Childhood anxiety problems: Helping parents to help their children – Presented by Professor Cathy Creswell and Dr. Chloe Chessell as part of the ‘Professor Judy Dunn Webinar Series’ – RECORDING

Matt Kempen
Marketing Manager for ACAMH

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As part of the ‘Professor Judy Dunn Webinar Series’ we were delighted to welcome Professor Cathy Creswell and Dr. Chloe Chessell, both University of Oxford. Cathy and Chloe shared their expert knowledge and insights into the current research to explain what anxiety is, when anxiety becomes a problem and the evidence-based tools and techniques to help children to overcome anxiety problems. The ‘Professor Judy Dunn Webinar Series’ will disseminate the evidence-based research, on different mental health topics, to help parents and those working with children and young people.


About the session

Anxiety problems often begin during preadolescence and are the most common mental health problem in this age group. Experiencing anxiety problems at a young age can have wide ranging impacts at home, in school, and with relationships. Parenting an anxious child can be hard – parents often tell us that they want to help their child but have often received conflicting advice and so are often unsure what to do for the best. Professor Cathy Creswell and Dr Chloe Chessell aim to empower parents with knowledge and tools to support preadolescent children (aged 5 to 12 years old) to overcome anxiety problems.

This talk will provide parents with an overview of what anxiety is and when anxiety becomes a problem in children, an understanding of what keeps anxiety problems going, and evidence-based tools and techniques that parents can use at home to help their child to overcome anxiety problems. There will be opportunities to participate in interactive quizzes, learn from case examples, and time for parents to reflect on how the information covered in this talk may apply to their child.

Key learning takeaways

1. To understand what anxiety is and when anxiety becomes a problem.
2. To understand the different types of anxiety problems that preadolescent children may experience.
3. To understand the factors that can keep child anxiety problems going.
4. To learn about evidence-based tools and techniques to help children to overcome anxiety problems.

Other resources

For more information on parent-led Anxiety work: Thirlwall, K., Cooper, P. J., Karalus, J., Voysey, M., Willetts, L., & Creswell, C. (2013). Treatment of child anxiety disorders via guided parent-delivered cognitive–behavioural therapy: Randomised controlled trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry203(6), 436-444.

For more information on parent-led OCD work: Chessell, C., Halldorsson, B., Walters, S., Farrington, A., Harvey, K., & Creswell, C. (2023). Therapist guided, parent-led cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for pre-adolescent children with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD): a non-concurrent multiple baseline case series. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 1-19.

Who should attend

It will be of particular interest to parents, those working in education, such as teachers, educational psychologists, and those with a pastoral care responsibility, plus those who oversee youth work such as social workers. Additionally, those working as therapists and practioners should attended, and those interested in the effects of anxiety.

About the Speakers


 Professor Cathy Creswell

Cathy is Professor of Developmental Clinical Psychology at Oxford University. Cathy’s research mainly focuses on the development, maintenance and treatment of anxiety disorders in children and young people. Her team in The Oxford Psychological Interventions for Children and adolescents (TOPIC) research group apply a broad range of methods (including experimental, longitudinal, clinical trial and qualitative methods and systematic reviews) with children, young people and families in both community and clinical settings, with the ultimate aim of improving access to and outcomes from psychological treatments for these common conditions.

Chloe Chessell

Chloe Chessell

Chloe is a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner and Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford. Chloe’s clinical work and research focuses on supporting parents to learn Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) tools and techniques to help their child to overcome anxiety problems and obsessive compulsive difficulties.

About the ‘Professor Judy Dunn Webinar Series’

We are proud to present this series, named in honour of Professor Judy Dunn. It is aimed at disseminating the evidence-based research on different topics to help parents, and those working with children and young people, improve young people’s mental health. Professor Dunn is an emminent developmental psychologist with a stellar career spanning over 50 years. She has specialised in children’s social emotional and sociocognitive development, parent-child, sibling and peer relationships, and the development of language and communication abilities. Amongst her many credits are; Emeritus Professor of Developmental Psychology KCL, Fellow of King’s College Cambridge, Medical Research Council Senior Scientific Officer, Evan Pugh Professor & Professor of Human Development Penn State University, Chair of The Children’s Society’s Good Childhood Inquiry, Fellow of the British Academy, and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

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