What Your Child Will Learn
Anxiety Warriors is carefully designed to empower young participants with a range of valuable skills and insights. We start by externalizing anxiety, helping them understand that they are not alone in their struggles and that anxiety does not define them. Through interactive activities, we explore the thought-feeling-response connection, enabling kids to recognize how their thoughts impact their emotions and behaviors. We teach them to effectively resolve troubling thoughts by talking back to them, using techniques like finding the middle ground, acceptance, fact-
checking, and gratitude exercises. We shift their focus from "what if" to “what is,” thereby promoting a present-moment perspective. Sleep habits are addressed to ensure better rest, while calming skills such as mindful breathing and muscle relaxation are taught for stress reduction. Exposure therapy skills are introduced in a child-friendly manner to gradually confront fears. Finally, we delve into anger management by helping kids unmask what's behind their anger, fostering healthier emotional expression and conflict resolution. Our goal is to equip these children with a toolkit to face anxiety head-on and lead more confident and resilient lives.
Anxiety Warriors Class
Beating Fear Building Confidence
The Anxiety Warriors Class is a transformative journey for 8 to 11 year-old children, which empowers young minds to better understand and conquer their anxieties. Through this supportive environment, children learn valuable tools to navigate life's challenges with confidence and resilience. By addressing anxiety head-on, we not only help them find relief from immediate distress but also equip them with lifelong coping strategies. This proactive approach prevents future problems by teaching children how to effectively manage their anxiety, replacing avoidance with resilience. Our goal is to inspire a life free from the grip of anxiety, allowing these children to embrace each day with enthusiasm, face their fears with courage, and savor the joy of life to the fullest once more.
Relaxation and Mindfulness Skills
Mindfulness skills are nonreligious practices, which offer a wealth of benefits for children that extend far beyond their formative years. These practices help children develop essential life skills from an early age, such as emotional regulation, stress management, and improved focus. By teaching children to be fully present in the moment, mindfulness cultivates self-awareness, empathy, and better decision-making. It provides a toolkit for coping with the challenges they encounter, be it school pressures, social dynamics, or personal struggles. Moreover, mindfulness encourages a positive relationship with themselves and the world around them, fostering greater resilience and a deeper sense of well-being. While many children first need practice for six to eight weeks, many will enjoy the skills and appreciate the effects long-term if they practice.
Advantages of Class vs. Individual Therapy
Group therapy for children offers a range of advantages compared to individual therapy. First, it provides a unique opportunity for children to connect with peers who may be experiencing similar challenges. This sense of belonging can be incredibly comforting and reassuring, as children realize they are not alone in their struggles. Group therapy also encourages the exchange of experiences and coping strategies among participants, thus fostering a learning environment where they can benefit from each other's insights and solutions. Moreover, it normalizes the problems children face by showcasing that their difficulties are shared by others, reducing feelings of isolation. The group setting allows children to feel heard and understood by their peers, creating a strong sense of validation and support. Additionally, the camaraderie and fun experienced in group sessions can be therapeutic in itself, making therapy an enjoyable and engaging process. Finally, the cost of group therapy is often lower than individual therapy, making it a more accessible option for many families seeking mental health support for their children.
My Child is Often Angry. Could this Class Still Be Right?
Anxiety can manifest as anger in children, often serving as a secondary emotion. When anxiety remains unaddressed or unexpressed, it can build up and transform into frustration and irritability. This anger, triggered by the underlying anxiety, can become a source of stress for both the child and their parents. These pent-up emotions may lead to frequent tantrums and outbursts at home, leaving parents feeling overwhelmed and concerned. Witnessing a child in distress is undoubtedly painful, and it's crucial to understand that these manifestations of anger are often their way of expressing their inner turmoil. By addressing the root cause, the anxiety, and providing appropriate support and coping mechanisms, we can help children manage their emotions more effectively, leading to a calmer and more harmonious family life.
Can My Child Develop More Anxiety in this Class?
It's entirely natural for parents to have concerns about how their child may react to seeing other kids with anxiety in a group setting. However, it's important to understand that the Anxiety Warriors Class is carefully structured to provide a safe and supportive environment. By participating, children can actually benefit in several ways. They realize that they are not alone in their struggles, reducing feelings of isolation. Witnessing others working through their anxiety can inspire hope and a sense of shared determination. Additionally, our trained therapists are skilled in fostering a positive and reassuring atmosphere, ensuring that the group experience is constructive and uplifting. Ultimately, this group is designed to empower children to overcome anxiety, boost their self-confidence, and offer them tools to navigate life's challenges successfully. Rest assured, our primary goal is to create a nurturing space where children can grow, heal, and thrive.
As part of Anxiety Warriors Class, we are committed to providing the necessary supplies to support their journey towards conquering anxiety and building confidence. Each your warrior will receive a dedicated folder to keep their resources organized, including helpful flashcards designed to reinforce coping strategies and techniques for the week. To encourage self-reflection and personal growth, every young warrior will also receive a personal journal, fostering a safe space for them to express their thoughts and emotions. Additionally, we'll provide diary cards for the week, offering a structured way for the children to track their progress, emotions, and successes. These supplies are essential tools in our collective effort to empower these young warriors to overcome anxiety and rediscover their inner strength.
Learning Alongside and Encouraging Your Child
Parent engagement is a crucial component of our Anxiety Warrior Class. We encourage parents not just to be spectators but active participants in their child's journey toward conquering anxiety. For example, find a time to practice the mindfulness and chill skills every day with your child. Learning alongside your child not only strengthens the bond between you but also demonstrates a shared commitment to their well-being. Practicing the skills together at home helps reinforce what they learn in the class, making it more effective. Moreover, it's vital to reassure your child that feeling uncomfortable as they face their fears is entirely normal—it's a sign of their courage and determination to grow. Encourage them by emphasizing that everyone, including adults, has fears to overcome, and doing so is a courageous act. Many adults wish they had learned these skills earlier in life, making it important to instill these valuable lessons in our children. It's indeed hard work, but the rewards of a more resilient and confident child are immeasurable, and it's a journey that both parents and children can embark on together.
Can My Child Receive Individual Attention?
Each child can receive one individual session per month, especially if it seems during the class that your child needs further support or has questions that should be discussed one-on-one.
How Long Will Class Take?
The Anxiety Warriors Class will meet for 15 sessions in the Spring and Fall, each time for about 75 minutes. Since the sessions build on each other, please make sure your child does not miss class but gets to benefit from the full experience. Space is limited. There will be a maximum of five young warriors in each class.
Here's Our Class Plan
Orientation/ Getting to know each other/ Group building/ Normalizing/
Externalizing - You are not alone and you are not your anxiety!
Understanding the thoughts-feelings-response connection - Plant and Roots activity
Chill and Krank - What does anxiety do in our bodies? How to chill and sleep better. Introducing chill breathing.
Thoughts and talk backs - focus on what is versus what if, just because I think it, does
not mean it’s true, lighten it up and find the middle - Introducing muscle relaxation.
Thoughts and talk backs - find the facts, challenge the prophet, acceptance -
introducing mindfulness practices or “Happy Place” visualization.
Thoughts and talk backs - gratitude, taking it, “Lemon-Lemon” - observe and redefine
- introducing gratitude skills, grounding and distraction skills, such as “categories”
Review of thoughts, talk backs and skills
Stages of Change and Stages of Learning - fighting hopelessness
Facing your fears/ stress - Stopping avoidance -Action Plan
Facing your fears/ stress - Stopping avoidance -Action Plan
Facing your fears/ stress - Stopping avoidance -Action Plan - Keep up the Hope!
Deeper dive: Behind the Anger, self awareness what can be underneath our anger,
Deeper dive: Behind the Anger - understanding one’s own cycle and reactions to
others, including parents, hopping on the train or watching it from a distance, 5 point scale
Deeper dive: Behind the anger and new ways of managing anger
Wrapping up; plan for maintaining progress, gifts to each other, celebration
Folders and flashcards, personal journal purchased for each group member, diary cards for the week. Every session after session 3: practice a mindfulness and chill skill (chill breathing, mindfulness, muscle relaxation, relaxation visualization), processing of skills in the past week, and games to connect with others and practice the skills.