What is Anxiety Mapping?
50 anxiety management skills are provided throughout the book to help the child ease the symptoms so often associated with anxiety.
Each set of skills are identified by a set of stickers to be used for monitoring. Each week, three skills should be taught. Each skill should be identified as a sticker on their map. Each additional week, one new skill can be added or substituted for a skill that doesn’t appear to work for the child.
In attempting to calm an over active nervous system, skills will need to be practiced consistently before deciding that one cannot or does not work.
Who Should Use Anxiety Mapping?
Parents and Caregivers…struggling with a child who display anxious symptoms.
Teachers…desiring effective tools in managing children with general or test related stress and anxiety. Many teachers have found numerous keys effective in mapping as a class during peak test times.
Clinicians, child therapists, counselors…needing tools as a behavioral management system with children experiencing anxiety. Just as the instructional describes, child therapists can introduce 2-3 skills during a session then reinforce through recommended mapping homework.
Nurses, doctors, allergists, diabetes educators, developmental and child life specialists…looking for ways to help the many children searching for relief from anxiety who also have co –morbid conditions such as asthma, diabetes, autism and ADHD.
About The Author
Kimberly (Kim) Keenan, MS, MSW, LCSW received a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois and is currently an adjunct professor at The University of Illinois. She earned her PhD in Project NatureConnect at Akamai University Institute of Applied Ecopsychology. In addition to having maintained a thriving family therapy practice, Kim is a national speaker, educator and freelance writer. She has recently worked as a clinical social worker with OSF Saint Francis Medical Center working with children and families. Currently, she is serving as grants and internship coordinator for The gitm Foundation
It is the first day of school for Allie. She is so thrilled to be attending a new school that she didn't sleep well the night before. Allie’s mom wakes her up to get ready for school, and the routine goes well. She places Allie’s favorite cereal on the table in front of her and walks over to the counter to fill her juice glass. Maybe it’s the blank stare or the somewhat pale look that Allie seems to be wearing, but things don’t seem the same. Allie says that she isn't hungry and that she’s beginning to feel sick to her stomach. Mom brushes it off as the jitters and encourages her to eat “just a bit” and to “hurry, put on your shoes so we’re not late.” Just five minutes down the road, Allie begins to bend over in the backseat. She tells her mom that she feels hot and shaky. Tears begin to fall on Allie’s face as they pull into the school parking lot. Mom waits a good fifteen minutes to see if the feeling subsides, then decides that maybe Allie did catch a bit of a bug. She turns around and heads back home to let the school know that Allie will not be attending. After an hour’s nap, Allie is awake and feeling good. She wants to eat breakfast and play, but Mom is cautious and requires her to stay in bed most of the day.
Everything seems normal until the next day, when Allie’s symptoms come back before going to school. Mom pushes her to walk into the school and tells her teacher that she has some new school nervousness; however, after forty minutes, the school office calls to report that Allie has been in the bathroom and is complaining of stomach aches, and they ask Allie’s mom, “Could you come pick her up?”
Countless parents have struggled with this very situation or a similar event with their children, with no real way to manage. It is difficult at best to know what to do when you are not even sure what the problem is. Hundreds of pediatricians and counselors, including me, have listened to stories mirroring Allie’s and have often come to the same conclusion: Allie may be struggling with anxiety.
It can be heartbreaking and sometimes overwhelming for a parent to watch their child struggle with anxiety and unhappiness. Using the techniques provided in this manual will allow a parent to offer their child a variety of concrete methods of coping that substitute structure for disorganization and fun and joy for fear. This very positive approach also takes the parent’s own struggles and fears for their child out of the equation and allows the child a clearer path to a healthier future.