Beating back to school anxiety

Back to school can be hard for children and parents, particularly children who struggle with shyness.

The BRAVE Team are again seeking participants for the BRAVE-ONLINEprogram, specifically, children with social anxiety (and their parents) between theages of 8 and 12. This program aims to help both children and parents learnstrategies for managing social anxiety and find ways to cope with anxiety provokingsocial situations.

“Social anxiety, fear of embarrassment in front of others, or extreme shyness, isone of the most common types of anxiety experienced by children,” says DrCaroline Donovan from Griffith’s School of Psychology and BehaviouralBasis of Health. “As children interact in day-to-day school and social settings, anumber of them are likely to experience some social anxiety. Something asseemingly simple as starting the new school year may be enough to trigger thesefeelings.”

Developed by a team of researchers who have over 15 years experience workingin the field of child anxiety, Dr Donovan and Professor Susan Spence, areworking in collaboration with The University of Southern Queensland and TheUniversity of Queensland.

Children not getting the help they need

“The unique aspect of BRAVE is that the program is completed online. Wedeveloped the program in response to the evidence that as many as two thirds ofchildren who experience anxiety may not be getting the help they need. There arevarious reasons why attending therapy sessions is not possible for many children;however, advances in computer technology have opened up new opportunities forfamilies to access psychological services via the internet,” said Dr Donovan.

“Our research shows that BRAVE-ONLINE is just as effective as face-to-facetherapy for treating child anxiety. The difference is we can offer BRAVE-ONLINEto children with social anxiety from all around Australia. All they need is access toa computer and the internet.”

The program requires participating children to complete ten, 60-minute onlinesessions over a 10 week period. Parents are also required to participate.

Interested participants should contact the BRAVE team on (07) 3735 3312 oremail:[email protected]

For more information please visit the BRAVE website: