Elaine and the Cool Kids program has been a lifesaver for our family. Our 11-year old son developed severe anxiety last year. It started with refusing to go to school, but within three months, it had developed into a full-blown anxiety disorder and depression – to the point where he wouldn’t leave the house and could barely get out of bed. He was also having suicidal thoughts and his behavior was very extreme with constant tantrums, tears and oppositional behavior (which was not like him). Things were pretty bad!

Initially, our son wouldn’t even attend the weekly program, so we attended and Elaine would ‘drop by’ the next day and slowly, ever so gently began to help our son. Eventually, by week 7 of the program, he felt brave enough to attend and loved it! He saw that other kids had anxiety too (different but similar) and he particularly enjoyed the role-playing. After that, he started going from strength to strength, achieving new things and starting to get his life back.

Now, six months later, he is back to school most days, his behavior is improving, and he’s starting to find his former happy, exuberant self again. It’s been a difficult journey and we still have a long way to go – but we believe he would never have come this far this quickly without Elaine and the Cool Kids program. We have also learnt to be better parents and our family life is much more peaceful.

I would highly recommend Cool Kids to any family with a child with anxiety problems – and to be proactive and do it now before your child’s anxiety becomes a bigger problem. It’s just the most amazing thing you can do for your child – and your family. Sarah - Cool Kids participant

Hi Elaine. Thank you again for coming into the school to meet with us all – I think the meeting went very well. You have been an enormous help, I’m so grateful. I have contacted the Davis dyslexia people and feel good about starting Helen there.Rachel – parent of an 8 year old
The Chilled program has helped and encouraged me to become a stronger, more confident, less stressed person. The skills I have learned will help me now, and also in the future, as I can control and understand my thoughts, to prevent the physical responses.Chilled program - Bella (15 years)
We all want to thank you for the great help from you in the past year. Barry still gets grumpy from time to time, but he manages to control himself on most occasions. He is more accepted by the other kids, and has been more involved in group play. He will be in primary school in the coming year, and the Teaching Assistance Plan is not mentioned by school any more. I don’t think we could have reached where we are without your help. We will recommend you to all the families in need.Peter – parent of 4 year old boy
Things are generally pretty good for us. It’s been tremendously helpful to have Anna’s Cognitive and Educational assessment. It’s so good to understand more about her strengths and difficulties, so I can help her in more appropriate ways when things are tough. I’m sure we’ll be back in touch with you in the future to reassess where she’s at and also for yet more of your fabulous parenting advice for the next stumbling blocks we encounter. I’m so glad I got in contact with you – it’s had such a positive impact on both Anna and me. Thank you.Gemma – parent of a 4 year old
In essence though, I really think that we’re back on track now. Your explanations and suggestions have been really helpful and everything’s a lot easier now. I spoke to Sarah’s preschool also and they don’t really feel that there is cause for concern about her behaviour. Sarah is reporting also that she is managing not to hurt other people as much there. She now has a best friend at preschool who really seems to have helped Sarah feel more secure. She hasn’t been upset when I have dropped her off for some time now. Thank you so much for your help.Donna – parent of a 3 year old
Thank you so much Elaine. The Chilled program well exceeded our expectations and has improved the quality of our daughter’s life, giving her the confidence and tools to tackle her anxiety and not let it control her. We, as parents, have also benefitted from the tools and from being actively involved in sessions. We feel we are in a good position, going forward, to support our teenager to achieve her goals.Chilled program - Parents of Bella

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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