Think of the last time you felt anxious. Whether you were dreading an upcoming work presentation, worrying about finances, or thinking about an impending doctor’s appointment, you likely experienced an urge to avoid the stressor in some way, perhaps by procrastinating, thinking about something else, or putting off the appointment. Avoiding anxiety provoking situations is a hard-wired human instinct that can be very helpful at times, such as keeping us from walking down an isolated dark alley alone at night. However, avoidance can also be a slippery slope-particularly when it is a child’s primary way of coping with worry.Read More
About Julia Martin BurchJulia Martin Burch, PhD is a staff psychologist at the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program at McLean Hospital in Boston. Dr. Martin Burch completed her training at Fairleigh Dickinson University and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.She works with children, teens, and parents and specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, obsessive compulsive, and related disorders. Outside of her work at McLean, Dr. Martin Burch gives talks to clinicians, parent groups, and schools on working with anxious youth.
It is typical for kids to have worries and to ask their parents questions about those worries. For example, it is not uncommon for a child to worry about a natural disaster befalling their town after learning about one on the news. It’s also typical and appropriate for a child to then ask their parents about the likelihood of a similar disaster occurring in their own hometown. However, some children are not satisfied by having their question answered once or twice.Read More
Sleepaway camp can be one of the most fun and formative experiences in a child’s life. It is also rife with new challenges that children do not typically face at home, including being away from caretakers for an extended period of time, sleeping in a new place, and daily exposure to new activities, people, and expectations. Camp can be anxiety-provoking for even the most adventurous child, so it stands to reason that it might pose unique challenges for children who are learning to cope with anxiety.Read More