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Child Anxiety Program


For Parents

Internet Resources

Books for Parents

  • Chansky, T. E. (2001). Freeing your child from obsessive-compulsive disorder: A powerful, practical program for parents of children and adolescents. Crown Publishing Group.
  • Chansky, T. E. (2004). Freeing your child from anxiety: Powerful, practical solutions to overcome your child’s fears, worries, and phobias. Broadway Books.
  • Chansky, T. E. (2008). Freeing your child from negative thinking. Da Capo.
  • Crist, J. (2004). What to do when you are scared and worried: A guide for kids. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing.
  • Dacey, J. S., & Fiore, L. B. (2000). Your anxious child: How parents and teachers can relieve anxiety in children. Jossey-Bass.
  • Eisen, A. & Engler. L. 2006). Helping your child overcome separation anxiety or school refusal. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
  • Manassis, K. (1996). Keys to parenting your anxious child. Barron’s Educational Series, Inc.
  • Rapee, R. M., Spence, S., Cobham, V., & Wignall, A. (2000). Helping your anxious child: A step-by-step guide for parents. New Harbinger.
  • Spencer, E. D., DuPont, R., & DuPont, C. (2003). The anxiety cure for kids: A guide for parents. John Wiley & Sons.

Books For Kids

Disorder-Specific and Technique-Specific Books

  • I don’t want to go to school: Helping children cope with separation anxiety (separation anxiety); 2005, Kathy Voerg & Nancy Pando, New Horizon, 4-8 yrs.
  • The good-bye book (separation anxiety); 1992, Judith Viorst & Kay Chorao, Alladin, 4-8 yrs.
  • I bet I won’t fret (generalized anxiety); 2008, Timothy Sisemore, Instant Help Publications
  • True or false: Tests stink (test anxiety); 1999, Trevor Romand & Elizabeth Verdick, Free Spirit, 4-8 yrs.
  • Understanding Katie (selective mutism); 2003, Elisa Shipon-Blum, Selective Mutism Anxiety Research and Treatment Center, 4-8 yrs.
  • Cat’s got your tongue: A story for children afraid to speak (selective mutism); 1992, Charles Schaefer & Judith Friedman, Magination Press, 4-8 yrs.
  • Worry wart Wes (generalized anxiety); 2002, Tolya Thompson & Juan Perez, Savor Publishing House, 4-8 yrs.
  • Mr. Worry: A story about OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder); 2004, Holly Niner & Greg Swearingen, Albert Whitman & Co., 4-8 yrs.
  • Up and down the worry hill (obsessive-compulsive disorder); 2004, Aureen Pinto Wagner & Paul A. Jutton, Lighthouse Press, 9-12 yrs.
  • A terrible thing happened: A story for children who have witnessed violence or trauma (post traumatic stress disorder); 2000, Margaret Holmes, Sasha Mudlaff, Magination Press, 4-8 yrs.
  • A boy and a turtle (relaxation); 2007, Lori Lite,
  • Goodnight caterpillar (relaxation); 2007, Lori Lite,, 4-8 yrs.

Situation-Specific Books

  • Big Ernie’s new home: A story for children who are moving; 2006, Teresa Martin & Whitney Martin, Magination Press, 2-6 yrs.
  • Into the great forest: A story for children away from parents for the first time; 2000, Irene Marcus & Paul Marcus, Magination Press, 3-7 yrs.
  • Jessica and the wolf: A story for children who have bad dreams; 1990, Ted Lobby, Magination Press, 3-8 yrs.
  • Lions aren’t scared of shots: A story for children about visiting the doctor; 2006, J. Bennett & M. S. Weber, Magination Press, 4-6 yrs.
  • Night light: A story for children afraid of the dark; 1991, Jack Dutro & Kenneth Boyle, Magination Press, 3-7 yrs.
  • Scary night visitors: A story for children with bedtime fears; 1991, Irene Marcus & Paul Marcus, Magination Press, 3-7 yrs.
  • When Fuzzy was afraid of big and loud things; 2005, Inger M. Maier & Jennifer Candon, Magination Press, 3-7 yrs.
  • When Fuzzy was afraid of losing his mother; 2004, Inger M. Maier & Jennifer Candon, Magination Press, 3-7 yrs.

Books Written in Workbook Format

  • What to do when you worry too much: A kid’s guide to overcoming anxiety; 2005, Dawn Huebner, Magination Press, 6-12 yrs.
  • What to do when your brain gets stuck: A kid’s guide to overcoming OCD; 2007, Dawn Huebner, Magination Press, 9-12 yrs.
  • Think good-feel good: A cognitive-behavioral workbook for children; 2002, Paul Stallard, Wiley
  • What to do when you are scared and worried: A guide for kids; 2004, James Crist, Free Spirit, 9-12 yrs.

Books For Adolescents

  • Passing exams without anxiety: How to get organized, be prepared, and confident of success; 1998, David Acres, Trans-Atlantic Publications
  • Coping with anxiety and panic attacks; 1997, Jordan Lee & Carolyn Simpson, Rosen Publishing Group
  • The anxiety workbook for teens: Activities to help you deal with anxiety and worry; 2008, Lisa Schab, New Harbinger Publications
  • What you must think of me: A firsthand account of one teenager’s experience with social anxiety disorder; 2007, Emily Ford, Michael Liebowitz, & Linda W. Andrews, Oxford University Press

Kids’ Corner

Top ten tips to conquer fears and worries:

  1. Realize that everyone gets anxious. You are not alone. In fact a little bit of anxiety is a good thing. It prepares us to do our best. It is only when anxiety gets in the way of what we want or need to do that it becomes a problem.
  2. Talk about your fears with someone you trust. Don’t keep it to yourself. You might find that others have had similar fears and can provide useful descriptions of how they overcame them.
  3. Know your body’s reactions to anxiety. Pay attention to what your body does when you are nervous. Does your heart beat fast? Do your ears get hot? Do you get a stomachache? Knowing your body’s reactions to anxiety can help you to distinguish between when you are really sick (e.g., the flu) and when you are just nervous. Once you know that you are nervous, you can begin to develop a plan to help yourself.
  4. Pay attention to what you say to yourself in your head. If you are thinking about the worst things that can happen in a situation, you are bound to feel nervous and scared. Instead, ask yourself, “Has this ever happened before? How did it turn out? Would it really be so bad if it actually did happen? Is there anything I can tell myself to be less nervous?”
  5. Recognize the connection between your thoughts and feelings. Thinking worried thoughts (“I can’t handle this. It’s too scary.”) can lead a person to feel anxious. Thinking brave thoughts (“I’m a brave person. I can do it.”) can lead to feeling courageous and capable.
  6. Brainstorm solutions to your problems. When you are nervous or scared, there are many things that you can do to help yourself. Make a list of all the behaviors that you can do in a scary situation. Go ahead, list even the silly ones! Then once your list is well developed, cross off those behaviors that are unlikely to help you cope in the situation. What you have left is a sensible plan to combat your fears.
  7. Learn how to relax. Begin by taking three deep breaths. Pay attention to your muscles and how they feel when they are tense versus relaxed. If you notice that your shoulders are tight and tense, for example, try to relax them by making your arms go loose and floppy.
  8. Face your fears. At first, you may think that the best way to get rid of nervousness is to avoid the things that you are afraid of. But this is often not such a great solution. While avoiding what you fear makes the anxiety go away in the short term, it makes the fear stronger in the long term. Try taking small steps toward actually facing those things that you fear. You may find that they were not as scary as you’d imagined.
  9. Reward your bravery. All good attempts to face your fears should be rewarded. It’s hard work to tackle those things that scare you. Give yourself a pat on the back, ask your parent for your favorite dessert, or go to a movie with a friend. You will have deserved it.
  10. Don’t be concerned if your parents think that seeking treatment is a good idea to get a better handle your anxiety. At University of Rhode Island’s Child Anxiety Program (CAP), we like to think of what we do as “lessons” in managing anxiety. Just as you would take lessons to get better at art or soccer, you can come to the CAP to get better at dealing with your fears and worries. Our therapists are like coaches – providing you with training and support so that you can face your fears once and for all!

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