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Lynn Lyons, LICSW, Presents to Employees/Parents on Managing Student Anxiety

Nashoba Brooks School employees and parents gathered at Concord Academy’s Performing Arts Center yesterday for a powerful and timely presentation focused on understanding and managing anxiety by author Lynn Lyons, LICSW: Beyond Calming Down: Shifting the Anxiety Paradigm from Avoidance to Action.
Lyons notes that anxiety rates are on the rise, and that anxiety has the ability to impact all aspects of an individual and family’s experience. Depending on how we address it, anxiety has the ability to usurp daily routines, schoolwork, bedtime, and recreation. To exacerbate matters, the very things that we do intuitively as adults to help and console our anxious children may actually make the anxiety stronger. In fact she states, many accommodations that are designed to alleviate immediate symptoms of anxiety, may lead to accommodating and encouraging the worry instead of addressing the skills that lead to the reduction of anxious thoughts and achieve lasting positive outcomes. 

Lyons walked her audience through tangible strategies for handling uncertainty and encouraged taking an offensive stance against anxiety. Her advice for parents and educators alike is to not remove the worries for children. In fact, “when worry arrives, allow, acknowledge, and pivot.” By changing our relationship with worry from avoidance to action, students build a toolkit to help manage immediate anxiety, uncertainty, and discomfort to build flexibility, connections, and positive expectancy. Ultimately, the development of these skills will help individuals confront anxiety and embrace uncertainty to promote greater growth in the future. 


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Lynn Lyons is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist. She has been in private practice for 28 years and specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders in adults and children. Lyons co-authored two books on anxiety: Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous & Independent Children, and the companion book for kids, Playing with Anxiety: Casey’s Guide for Teens and Kids.
 
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Nashoba Brooks School is a coed Lower School from Preschool to Grade 3 and an all-girls Middle School from Grades 4 to 8 located in Concord, Massachussetts.