The Anxiety Workbook for Kids: Take Charge of Fears and Worries Using the Gift of Imagination

The Anxiety Workbook for Kids: Take Charge of Fears and Worries Using the Gift of Imagination


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Anxiety in children is on the rise, and recent research has uncovered a link between highly imaginative children and anxiety. Using engaging illustrations and fun activities based in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), one of the most proven-effective and widely used forms of therapy today, this Instant Help workbook presents a unique approach to help children harness the power of their imaginations to reduce anxiety and build self-esteem.

Millions of children suffer from anxiety, which can be extremely limiting, causing kids to miss school, opt out of activities with friends, and refuse to speak or participate in a variety of situations. Furthermore, children who are diagnosed with anxiety or brought into therapy often feel embarrassed about not being “normal.” Focusing on the problem of anxiety can stress kids out and make them feel ashamed. But when the focus is on their strengths and their vivid imaginations, children are empowered to face their anxiety head-on.

The Anxiety Workbook for Kids is a fun and unique workbook grounded in evidence-based CBT and designed to help children understand their anxious thoughts within a positive framework—a perspective that will allow kids to see themselves as the highly imaginative individuals they are, and actually appreciate the role imagination plays in their anxiety. With this workbook, children will learn that, just as they are capable of envisioning vivid scenarios that fuel their anxiety, they are capable of using their imagination to move away from anxious thoughts and become the boss of their own worries.

With engaging CBT-based activities, games, and illustrations—and with a focus on imagination training and developing skills like problem solving, assertiveness, positive thinking, body awareness, relaxation, and mindfulness—this book will help kids stand up to worry and harness the power of their imagination for good.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626254770
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Publication date: 09/01/2016
Pages: 136
Sales rank: 248,873
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range: 5 - 11 Years

About the Author

Robin Alter, PhD, CPsych, received her undergraduate degree from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, and her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. She was the head of the children's program at Tri-County Mental Health in Northern Florida before moving to Toronto, ON, Canada, where she has been working in children’s mental health in since 1980. Alter has been employed by two of the largest children’s mental health centers in the Toronto area for over thirty-six years—The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre, and Blue Hills Child and Family Centre.

Alter also works with Anishnawbe Health Toronto, providing fetal alcohol assessments for the people of the First Nations community. She has taught psychology at York University, and maintains a private practice with Alter, Stuckler and Associates in the Toronto area. She is a trustee with the Psychology Foundation of Canada. Alter gives many public lectures to parent groups, teachers, and principals, and has been on numerous radio and television programs talking about children’s mental health issues. She is author of Anxiety and the Gift of Imagination, and is the anxiety expert for the website, the ABCs of Mental Health.

Crystal Clarke, MSW, RSW, received her undergraduate social work degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada in 2007. Before continuing on to complete her master’s degree, Clarke worked as a social worker in the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services in the city of St. John’s, NL, Canada, while also supporting foster families through her involvement on the board of the Newfoundland and Labrador Foster Families Association. Clarke received her master’s of social work degree at the University of Toronto in 2010, where she specialized in clinical practice with children and families, and also completed the collaborative program in addiction studies. By 2009, Clarke was involved with The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre, one of the largest children’s mental health centers in Toronto, ON, Canada, where she was employed as a child and family therapist until 2016, when she moved to the Toronto District School Board to work as a social worker with school-aged children and their families.

Additionally, Clarke maintains her own private practice, Clarke Psychotherapy, in Toronto. In 2015, Clarke was also appointed as an adjunct lecturer for the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto as a result of her ongoing commitment to the training and supervision of social work students. Clarke continues to expand upon her own knowledge and expertise in the field of mental health through her training at the Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis.

Table of Contents

A Letter to Parents ix

Chapter 1 Questions and Answers 1

What Is Anxiety? 2

Why Do We Worry? 4

How We Deal with Danger: Fight, Flight, Freeze, and Beyond 5

Who Has Fears and Worries? 13

Why Do Some People Worry More? 15

What Is Imagination Good For? 17

Can I Become the Boss of My Imagination? 18

What Happens When We Hide Our Fears and Worries? 20

What Can We Do with Our Fears and Worries? 22

Chapter 2 Getting to Know More About Me 23

Things I'm Already Good At 24

I'm More than My Worries 25

Chapter 3 Getting to Know More About Fears and Worries 27

Common Fears and Worries 28

Learning About My Fears and Worries 30

My Fears and Worries 31

When Are My Worries Around? 32

What Are Body Clues? 33

Common Body Clues 34

What Is Happening in My Body? 35

The Brain and the Body 36

My Body Clues 40

Chapter 4 Taking Charge of My Mind and Body 41

My Skills and Strategies 42

My Very Own Worry Box 43

Some Things Other Kids Found Helpful 45

Mind and Body Training: Relaxation and Mindfulness 46

My Relaxation Ideas 47

The Body Stress Test 48

The Body Scan 49

My Relaxation List 50

Deep Belly Breathing 51

Muscle Relaxation: A Trip to the Circus 52

Making a Stress Ball 62

Creating My Own Peaceful Place 63

Mindfulness Meditation 67

Bubble Meditation 69

Brain Breathing 71

Making a Feeling Jar 72

Taking Charge of My Thoughts 74

The Worry Leap Frog Game 76

Act Positive to Feel Positive 79

Talking to Others 80

Being Assertive (Standing Up for Myself) 81

Chapter 5 Taking Charge of Worries About Real Things 85

Problem Solving 87

Facing Fears: Step-by-Step 92

Making a Step-by-Step Plan 97

Chapter 6 Taking Charge of My Imagination 99

Worry 101

My Worry Buddy 104

"Even Though…" 106

Taking a Break from Worry 107

Draw the Scary Thing… 108

…Now Change It 109

Mastering the Worry 110

How I've Changed 112

Taking Charge of My Worries 113

Sharing My Success 114

Chapter 7 Remembering and Staying Motivated 115

Worry Scale 116

Make It a Competition 117

Remember 118

My Very Own Worry Plan Poster 119


Alter resides in Toronto, ON, Canada; Clarke resides in Toronto, ON, Canada.

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