About Worry Matters

Skilled help when you need it
OUR AIMS

Anxiety and stress are the most common emotional health challenges experienced by children and young people today and, if left untreated, set children up for a lifetime of struggles with their emotional health and wellbeing.

Worry Matters was established to ensure that children and young people experiencing worry and stress:

‘Teaching your child not to fear anxiety and to take it in their stride is one of the biggest gifts you can give your anxious child.”

– Eli R Lebowitz PhD

OUR VALUES

“Our values reflect in everything we do.”

Welcoming

Whoever you are, we welcome you with care and compassion. We want to put you and your family at ease so that you feel safe and comfortable to share your worries.

Engaging

We know that worry and stress can make it tough to reach out and try new things. We will support your family at a pace that feels right for you.

Relevant

We focus on what’s most important to you and your child – it’s at the centre of everything we do.

Effective

Our work is grounded in science, ensuring that you and your family receive brief, targeted and highly effective support from us.

Excellence

We seek to continuously improve all that we do. We never stop listening to children and young people or looking for ways to refine our services so that you and your family receive the very highest level of care.

Professional

We respect the rights and dignity of every family.

OUR APPROACH

Safe, effective and professional care for your family.

Although there is strong evidence for the use of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and parent-focused interventions in the treatment of worry, the research base is constantly evolving and so are we.  We take the very latest techniques from CBT, ACT and parenting approaches as well as neuroscience, mindfulness, positive psychology and Compassion Focused Therapy and roll them into the most effective support package to meet your child’s needs.

You can learn more about each of these approaches below:

CBT can help your child understand the thoughts and feelings behind their worry and stress and find practical strategies to help them cope.  CBT is based on the idea that how we think and behave both affect how we feel. By changing children’s thought processes and addressing their avoidance of feared situations, we can change how they feel.

ACT encourages children to embrace their thoughts and feelings rather than trying to change, avoid or deny them.  ACT teaches children to recognise thoughts for what they are, simply thoughts and not necessarily the truth.  This reduces their influence on behaviour, freeing children from the grip of worry and enabling them to act in ways that enrich their lives.

The latest parenting approaches including SPACE (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions) and parent-led CBT are proving to be just as successful as direct work with children and young people in treating childhood anxiety.  This is hugely exciting as it provides us with alternatives ways to support families, particularly when children are young or uncertain about engaging in therapy themselves.  These approaches will help you to become an expert in connecting with your child, providing them with the security and the support they need to transform their worry and stress.

Stress and worry are often triggered by thoughts about a situation from the past or an imagined scenario in the future.  Sometimes we start judging and reacting to these thoughts, playing out what we could have done differently or how to avoid an unwanted outcome.  Teaching children to stay in the present moment, even when they are not stressed or anxious, helps them develop the skills to relax and more easily detach from these worries when they do occur, lessening the opportunity for mental health difficulties to take root in their minds. 

“Worries and tensions are like birds.  We cannot stop them from flying near us but we can certainly stop them from making a nest in our mind.”  Rishika Jain

Over the past few decades, tremendous progress has been made in our understanding of how the brain detects and responds to threat, advancing our understanding of worry and stress across the lifespan.  Providing children with this knowledge releases them of any shame or stigma they may be experiencing and enables them to make sense of the issues beneath their anxiety.  For example, how areas within their brain are playing a role in their worry and stress.

Positive psychology, the study of wellness, has provided brilliant insights into what basic needs must be met for our children to feel more able to cope with stress and anxiety. For example, giving children a sense of competence, autonomy and belongingness can protect them from the negative effects of stress and worry. A positive psychology approach helps children to identify any needs that may be fuelling their stress or worry and encourages them to think about what changes or choices they can make that will meet those needs. 

CFT has evolved from neuroscience and CBT, amongst other approaches.  An important component is encouraging children or young people to develop a compassionate mind, to experience warmth, positive feelings and support within themselves.  This helps children to balance their emotions during a stressful event and to acknowledge that stress and worry are important parts of the human experience. 

OUR SKILLS

“Get the right help, first time”

Our services are provided by Clinical Child Psychologists.

Clinical Child Psychologists are highly skilled in assessing and supporting children and young people experiencing distress.

They have a broad and detailed understanding of psychological development and mental health across the lifespan.  Leveraging the latest research and recommendations in combination with their knowledge of many different models of therapy, Clinical Child Psychologists are uniquely placed to offer effective care tailored to each family’s needs and circumstances. 

They are also trained to promote psychological skills and understanding in other health and education providers through consultation, training, written guidelines and supervision.   

Unlike therapist, psychotherapist or counsellor, it may reassure you to learn that psychologist is a protected title.  To use it you must demonstrate that you have the necessary skills and experience to practice safely and effectively.  You must also follow strict professional codes of conduct set out by the regulatory body the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and by the British Psychological Society (BPS). 

This should offer you peace of mind that any care you receive is regulated, appropriate and effective.
OUR CLINICAL DIRECTOR

Dr Alex Renshaw D.Clin.Psy. CPsychol AFBPsS

Chartered Clinical Child Psychologist

Alex has witnessed the lasting impact of worry on people close to her throughout her life.  As a mother, she also recognises the importance of enabling her own children to understand the benefits of worry and stress and develop a healthy relationship with all their feelings.

Alex has a lifelong interest in neuroscience and the emotional development of children.  She brings twenty years of experience to Worry Matters as a Clinical Psychologist training other professionals, conducting clinical research and supporting children, young people and families at their most challenging times.  The pressures that children and young people face have increased throughout the pandemic and accessing services remains as hard as ever.  She launched Worry Matters to provide families with timely access to the highly skilled and effective support that they deserve.

Contact us to arrange a free, confidential, no obligation telephone discussion with our Clinical Child Psychologists