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Child and Teen Psychologist for Anxiety in Calgary, Alberta 

Creative Sky Psychology and Childhood and Teen Anxiety 

 Anxiety is a difficult world to live in. It takes up a lot of space and mental energy due to repetitive worries and ruminating thoughts. Such thoughts feel real, and the body reacts as such. Creative Sky helps children and teens with anxiety by teaching them about the biology of anxiety and various coping mechanisms. Children who live with consistent anxiety can struggle with low self-esteem, anger issues, behavioural issues, learning issues, and emotion and body regulation struggles. Once anxiety becomes activated, it can feel like a great white shark is circling around us in open waters. We can tell our children that the perceived threat isn’t true, however it’s difficult to argue with worry. No wonder children with anxiety struggle across so many domains. Children with anxiety often feel helpless and hopeless. They tend to believe the “worried thoughts” will eventually come true, and they will always feel this way.  Creative Sky helps children challenge anxiety in a very systematic way that aligns with their learning strengths. Children and teens are taught to recognize and challenge their anxious thoughts and body clues, and to talk back to their anxiety in a way that works for them (once they are ready). Creative Sky addresses the cognitive realm of anxiety (the thoughts that cause and keep anxiety alive), as well as the body regulation symptoms that follow. At Creative Sky, individuals can learn to recognize and modify this response, as well as the thoughts that coincide with it. This leads to lifelong learning and understanding as anxiety and stress are a part of our neurobiological wiring. The goal of therapy is to allow anxiety to take a seat in the back…rather than be the driver in the front.

Frequently Asked Questions

Anxious child learning calming skill in therapy with child psychologist

What Are The Signs of Anxiety in Children or Teens?

Are you suspecting that your child or teen is experiencing anxiety or has an anxiety disorder? The signs and symptoms of anxiety often include avoidance, excessive shyness, constant worry, or somatic complaints. Somatic complaints are when your child or teen experiences stomachaches or headaches due to stress or anxiety. If this is the case it is important to see your child’s doctor to rule out any concerns. Some signs and symptoms are harder to see and may be masked by various learnt coping mechanisms. Anxiety is a very normal emotion that everyone feels. At times, anxiety can be helpful and can serve a protective purpose. Anxiety becomes a concern when it causes distress and impacts your child’s ability to function in some way. This could be at home, in the community, or in the school. For example, if your child or teen is avoiding a situation that makes them feel anxious, is there a coping mechanism they have developed to address the problem? If your child is experiencing anxiety, a professional can help your teen or child develop new coping tools to improve well-being. Your child or teen will learn how to successfully cope with difficult emotions. 

How Do You Help a Child or Teenager With Anxiety?

When your child or teen is experiencing anxiety, there are various ways they may be coping with their feelings. Avoidance is a common strategy. Avoidance can be habit forming so it is important to help your child or teen learn to face their fears in a positive and safe manner. Engaging in safety behaviours is also a very common strategy for children and teens with anxiety. This is a coping strategy that works in the short term, however, it will not work to effectively cope with the underlying anxiety. With children and teens, you may also see significant distress or tantrums due to underlying anxiety. Often children will lash out or cry as their emotional thermometer is running on high. If you do suspect that your child or teen has anxiety, there are ways to support them that will help in the long run. Have patience! It takes time to develop new patterns. Though your child or teen’s behaviour can be very concerning or frustrating, it can be helpful to know that your child or teen isn’t acting out on purpose. If the concerns are pervasive, talk to a professional who can help develop a treatment plan that can be shared with all supportive adults. Anxiety can take your child hostage, a step by step treatment plan that your child is involved with can be a very effective approach. At Creative Sky Psychology, a strength-based laddering approach is used to help your child take steps towards ultimate success!

How Long Does Anxiety Last?

Anxiety can be brief and situational, or generalized and long lasting. If it is pervasive and long lasting, your child or teen may have an anxiety disorder. There are several types of Anxiety Disorders. Having a professional evaluate your child will help all supportive adults plan effective intervention.  An anxiety disorder (such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder or Social Anxiety Disorder) means that your child or teen is significantly impacted by anxiety and it has been going on for many months. Everyone feels anxious at times. Even children who experience brief anxiety benefit from developing healthy coping strategies. This helps teens and children develop the skills for lifelong emotional regulation success! 

How Common is Anxiety in Children and Teens?

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues in children and teens. It is estimated that one in five children will experience significant anxiety. Sadly, anxiety often goes unnoticed, as anxious children and teens may act “in” instead of “out”. When anxiety is untreated, it can lead to serious problems later in life. The excellent news is that anxiety is very treatable! Creative Sky Psychology supports children and teens to address anxiety to manage the difficult thoughts and body or somatic symptoms that travel with anxiety. As your child or teen learns new ways to cope with anxiety provoking thoughts and situations, their confidence will begin to rise. We help children and teens with anxiety to learn into anxiety, manage adversity, and take risks. Anxiety can travel with life, but we don't want it to be the driver. 

What are the types of Anxiety in Children and Teens?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Have you noticed that your child has been experiencing excessive worrying about aspects of their day-to-day life, peer relationships, or future events? Although all youth may worry about different things from time to time, those with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) worry excessively and uncontrollably about a range of events and activities. At Creative Sky Psychology, we aim to assist adolescents who struggle with GAD through a variety of techniques including CBT, Positive Psychology, Play Therapy, Art Therapy, and other methods. Our team helps to reconstruct anxious thoughts by using positive and encouraging coping strategies

 

Panic Disorder

Adolescents who struggle with panic disorder experience sudden and recurrent episodes of intense fear or unease, accompanied by symptoms such a fast heartbeat or difficulty breathing. For children, a panic attack can feel like the whole world is crashing down on top of them. Without support, panic disorder can interfere with a child’s peer relationships and affect other aspects of mood and academics. Our team aims to identify possible panic-attack triggers, as well as alter the negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to panic attacks. Creative Sky Psychology aims to help children develop coping strategies and techniques to negate the effects of a panic attack and help it become manageable. 

 

Social Anxiety Disorder

Adolescents diagnosed with social anxiety disorder experience an intense and long-lasting fear of social and/or performance situations, such as school, peer interactions, sports events, and other social gatherings. The constant worrying experienced by children with social anxiety disorder can lead to feelings of isolation, self-consciousness, distress, and avoidance. Rather than acting out, children with Social Anxiety Disorder try to remain invisible and unnoticed.

 

Phobias
A phobia is an extreme and illogical fear of certain things or situations that is usually not justified by the actual threat they pose. While fear is a normal and typical part of childhood, some children and teenagers may experience severe and persistent fears that can eventually escalate into a phobia. Common phobias in children include animals, insects, blood, heights, or flying. If left untreated, phobias can become a life-long issue.

 

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