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Working with Anxiety in Children & Teens


A Very Practical Two-Day Workshop

Karen Young


Tuesday, 18 June 2024


Wednesday, 19 June 2024


9:00am - 3:30pm


Commodore Airport Hotel

449 Memorial Avenue
Burnside, Christchurch 8053


Lunch & Tea Break Catering

Workshop Notes


Bookshop at Seminar

Anxiety in children and adolescents is often overlooked, under-reported or misinterpreted as being a behavioural or developmental problem. In reality anxiety is the most common child and adolescent mental health complaint in New Zealand and when recognised and properly managed, anxiety is very treatable.

This two-day intensive workshop will help participants to better understand anxiety in young people and provide a broad range of knowledge, skills, and practical techniques to respond appropriately within their own professional context, becoming effective allies for children in overcoming anxiety. Maintaining a practical and experiential focus, while drawing on a number of highly respected therapeutic models and the latest understandings from neuroscience.

Some of the key content areas Karen will explore with participants include:

  • The different ways anxiety can manifest in children and adolescents.
  • The neurobiology of anxiety and how to use this as a scaffold for facilitating change.
  • How anxiety can interfere with learning and higher-order functioning, and how to respond to strengthen learning, behavioural, and relational outcomes.
  • The four broad causes of anxiety, and how to use this to inform a more effective response.
  • Why popular responses to common behavioural challenges don’t work with anxiety, and what to do instead.
  • How to build high-quality relationships with children and teens and why this is a fundamental component of anxiety management and treatment.
  • Practical strategies to diminish young people’s inner experience of anxiety.
  • Making sense of separation anxiety and school refusal, and how to respond effectively to support brave behaviour.
  • Supporting parents in being change-makers.
  • Practical ways to respond to anxiety in the moment to make way for calm and courage.
  • Why old responses to anxiety can be resistant to change, and the simple explanation for young people that can break through this and build resilience and courage.
  • The neuroscience of self-regulation, co-regulation, and the impact on anxiety immediately and in the long-term. How a young person’s attachment history can impact anxiety and how to work with this in the therapeutic relationship.
  • The relationship between trauma and anxiety, and how to build relationships that heal and protect.
  • The neurobiology of compassion – the strategies to neutralise anxiety and activate courage and resilience.

This workshop further develops a number of themes from Karen’s earlier one-day workshop ‘Overcoming Anxiety’ and includes increased opportunities for participants to experiment and practice many of the practical strategies that will be discussed. It is not necessary to have attended the one-day workshop to participate in this workshop.

Karen Young has worked as a psychologist in private practice, and organisational and educational settings. She is a sought after speaker, educator, and consultant, and works with schools, government bodies, and child and adolescent focused organisations internationally. She is the founder of ‘Hey Sigmund’, an internationally popular online resource that provides contemporary research driven information on anxiety. She has written five books, including the best selling ‘Hey Warrior’, which creatively assists children to understand and manage anxiety.

"Karen is a pleasure to watch and it is obvious she is passionate in her field. My brain is full of new information and tools I can take back with me in both my work and personal life."

Social Worker

"Karen’s practical knowledge and lived experiences have provided us with a wealth of information and ways forward with parent’s and children we have in our school who are struggling with anxiety."


"Absolutely Fantastic!! Thank you, Karen, for your presentation. Your delivery is wonderful, easy to digest and very practical. I appreciated your honesty (re being a mummy) very much. As a Psychologist and also a mummy, I felt very validated when you acknowledged your humanness."


"An amazing seminar. A very relevant topic for our children/Teens. Fantastic strategies and the information given. I feel that I have gained great knowledge so I can help children/families in our programme. Thank you so much, it has been a wonderful day."

Social Worker