Teens experience stress about a great number of situations and circumstances, and anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. For teens, such circumstances as speaking in public, moving to a new neighborhood, dating issues, taking tests, making good grades, and competing in athletic events may all cause stress. For some teens various circumstances or events can cause more than the usual amount of stress. This leads to anxiety.
Anxiety has been defined as a state of intense apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting mainly from the anticipation of a threatening event or situation, often to a degree that disrupts normal, everyday physical and psychological functioning. Fear is an emotional response to a real or perceived threat. Anxiety is anticipation of a future threat.
Anxiety is normal in the everyday life of all people and can actually be a good thing. Anxiety motivates one to accomplish goals and warns a person of a dangerous situation. However, intense anxiety can involve debilitating symptoms and affect performance in school, athletics, and interpersonal interactions. Some teens persistently experience excessive amounts of worry and fear about everyday situations and this may lead to depression. Persistent anxiety and fear can interfere with daily activities. Often, these symptoms are difficult to control.
This workbook provides facilitators who work with teens who may be experiencing intense anxiety issues with a series of reproducible activities that can be used to supplement their work with teens. Because these activity pages are reproducible, they can be photocopied as is, or you may adapt them by whiting out and writing in your own changes to suit the needs of each group, using that page as your master-copy to be photocopied for each participant.
The Awareness Modules
The reproducible awareness modules contained in this workbook will help you identify and select assessments and activities easily and quickly:
Module I: Signs of Stress Symptoms
This module will help participants explore the signs of stress in their lives, recognize the symptoms of anxiety, and learn tools to begin to help decrease the anxiety.
Module II: Need for Control
This module will help participants explore the various ways they need to be in control of their lives.
Module III: Social Approval
This module will help participants explore the various ways that their need for the approval of others affects their functioning in social situations.
Module IV: Perfectionism
This module will help participants explore ways that their need to be perfect and mistake-free and their determination to achieve unrealistic standards can cause anxiety.
Module V: Erasing the Stigma of Mental Health Issues
This module will help participants explore the stigma of having intense anxiety and the impact that the stigma has on them.
Also available: Managing Anxiety for Teens Card Deck
Use the open-ended questions with groups or individuals to kick-start a session. Each question corresponds to a specific page in the book.
About the Authors:
Ester Leutenberg has worked in the mental health profession for many years as an author, publisher and as an advocate for those suffering from loss. She personally experienced a loss when her son Mitchell, after struggling with a mental illness for eight years, died by suicide in 1986.
Soon after, as a way of both healing and helping others, she co-founded Wellness Reproductions & Publishing with her daughter Kathy Khalsa. Ester began developing therapeutic products that help facilitators help their clients. She is the co-author of theSEALS series for teenagers as well as Meaningful Life Skills for older adults, and the eight-book Life Management Skills series for adults.
Ester, a breast cancer survivor since 2003, has counseled other survivors in overcoming body-loss issues. Her involvements with Survivors of Suicide, the Coyote Task Force in Tucson, various support groups in Sun City Oro Valley and volunteering at two hospitals are among many ways she continues to feed her passion of helping mentally ill people, their facilitators and their families.
John J. Liptak is the Associate Director of Career Services and adjunct instructor in the Counselor Education Department at Radford University. He received his EdD in Counselor Education from Virginia Tech. He has worked in a variety of settings including a federal prison, a mental health center, a job training program, and now in higher education.
Dr. Liptak frequently conducts workshops on assessment-related topics. He has written seven books on career-related topics that have been featured in numerous newspapers including The Washington Post, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Associated Press. His work has also been featured on MSNBC, CNN Radio and on the PAX/ION television series, "Success Without a College Degree."
At Radford University, he works with college students entering internships or preparing for graduation and entrance in the workplace. Through individual coaching sessions, workshops, and classroom presentations he helps students develop the emotional intelligence skills they need to be effective in the world-of-work. He is teaching a senior-level course that will teach emotional intelligence skills to graduating seniors.
With Kathy Khalsa and Ester Leutenberg, John has written three comprehensive books for teachers and counselors to use with their students and clients: The Self-Esteem Program, The Social Skills Program, and The Stress Management Program: Inventories, Activities & Educational Handouts. With Whole Person Associates, he and Ester continue to co-write books to add to their Mental Health & Life Skills Workbook series, and their Teen Mental Health Series as well as the new Coping Series, the Mind-Body Wellness Series, and the Family Issues Series.
John resides in Radford, Virginia with his wife Kathy, and their Shih Tzu named "MacKenzie."