Anxiety is a complicated issue which can seriously effect both children and adolescents. There are a range of complex manifestations of anxiety which can include Tics, OCD, emotional regulation problems, self-harming, and eating disorders . Triggers of anxiety are unique to the individual but the physical and psychological effects have several consistent elements.
At Hopetree, we take the time to teach and train all facets of anxiety, while getting a clear understanding of the triggers for the individual. This fundamental understanding allows for the development of physical and psychological tools that the young person can use.
Throughout this process the emphasis at Hopetree Clinic is always the rapport the practitioner has with the child or young person. Developing a trusting and, at times, fun environment, means the young person can focus on the training and really engage with the process.
Anxiety Reduction Training
Developed by Anxiety Specialist and Clinic Director, Mr Baruch Spiegel BCABA INHC, this training sequence is unique to Hopetree Clinic.
The first phase of training is understanding the universal physical symptoms that come with high anxiety. Understanding these symptoms allows for the young person to identify when an onset of high anxiety is actually happening. This phase also incorporates the first strategies to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety.
This next phase of training focuses on the psychology of anxiety. During these sessions we identify the reoccurring and unsettling negative thoughts, as well as the thinking styles that are perpetuating them. These sessions are often pivotal as the young person realises they having been walking around with a negative influence as their companion.
This is where things get really creative. Within this phase we begin to create actual representations of the negative speak. In doing so we allow for the creation of the positive version of that inner speak. The training then focuses on building up the strength and resilience of the positive internal voice when faced with all the negative speak. Having actual characters to represent these types of internal influences creates a completely different lens through which to approach anxiety. This phase is especially impactful for teenage girls whose anxiety seems to be dominated by negative speak.
Bringing it all together. This phase builds on everything that comes before it, and begins to analyse and monitor the tools and strategies that have been taught. The young person is encouraged to begin journaling and taking data of their weekly performance in a way they most enjoy. These processes of monitoring allow for the first stages of self management.
Phase 5 is where clients are either discharged or additional modules of training are added. The reason for requiring additional modules are extremely varied, and may include:
Habit reversal training for tics
Reduction of OCD symptoms
ADHD management training
Social skill training
“As an anxiety specialist, the foundation of my success with clients is based on rapport. A young person that is fully engaged and enjoying the sessions is able to learn effectively. This allows for me to teach an understanding of both the physiology as well as the psychology of anxiety. Mastering the negative speak within their minds through powerful visualisation and personification training can be hugely impactful. It enables them to overcome their anxiety, have the tools to face new and challenging situations, and to see the future ahead with energy and excitement, instead of fear and trepidation."