How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Steven Olsen Your Own Question

Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1764
Experience:  More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Steven Olsen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Where should I start with addressing my daughters anxiety

Resolved Question:

Where should I start with addressing my daughter's anxiety (issues with time:must be in bed by 8:30, fearful she won't fall asleep every night, anxiety about always being home by a particular time), general sadness, and social anxiety. She will be 10 in a few weeks and I don't even know where to start with helping her. Thank you!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Steven Olsen replied 2 years ago.

At her age, and with the symptoms described, individual therapy is best. She will need cognitive behavioral therapy which will seek to decondition and support her to be less afraid and anxious. It will also address the despondency and symptoms of depression that you describe.

 

Best practice, especially because she is young, is a visit to her pediatrician's office for a physical and a referral to a child behavioral specialist. Group work is fine for some issues, but anxiety tends to respond well to one on one intervention much better.


What to do in the meantime and how to help her now:

 

She needs to make some gains, even small ones, to boost her confidence and encourage her.

 

The best way I know to do this is with CBT techniques:

 

Although this book is written for adults, you can use this resource to help you daughter significantly. The book is based on well researched CBT techniques and is the gold standard for treatment of anxiety in both children and adults. It is the: Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne. It is very inexpensive on amazon.com as well as other on-line book sellers. It is easily my favorite workbook on the topic and can easily be converted by you into exercises and simple anxiety reducing practices that your daughter can utilize. It is written in down to earth language and will not cause you any difficulty to bring it to your daughter's developmental level.

 

Also, anxiety is very physical. In my own children I would encourage this technique as a good starter:

 

Elevator Breathing
Begin by having your children observe the natural inhalation and exhalation of their breath without changing anything, then proceed with the directions.

Directions:
Your breath is an elevator taking a ride through your body.
Breathe in through your nose and start the elevator ride.
Breathe out and feel your breath go all the way to the basement, down to your toes.
Breathe in and take your elevator breath up to your belly.
Hold it. Now, breathe out all your air. (Pause)
This time, breathe in and take your elevator breath up to your chest.
Hold it. Now breathe out all your air. (Pause)
Now breathe in and take your elevator breath up to the top floor, up through your throat and into your face and forehead.
Feel your head fill with breath. Hold it.
Now breathe out and feel your elevator breath take all your troubles and worries down through your chest, your belly, your legs, and out through the elevator doors in your feet.
(Repeat)

Day time Follow up: Blow up a real balloon. Show your child how it fills up, from the bottom, the middle and finally the top. Let out some air. Watch the balloon deflate from the top, the middle, and the bottom. Explain that they can inflate and deflate the air of their imaginary balloon (in their bellies and chest) in the same way. Some people like to have the child picture anxiety as the balloon and as they deflate the balloon they picture the anxiety going with the air that escapes. It is simple, but often effective and fun.

 

There is strong hope here, for at your daughter's age her mental processes are not fully fixed and rooted. This means that she should be able to make strong and lasting gains in a brief time frame. She will do much better. But, the first step is to have her seen for a physical, as there are metabolic issues that can masquerade as anxiety and then, if ruled out...a referral to a specialist in child issues. Steven

 

 

Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1764
Experience: More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
Steven Olsen and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
 
 
 

Related Mental Health Questions