The Cool Kids Anxiety Program has been running at Macquarie University since 1993. It is a structured 10 session program run over 10 weeks that teaches children (ages 7-17 years) and their parents how to better manage a child’s anxiety. The program can be run with individuals or in a group, in a clinical or school setting and involves the participation of child and parent. For teens, the program is nicknamed Chilled.
The Cool Kids Anxiety Program is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), with a focus on teaching practical skills. The program has undergone continual scientific evaluation and development to include the latest understanding of anxiety and its treatment. Current results indicate that most young people who complete our programs show significant improvement. Following treatment, there are marked increases in school attendance, academic achievement, confidence, number of friends and involvement in extra-curricular activities and decreases in worry, shyness, fear and family distress.
Topics covered within the Cool Kids Anxiety Program include:
Learning about feelings and anxiety
Learning to think more realistically
Parenting an anxious child
Fighting fear by facing fear (stepladders)
Learning other coping skills such as building social confidence or learning to solve problems
The program has been translated into 14 languages and used in 24 countries including Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Iceland, Turkey, Indonesia and Italy. Research undertaken with some of these populations has proven the efficacy of the program internationally.
Cool Kids Accreditation
Cool Kids is designed to be delivered by qualified, mental health professionals with good knowledge of cognitive behavioural principles and experience delivering treatment to young people. All professionals who deliver CoolKids must be officially accredited. Training involves completing an online workshop that includes topic lectures, skill demonstrations and example applications of Cool Kids skills of Cool Kids skills for different anxiety presentations. The accreditation process involves a multiple-choice knowledge test and written responses to case studies to demonstrate core skills.
Further details on the training and accreditation process can be found here.