Support for Anxious Young People


Knock Counselling Centre are launching an evidence based programme to help prevent and treat anxiety in young people and adolescents.

The “Cool Kids” programme, which will be available for the first time in Ireland, is run over eight to ten sessions and teaches children aged 7-17 and their parents how to better manage the child’s anxiety. Both child and parent participate in the programme which focuses on teaching practical coping skills through cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Research studies have found that most young people who complete the “Cool Kids” programme show significant improvement including an increase in school attendance, academic achievement, confidence, number of friends and involvement in extra-curricular activities. Studies have also shown a decrease in worry, shyness, fear and family distress.

The “Cool Kids” programme has already been run in 24 countries including Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Iceland, Turkey, Indonesia and Italy. Research undertaken with some of these countries has proven the effectiveness of the programme internationally.

Peter Devers, Senior Psychotherapist and “Cool Kids” trainer explained, “The programme supports participants in learning about their feelings, worries and anxieties and builds coping skills to reduce the amount of life interference caused by anxiety. It also teaches other important coping skills such as improving assertiveness and learning to solve problems”.

The “Cool Kids” programme was designed at the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University, Australia and was the first of its type to include parental involvement in the treatment of anxiety. Fiona McCarthy, Director at Knock added, “The programme recognizes that parents are the experts in their children’s lives, so it makes sense to harness their wealth of experience and collaborate with them to support their child”. 

Studies have shown that approximately 60% of children who complete the Cool Kids programme are diagnosis free after treatment. For more information on the initiative, please contact Knock Counselling Centre at 0949375032 or log on to www.knockshrine.ie/counselling