Book Review: Anxiety Relief for Kids

Imaginary Fred (2)

I’m going to say right off the back that this is not a book for treating children with any form of PTSD. When I picked it up I was hoping to find even a little bit of information that might be helpful for a system, and I did find some things. I’m going to write and sound a little torn here because I want to have a fair review for it but also share some stuff related to c-PTSD and DID.

The book is not badly written, nor is it based on a bad therapy technique. CBT is helpful for treating lots of things, and can even be helpful in treating PTSD. If you are looking for a book to help treat a child with Anxiety or OCD I would recommend this book for sure. It is written by Bridget Flynn Walker, Ph.D. with a foreword by Michael A. Tompkins, Ph.D.

After the book has its introduction and the chapters on explaining how CBT and exposure therapy works it goes right into a toolkit for helping kids understand their anxiety. It covers using a ‘fear thermometer’ to help gauge your child’s anxiety level. Next, it covers using the ‘Worry Hill’ (developed by Aureen Pinto Wagner) which helps your child understand exposures and their anxiety. In addition to using the ‘Worry Hill’ Walker talks about using a technique called the Candy Jar alongside the Worry Hill.

Walker talks in detail about nicknaming the fear. I felt that this was one of the techniques that could work for a system kid. Basically, by nicknaming the fear the goal is to take away some of the scariness of it. It’s not to get rid of the fear, it’s to bring the child to a place where they can still look logically at the fear.

Say your child has a fear of germs. You would give the germs some name that your child picked out and have them say it whenever they feel anxiety around the fear coming out. To strengthen the nickname’s power, role-playing is suggested. I feel that this could work for a system kid at least by giving the fear (or memory) a nickname to make it seems like threatening. It could help remind the system kid that this is just a silly fear monster and not an actual threat.

The book goes on to go into detail about exposure, ways to identify triggers, and ways to stop yourself and your child from feeding into the fears. It also has a few chapters based solely on OCD.

Overall this book seems like a great tool for parents with kids with genetic anxiety and OCD. In one part it even says “(not necessarily based on real experiences)” [page 27] when talking about a fear of dogs. It would still be a good tool to read through for a parent of a child with PTSD in my opinion. Just because it can help with some of the other anxieties that might come up surrounding the PTSD.

I would not recommend it to another DID system looking to find help with their child parts. Though I’m glad I picked it up myself since my younger sister has anxiety and OCD.

You can find it here on Amazon for less than what I paid at BAM! (Note: I am not affiliated with anyone and receive no money from any purchase of any book I review)

Best,

Cloud.

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