Cool Kids

Cool Kids is a proven, ten-session program for children aged 7-11 who are struggling with high levels of anxiety, and their parents. Children benefit by attending group sessions with other kids with similar difficulties, and learning how to recognise, manage and reduce their anxiety.

Current results indicate that most young people who complete our programs show significant improvement. In fact, studies have shown that, by the end of the program, 84% of children show moderate or greater change and that the changes last over time.1

Topics covered in the program include:

  • Learning about feelings and anxiety
  • Learning to think more realistically
  • Parenting an anxious child
  • Fighting fear by facing fear
  • Learning other coping skills such as building assertiveness or learning to solve problems
  • How to deal with setbacks and difficulties
  • Maintaining progress after the program ends.

We know from research2 that better results are gained when parents attend with their children, so children aged seven years or older will only be accepted into the program if at least one parent (but preferably both) can attend with them.

  1. Rapee, R.M. (2000). Group treatment of children with anxiety disorders: Outcome and predictors of treatment response. Australian Journal of Psychology, 52(3), 125-129.
  2. Barrett, P.M., Dadds, M.R., and Rapee, R.M. (1996). Family treatment of childhood anxiety: A controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64, 333-342

Having seen the life changing gains that many participants have made after completing this program we offer it with confidence in its power to transform the lives of anxious children and their families.

What you can expect

The biggest advantage of working in groups with other families is that kids learn that they’re not alone, and that their feelings and symptoms are experienced by other children too. And parents benefit by sharing their stories, problems and successes with one another – and by knowing there are other families going through similar challenges.

On the program, children learn new ways to recognise, manage and reduce their anxiety. They learn how anxiety affects our bodies, thoughts, feelings and behaviour, and identify the link between thoughts and feelings. Parents learn how to parent a child with anxiety, and long-term strategies and tips to help your child manage their anxiety.

Following treatment, families usually notice marked increases in school attendance, academic achievement, confidence, number of friends and involvement in extra-curricular activities and decreases in worry, shyness, fear and family distress.

The Cool Kids program provides highly effective tools for the treatment and management of anxiety. It empowers both children and parents in this regard in a way that, in my experience, has not been available through the public system.Mother
The Cool Kids course has been excellent. Our son has been able to identify and work through much as a result.Father

Cool Kids has made a positive and dramatic difference to how we manage our child’s anxiety! It has helped us all understand each other better and we are now much better equipped to manage difficulties and able to stay calm. Thank you so much! Cool Kids really makes a difference! I highly recommend it!Father

Elaine and Lynn have helped our family immensely. Our son was a very explosive and highly strung child when we started. Throughout the course he has become calmer, more confident and more caring. We are so grateful.Mother

Frequently Asked Questions

In the first instance, you could contact Elaine for an individual or family session to assess whether your child has anxiety and qualifies for the program.
It’s not uncommon for children (and parents) to be apprehensive about joining a group and revealing the difficulties they are experiencing with anxiety. However, experience has shown that families gain huge benefits from group sessions that can’t be obtained in one-to-one counselling. It helps children to learn that others are ‘in the same boat’ and it helps parents as they learn from each other’s experiences and share what works well for different families. It can also be a lot of fun!!!
Families come from a range of backgrounds but you will probably find that you have more in common than you thought. Every child who completes the program is there because they have worries and fears that are stopping them from enjoying life to the full. Most people end up thoroughly enjoying the group and the support it provides.
Cool Kids is designed to run over nine weeks with a two-hour group session every week (usually held after school). The last two or three sessions are usually a couple of weeks apart to allow children and their families time to practice the techniques learned in earlier sessions. We generally do not run Cool Kids during the school holidays, so all in all, the program is generally spread over about 3 months. You also need to be prepared to spend at least half an hour every day completing practice tasks. Experience has shown that those families who prioritise the practice tasks are the ones who gain the most benefit from the program.
Yes, a child won’t be accepted unless at least one (but preferably both) parents agree to attend the sessions. One of the reasons this program is so successful is because parents are actively involved – and learn how to become a ‘coach’ for their child.
The cost of the Cool Kids program varies, depending on the number of families participating in each program – the more families, the cheaper it becomes! Individual sessions and assessments are charged on an hourly basis – please ask Elaine for more information.
We’re happy for anyone who feels that Cool Kids could be of assistance to a child or family they know to contact us in the first instance. This may include parents, grandparents or caregivers, medical professionals, schools or kindergartens, or other psychologists or therapists. We can provide information that can be passed on to the family so that they can make an informed choice.
We are confident that there will always be a degree of behaviour change if parents and children attend every session and always do the practice tasks between sessions. The amount of behaviour change will depend on a number of factors including how severe the anxiety is, the motivation of the child and family to change, and the presence of other issues that make change difficult. There is a follow up appointment about 3 months after the final Cool Kids session to monitor progress, and families are always welcome to undertake the program a second time in order to reinforce what has been learned.

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