Worried No More (Second Edition)

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For parents, school personnel and health care professionals.

This book received the 2011 Self-Help Book Recommendation from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.

Packed with information, practical guidance and specific how-to steps to help children overcome worry, school refusal, separation anxiety, social anxiety, excessive shyness, panic, phobias, traumas and tragedies, obsessions and compulsions.

 Key Benefits:

  • How to tell normal anxiety from problem anxiety
  • Different forms of anxiety in children and teenagers
  • Red flags for anxiety
  • Expressions of anxiety in school
  • Effective treatments
  • How to find the right professional help
  • What parents can do to help
  • What schools can do to help
  • Valuable strategies at home and school
  • Dos and don'ts of parenting
  • Step-By-Step action plans with examples
  • Ready-to-Use Forms and Tools for parents and schools

Dr. Wagner has done it again—and then some!  Another masterpiece on anxiety in children and adolescents—this time covering all anxiety disorders.  Her writing is so clear and her guidance so practical, that this is the book every school must have and every parent of a child with anxiety should read and reread.  …Treating anxiety with the straightforward yet highly effective Cognitive-Behavioral techniques detailed in the book can truly transform the child's life.  There are specific "how to" steps for parents and teachers for all the difficult obstacles to recovery including motivation and reluctance. Dr. Wagner’s diagram of the "Vicious Cycle of Avoidance" provides priceless understanding of the process of excessive anxiety and how to control it.

The section on "Questions for Selecting a CBT Therapist" will be welcomed by able therapists and terrify to quacks….  

John H. Greist, M.D., Distinguished Senior Scientist, Madison Institute of Medicine , Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin Medical School 

  Parents and teachers often ask about practical management techniques for anxiety disorders, and this book is sorely needed.   Dr. Wagner has written a very helpful and practical book that will be immensely helpful to parents and teachers.  She clearly and concisely outlines the various problems encountered by children and adolescents with anxiety disorders...and the differential between normal anxiety and more extreme anxiety states.  She uses case examples to illustrate various anxiety problems and then follows through with diagnoses and practical recommendations.  Dr. Wagner’s approach to treatment is Cognitive-Behavioral, but she outlines medical and neurological aspects of the disorders....For example, she discusses the streptococcus-induced forms of OCD (PANDAS). I highly recommend Dr. Wagner’s book as a most helpful addition to the scant literature for parents and teachers on anxiety disorders in children. 

 Michael Jenike, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board, Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation

This excellent book could not be more timely considering the recent highly stressful events in our country. This important and useful book for parents and teachers will be a very welcome aid to the many people who daily need to understand and help children and adolescents who are experiencing serious anxiety problems.  Consistent with much scientific evidence, Dr. Wagner endorses Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy as the treatment method most helpful for anxiety disorders. She explains this treatment method very clearly so that it will be understandable to both parents and teachers. A strength of this book is that it is highly readable as well as scientifically sound.

The tables, forms and tools throughout the book simplify and clarify procedures and techniques for intervention; and those for children are very user friendly.  The chapter on specific strategies for intervention for both normal and problem anxieties should be very helpful for parents and teachers.

Sara S. Sparrow, Ph.D., Professor and Chief Psychologist, Yale University Child Study Center   Worried No More: Help and Hope for Anxious Children by Aureen Pinto Wagner, Ph.D., is a welcome addition to the list of books produced for concerned parents, school personnel and clinicians unfamiliar with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). It is a "must read" for these targeted audiences because the book is accurate, clear and easily understood.  It provides the practical answers and strategies that parents/teachers/counselors are looking for.

Worried No More provides general information to bring the targeted audience up to speed on different anxiety problems.  In it, Dr. Pinto Wagner discusses in general terms CBT and medications.  These general chapters are easily understood, to-the-point and jargon free.  She provides guidance on how to discriminate between normal anxiety from problem anxiety.  She discusses warning symptoms and possible differences in presentation due to developmental age.

In my opinion, the most elegant chapter of the book is the one devoted to discussing the causes of anxiety disorders in children. Dr. Pinto Wagner explains the maintenance factors in incredible clear and understandable language.  She handles particularly well the delicate issue of parental reactions and responses that can accidentally and inadvertently strengthen an anxiety problem. Another section the author covers with expert ease is her explanation of habituation and how and why Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) works.  Because having this understanding is the first step towards success, these explanations alone make the book worth buying.  Additionally, the book has many handy tables that simplify concepts for the reader.  One that stands out is a nifty little table that highlights the differences between normal anxiety and problem anxiety.

Other highlights of the book are the sections that focus specifically on what parents and school personnel can do to help alleviate a child's anxiety. The school chapter is particularly useful.  In it, Dr. Wagner urges the school to respect and honor the knowledge and expertise of the parents.  She also urges parents to understand the limited resources of schools and to assume that most school personnel want to be helpful.  By focusing on the unique responsibilities of all the parties involved, the author shows how parents and teachers can build a team that truly works together for the best interest of the child they are trying help.  It has been my experience that school personnel and parents often initially look at each other as adversaries.  Dr. Pinto Wagner provides useful guidance to help foster teamwork and specific actions the team can take to help the child.

There is also a chapter devoted to specific interventions that might be useful for a variety of anxiety disorders in children. The chapter presents many useful ideas.  I hope that parents do not assume that armed with this book they can replace a clinician.  Possibly to guard against this assumption, Dr. Wagner provides a list of questions to help parents find a good clinician.

I was very impressed with the "Worry Hill Memory Card" that Dr. Pinto Wagner devised and included in the book.  Young children will be able to use this mnemonic device to keep in mind that, although the early part of an exposure exercise is hard work and involves feeling fear, when they get used to doing it, it will be as easy as coasting down a hill on a bike.  This "Card" is a gem and the metaphor is a useful analogy for any parent or therapist.

Overall, I give this book a hearty thumbs up!!

 Lee Fitzgibbons, Ph.D., As reviewed in the Spring 2002 OCD Newsletter, reprinted with permission


Aureen Pinto Wagner, Ph.D. is a clinical child psychologist, expert in the treatment of anxiety, and international speaker. She specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and has developed the child-friendly Worry Hill® approach to making CBT accessible to youngsters. Dr. Wagner is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. She is also a member of the Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board of the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation and a member of its Pediatric Subcommittee.

Dr. Wagner established The Anxiety Wellness Center in 2002 to provide effective treatment for children, teens and adults with anxiety. Prior to relocation to North Carolina in 2010, Dr. Wagner was Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry since 2003, and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry since 1991. In 2007, she was voted Outstanding Psychologist of the Year by the Genesee Valley Psychological Association, Rochester, NY.

In 2011, Dr. Wagner was awarded the Self-Help Book Recommendation for providing the highest level of evidence-based best practices, from the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, for all her self-help books: Worried No More: Help and Hope for Anxious Children, Up and Down the Worry Hill: A Children's Book about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and What to do when your Child has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Strategies and Solutions. The latter two books, along with her highly-acclaimed resource for professionals, Treatment of OCD in Children and Adolescents: Professional's Kit, comprise the only integrated set of resources for children with OCD, their parents, and their therapists. Dr. Wagner has also developed a suite of resources for professionals who work with anxious youth, including Worried No More: Teaching Tools and Forms on CD, and CD’s of her live workshops for parents and school professionals.

Dr. Wagner is a sought-after international speaker who presents workshops for parents, school professionals and clinicians. She offers videoconferencing consultation and workshops for professionals.  Dr. Wagner received her education at St. Agnes College, the University of Iowa, Yale University Child Study Center and Brown University.