A Children and Young People’s Mental Health success story

Identifying and addressing the cause of any health issue early maximises the chances of recovery. Unfortunately, it is often the case that too little is done too late when it comes to mental health, especially in children. Luckily for ten-year-old Adam, a referral from his doctor to our mental health service came just in time …


Ten-year-old Adam was struggling with generalised anxiety and sleep difficulties. His parents asked his doctor for help. Aware of the benefits of addressing such issues early, and the success rate of talking therapy, Adam’s doctor referred him to our Children and Young People’s Mental Health Service.


Here our expert practitioners use a talking-based psychosocial approach to understand the root causes of the issues young people face. The psychosocial approach supports people to explore how both the way they think (psycho) and the environment in which they live (social) impact their mental wellness and ability to function.

A senior practitioner supported Adam and his parents with weekly talking-based support sessions over a six-week period.

The first session was a telephone call with Adam’s parents providing advice on how they could create a supportive environment to encourage Adam to think and behave differently.

The second session was face-to-face with Adam and his parents. During this session significant events that had triggered Adam’s anxiety were identified and support was given to Adam so that he could identify goals for his forthcoming sessions. He chose to focus on learning strategies to help him better manage his worries. He was keen to learn strategies to help with sleep too, but recognised that learning to manage his worries would improve his sleep.

In subsequent sessions, our practitioner used proven techniques to address factors contributing to Adam’s difficulties. The aim was to help him feel safe and supported to be in control of his own wellbeing. This would lead to improved emotional resilience. Adam and his parents were taught about therapeutic models including ‘The Validation Approach’, ‘Parenting Traps’, ‘Body Mapping’, ‘The Worry Alarm’, ‘False Alarms’ and ‘The Brain Model’.

The Brain Model describes how worry leads to the emotional brain flipping its lid and disconnecting from the thinking brain. Understanding this meant that Adam and his parents could better respond to his feelings and behaviours when he was experiencing anxiety. Working with Adam to build his own ‘Worry Toolkit’ meant that he could identify, recognise and challenge ‘Thinking Traps’ that were causing him anxiety.


Working with our practitioner helped Adam to feel in control of his own wellbeing. He and his parents enjoyed the collaborative activities and reported significant improvements in Adam’s sleep and his ability to manage anxiety.

Adam, determined to manage his worries, committed to learning and practising practical strategies. As a result, his emotional wellbeing and ability to manage his anxiety improved significantly.

 “I have liked that I can do activities to help myself with powerful worries.”

“Adam has found ways to help himself through stressful situations and with his everyday woes. Your practitioner was fantastic. She made Adam feel relaxed and open to this process.”
Adam’s mum