persistent  When accommodations are always necessary When a kid just can’t be a kid!!!!

13 Why my child?

14 The Perfect Storm The Teenage Brain Frontal lobe restructured self-control, judgment, emotional regulation Anxiety Predisposition, Temperament Biological Sensitivity Adolescent Stress Factors Drugs Social appraisal Belonging to a group Getting good grades The Perfect Storm The Perfect Storm

15 Brain

16 Treatment Insight and Awareness Getting to know Anxiety Insight and Awareness Getting to know Anxiety Skill Building Learning skills to mastery symptoms Skill Building Learning skills to mastery symptoms Practice Facing Fears & Using skills

17 Language we use… Mastering anxiety Getting in charge Turning the volume down Riding the wave Building emotional muscle Don’t Pathologize!

18 BRAIN-Targets Beliefs about anxiety Racing thoughts “can’t turn the brain off” Negative self-talk Recurring thoughts or images

19 Brain-Strategies Education about anxiety Awareness of factors influencing anxiety Highlight assets (powerful thinker) Awareness of Attention Examine & challenge thoughts Replace with more positive/realistic or less anxious self-talk

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22 Brain- Awareness Power of AttentionPower of Attention Our brains are powerful Our brains are powerful What we choose to focus on will influence how we feel What we choose to focus on will influence how we feel By being focused on our worries, we may miss things By being focused on our worries, we may miss things Direction of AttentionDirection of Attention Biologically we are velcro for negative thoughts; teflon for positiveBiologically we are velcro for negative thoughts; teflon for positive Learning to direct our attentionLearning to direct our attention

23 We Blame Events EVENTS Trying out for a team Speaking in public Going to School EVENTS Trying out for a team Speaking in public Going to School FEELINGS Anxiety Stressed Nervous FEELINGS Anxiety Stressed Nervous

24 Thought Investigation and Challenge

25 Ideas for helping… Model positive/realistic Thinking Highlight the strengths of being an powerful thinker Help them use skills scaling scaling highlight positive/more realistic thinking highlight positive/more realistic thinking Help them scrutinize their thoughts Help them scrutinize their thoughts

26 Body How your body reacts…

27 Body - Targets The Basic (Sleep, Diet & Exercise) The Basic (Sleep, Diet & Exercise) Body sensations Muscle tension Muscle tension Heart palpitations, SOB, dizziness, nausea, vomiting Heart palpitations, SOB, dizziness, nausea, vomiting Inability to relax Inability to relax

28 Body Strategies Create awareness of body stress Learn relaxation skills Highlight things that help you to relax Encourage proper care of the body (sleep, diet, exercise)

29 Body- The Basics

30 Body Mapping

31 Body – Relaxation Back to the Basics (Sleep, Diet, Exercise) Play Detective- what already works Relaxation Skills Visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing etc.

32 Ideas for helping… Model Positive Self Care Encourage care of the basics Help them use skills Remind them of their skills to relax Remind them of their skills to relax Provide an opportunity for them to practice Provide an opportunity for them to practice Promote a relaxing environment at home Promote a relaxing environment at home

33 Behavior What we do … How we respond….

34 Behavior Targets Avoidance Emotional Outbursts Excessively Seeking Reassurance

35 Behaviors Strategies Build Emotional Muscle Build Emotional Muscle Exposure & Habituation Additional Coping Skills Assertiveness Time Management Social Skills Problem Solving etc.

36 Let’s ride the wave of anxiety & Build emotional Muscle

37 PRACTICE!!!!!!!!!!! Learning Anxiety Management Regular Practice Integration of skills & Reduction in anxiety

38 Ideas for helping… Model brave behavior Encourage approach behaviors Help develop exposure plans Make exposure part of learning

39 Tips for Supporters Listen to the teen & don’t minimize Reduce stress Have routines Normalize anxiety & use age appropriate language Model brave behavior Model problem solving skills, stress management & relaxation

40 Tips for Supporters Avoid excessive reassurance Be mindful of your own reactions Realistic expectations, small steps Give appropriate consequences Build self-confidence Encourage independence PRAISE!!!! You are helping them build skills to master their anxiety!

41 Resources The Responsive Classroom approach is a widely used, research- backed approach to elementary education that increases academic achievement, decreases problem behaviors, improves social skills, and leads to more high-quality instruction. (responsiveclassroom.org) The FRIENDS program is a school-based anxiety prevention and resiliency skill-building program. BC sponsored by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (friendsinfo.net) MindMasters, Mini Mindmasters- Eastern Ontario BC Anxiety Website Skills for Life Referral to Central Intake (local mental services)

42 QUESTIONS????


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