Digital Seminar

When Worry Shows Up at School: A Primer for Educators, Administrators, and Counselors

Dawn Huebner, PhD
1 Hour 21 Minutes
Aug 05, 2020
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Digital Seminar
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Even in the most supportive of classrooms, anxiety enters on the heels of approximately 1 in 5 children, making it difficult for them to interact with teachers and/or peers and to fully access the curriculum. 

Anxiety shows up as stomachaches, tearfulness, perfectionism, refusal to participate and more, holding not only the child but sometimes entire classroom hostage. Anxious children need reassurance and accommodations, which teachers who are already stretched thin try to give. Yet sadly, the anxiety often remains stubbornly in place. Fearfulness and avoidance, for some children, become the norm.

It doesn’t need to be that way.

There is a paradox about worry: that the more we fight it, the more it holds on. It turns out that the best way to get rid of anxiety is to stop trying to get rid of anxiety. This paradox flies in the face of many of the interventions made by well-meaning adults who inadvertently collude with young worriers in an attempt to get rid of the worry, thereby locking it in place. Oftentimes school-based accommodations do this, too.

In this 90-minute recording, educators, administrators and school counsellors will learn a new way of thinking about anxiety, and a new way of responding to it, a way that supports the anxious child without inadvertently supporting their anxiety. Practical, effective, school-based techniques will be highlighted with the aim of helping children – and the school-based adults who care about them – break free from the grip of worry.



Dawn Huebner, PhD's Profile

Dawn Huebner, PhD Related seminars and products

Dr. Dawn Huebner, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist and Parent Coach specializing in the treatment of anxiety. She is the author of 9 books for children including the perennial bestseller, What to Do When You Worry Too Much, and more recent, Outsmarting Worry. Dr. Huebner’s newest book, Something Bad Happened provides support for children learning about big bad things happening in the world.

Dr. Huebner’s books sell briskly around the world and have been translated into 23 languages. She has been featured on NPR, the TODAY Show,, WebMD and many other news and information outlets, and is frequently interviewed by popular parenting magazines. Dr. Huebner’s TEDx talk on Rethinking Anxiety has been viewed over 750,000 times. She is a popular speaker both in person and in online symposiums.

Dr. Huebner maintains a private practice in Exeter, NH, where she guides young worriers and their parents towards happier lives. 

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Dawn Huebner maintains a private practice. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dawn Huebner is a member of the American Psychological Association and the New Hampshire Psychological Association.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  1. Distinguish the signs and symptoms of school related anxiety.
  2. Appraise the concept of the worry loop as is relates to children.
  3. Create effective accommodations for anxiety to ensure they are beneficial, dynamic and temporary.


Three Key Concepts About Anxiety
  • Anxiety is the normal byproduct of an internal alarm system
  • Sometimes the alarm is triggered by mistake
  • The goal is not to get rid of the alarm system but to learn to respond differently
Recognizing Anxiety at School
  • “Normal” versus “problematic” anxiety
  • Manifestations of fight, flight or freeze
  • The process of anxiety versus the content of anxiety
What is the Worry Loop and Why Does It Matter?
  • The “Worry Loop”
  • Safety Behaviors “feed” anxiety, keeping it going
  • School-based accommodations often inadvertently support Safety Behaviors
How to Create Effective Accommodations
  • Making supportive statements (acknowledging and encouraging)
  • The role of exposure
  • Ensuring that accommodations are beneficial, dynamic, and temporary

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Therapists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Case Managers
  • Speech Language Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Nurses
  • School Guidance Counselors
  • School Social Workers
  • School Psychologists
  • School Administrators
  • Teachers
  • Special Education Teachers
  • School-based Clinicians
  • Educational Paraprofessionals
  • Other Helping Professionals that work with children

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