Conquering worry and anxiety is an ongoing job for many of us. Kids are not an exception. Training kids while they are young to use strategies to cope with anxiety will help them now. It will also help them manage the even bigger responsibilities of adulthood with less stress. In the following interview with licensed psychologist Dr. Dan Peters, we talk about his fantastic nonfiction book From Worrier to Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Fears. This book is meant to teach kids these anxiety management tools, but it also has fantastic information for adults.
Takeaways from the Interviews
My favorite takeaways from these two video interviews that can help us with conquering worry and anxiety are as follows:
Dr. Dan’s book helps adults and kids use narrative therapy, which helps externalize the problem from the person. This shows us that the problem is not part of us, but something we can work on and change.
Dr. Dan also draws attention to perfectionism, which is not a type of anxiety nor an actual diagnosis. But it’s important to think about perfectionism—which can cause anxiety—to educate ourselves and our kids that perfectionism can sometimes be a problem, but it’s not a part of us. It’s something we can work on and we don’t always need to let it make us anxious or worried.
Dr. Dan also refers to something he calls “stinkin’ thinkin’” in his book. In the interview, he explains how to recognize when we are engaging in stinkin’ thinkin’ by explaining a few different types of it, including catastrophic thinking, mind reading, and selective attention. Metacognition—thinking about your thinking—is important. Anxiety doesn’t want us to think about our thinking. It wants us to accept all of the negative and scary thoughts that we have.
Part 2 of the interview focuses on some helpful techniques for managing worry. These include the “and then what?” method, the value of acting the way you want to feel, and the power of developing resilience.
I especially like how Dr. Dan explains that when a person reaches their resilience limits, it means that the person’s external circumstances outweigh and overrun that person’s internal resources to deal with those circumstances. Developing resilience and related skills—such as being able to recognize when you’ve reached your resilience limits and then asking for help—is so important for both parents and kids to learn. It’s a genuine milestone on the road to conquering worry and anxiety.
Please enjoy part 1 and part 2 of the following video interviews about Conquering the Worry Monster with licensed psychologist Dr. Dan Peters.
About Dr. Dan Peters and The Summit Center
Dr. Dan Peters, licensed psychologist, is the co-founder and executive director of The Summit Center, specializing in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and families with special emphasis on gifted, talented, and creative individuals and families.
Connect with Dr. Dan:
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