At The Anxiety Treatment Center of Greater Chicago we are well known for our successful work with children of all ages, from two years old through college. Our staff is highly trained to diagnose and treat anxiety in children and teens. We offer parents a roadmap for how to purposefully approach their child’s anxiety, providing guidance and support for the entire family; we are dedicated to helping patients and their families improve their lives.
Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children. Although temporary fears can be a normal part of childhood, if your child is experiencing excessive fear, nervousness, or shyness, they may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety often manifests itself in physical symptoms, so you should pay attention if your child regularly suffers from headaches, stomach aches, or visits the school nurse frequently. Some other issues that can indicate an anxiety disorder are:
- Chronic worry and reassurance seeking
- Chronic avoidance of risk taking
- Shyness, social inhibition, and avoidance of social activities
- Separation anxiety
- Inability to sleep or play independently
- Compulsive hair pulling, nail biting, and skin picking
- Test-taking anxiety
- Performance anxiety
- Poorly developed social skills
We have many years of experience teaching anxious children how to face and overcome their fears. Effective intervention during childhood and adolescence is important in preventing anxiety problems from extending into adulthood. By treating children with cognitive behavioral and exposure therapy we can prevent future problems and empower your child with the tools they need to manage their own anxiety.
When normal participation in school, day care, or community activities is disrupted, staff can accompany the child and parent into these settings to help them overcome their fear. In older children, staff can discreetly accompany them into avoided situations to help them complete exposure practice.
Parental participation in a child’s therapy is invaluable and can significantly improve the outcome and speed of progress. We will teach you the best methods for responding to your child’s anxiety by explaining and role-modeling the skills you will need. Home assignments are provided each week so you and your child can practice difficult situations.
Children ages 3-12 work together with their parents and the therapist. Treatment emphasizes parent training to decrease the child’s avoidance of feared situations and to improve the child’s independent functioning.
Older children work independently with the therapist to learn anxiety management skills and to overcome avoidance of feared situations. Parents often join in at the end of a session and are taught how to assist the child in achieving their goals.
We recognize that many children and teens do not want to come into treatment. We strongly encourage you to bring them in despite their protests. When normal participation in school, day care, or community activities is a challenge, we can start by working with your child at home, and then progress to accompanying you and your child into these settings to help them overcome their fear. Anxiety Treatment Center psychologists have long-term relationships with many area schools and counselors, and are often called upon to participate in conferences or IEP sessions. We also collaborate with other professionals who are involved in your child’s care.
Sometimes parents want to schedule sessions alone with the therapist prior to bringing in their child. Typically we like to first meet with both parent and child, but are happy to accommodate your needs when you feel this is appropriate.
At the Anxiety Treatment Center, our strategies result in stronger, self-confident children who learn to manage their own anxiety. These skills can be used throughout their lives, and by learning to cope at a young age they reduce their risks of ongoing difficulties.
Mental Health Professionals
Anxiety Treatment Center psychologists offer supervision and professional development on the most effective cognitive behavioral treatment strategies for anxiety disorders. Consulting can be scheduled on-site or via teleconferencing.
We have extensive experience working with schools throughout Chicago and the North Shore, and have developed ongoing relationships with many teachers, social workers, and counselors. Our training presentations offer specialized and comprehensive education about anxiety disorders, OC spectrum disorders, body focused repetitive behavior disorders, and how to manage these disorders in the home and in the community.
- Consultation – IEP, 504 Plans
- School Intervention
- Workshops and other types of staff training
Individuals often reach out to clergy with their concerns and fears, and we are available to consult with you regarding support for your congregants. We have extensive experience working with patients for whom their anxiety and worry have become an impediment to their faith or their ability to experience a healthy life. Obsessive-compulsive disorder in the form of scrupulosity, obsessive doubt, or compulsive—rather than voluntary—observance can become excruciatingly painful. We work sensitively with patients of all faiths and their respective clergy.
- Complimentary consultations about congregants
- Expert consultation on obsessive compulsive scrupulosity
For the Community
Many of our psychologists are popular speakers who receive repeat requests from professional organizations and school districts. Most of our programs are designed to demystify anxiety disorders and offer suggestions for living successfully with anxiety, OCD, and other disorders. We are often consulted as expert resources by local and national media, including television, radio, and print. See Practice News for recent presentations. Popular speaking topics can include (but are certainly not limited to!):
- Helping Your Shy Or Socially Anxious Child Develop Social Confidence
- Overcoming Worry In Your Child Or Yourself
- Helping You Or Children To Develop Resilience
- Managing Oppositional Behavior In Your Child
- Fostering Mental Resilience In Your Home
- Developing Good Humor In Times Of Stress
- Parenting Kids In The Age Of Social Media
- Or a topic of your choice!
Contact us at 877.559.0001 or firstname.lastname@example.org to start the process.