Child & Teen Anxiety

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (excessive worry)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive worrying about a variety of issues, including those in the past, present, and future. Common themes that children and teens worry about include: past conversations or actions, upcoming events, school, family health, their own health, performance in sports or academics, and world events. Typically, children experiencing such excessive worry find it difficult to control the amount of time that they worry, and the worrying negatively affects their day to day functioning.

At The Therapy Centre, we have trained clinicians who can assess and treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder.  We provide Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This is the most widely researched and effective treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder.    We will also work collaboratively with parents to give them skills to manage their child’s anxiety.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation anxiety is a normal part of development that typically begins at 7 months of age and usually subsides by 3 years of age. Separation anxiety is characterized by excessive worrying about temporarily leaving home or separating from loved ones.

Examples of separation anxiety disorder symptoms include:

  • School refusal
  • Resistance to going to bed at night
  • Clinging to parents
  • Extreme and severe crying
  • Refusal to do things that require separation
  • Physical illness, such as headaches or stomachaches
  • Temper tantrums
  • Poor school performance

At The Therapy Centre, we have trained clinicians who can assess and treat Separation Anxiety Disorder.  We provide Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for Separation Anxiety Disorder. This is the most widely researched and effective treatment for Separation Anxiety Disorder.    We will also work collaboratively with parents to give them skills to manage their child’s anxiety.

School Refusal

School refusal is when a child or teen has developed a consistent pattern of refusing to attend school.  Children and teens can have difficulty attending school for a variety of reasons, including:

  • A depressed mood
  • To escape from school situations that cause distress (i.e. peer teasing, tests, riding the bus)
  • To escape from unpleasant social or performance situations (i.e. playing or working with peers, speaking or reading in front of the class, or attending assemblies)
  • To get attention from others
  • To pursue fun activities

Children and teens who refuse to attend school for lengthy periods of time may develop significant educational or social problems.

At The Therapy Centre, we have trained clinicians to thoroughly assess the underlying issues surrounding the school refusal. We will work collaboratively with parents and schools to provide children and teens with the appropriate treatment using evidence based therapy.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder (aka Social Phobia) is an anxiety disorder whereby children or teens experience intense anxiety and nervousness when they face certain social situations. Individuals with social anxiety fear being judged or criticized by others and worry about making mistakes, looking bad or being embarrassed or humiliated in front of others. Often children and adolescents suffer anticipatory anxiety (i.e. the fear of a situation before it happens). The anxiety is often managed by avoiding certain activities, such as:

  • Eating or drinking in front of others
  • Talking on the phone
  • Asking questions in groups
  • Writing or working in front of others
  • Being the centre of attention
  • Interacting with people (i.e. dating or going to parties).

Social anxiety is different from shyness. People with shyness can be uneasy around others, but they don’t necessarily avoid situations that make them feel uncomfortable. Social anxiety disrupts a child’s normal life, interfering with school or social relationships.

At The Therapy Centre, we provide Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for the treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder.  This is the most widely researched and effective treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder.  We will also work collaboratively with parents to give them skills to manage their child’s anxiety.

Obsessions and Compulsions (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (aka OCD) involves people having obsessive thoughts which include unwanted thoughts or images or urges that make them feel anxious or distressed.   These individuals have significant difficulties ignoring or pushing away these thoughts.  Individuals with OCD also have compulsive behaviours which are an attempt to try and reverse the obsessive thoughts or images or urges by performing some kind of action.  For example, someone with a fear of becoming ill will repeatedly wash their hands to avoid germs. Often the individual is aware that these thoughts and behaviours are irrational but does not feel they can stop.

We provide Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  This is the most widely researched and effective treatment for OCD. Parents are a crucial part of this therapy process and we work collaboratively with parents to treat their child’s OCD.

Phobias

Children and teens experience irrational fears that sometimes develop as a result of unpleasant or distressing experiences.  These fears can develop into a phobia. A phobia is a fear of a specific object or situation. Common phobias in children and adolescents include:

  • Vomiting
  • Choking
  • Weather
  • Animals
  • Insects
  • Elevators
  • Small spaces

When encountering these objects or situations, people experience immediate fear and anxiety and will take steps to avoid it.

We provide Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for the treatment of Specific Phobias.  This is the most widely researched and effective treatment for Specific Phobias.  We work collaboratively with parents to give them skills to manage their child’s anxiety.