Programs for children and teens

Programs for children and teens

The Centre for Emotional Health Clinic offers both face-to-face and online options for accessing our services, with specialist programs for anxiety in different age groups. An overview of our programs and services appear below.

Face-to-Face Programs and ServicesOnline Programs and Services

Face-to-face program and services

Cool Kids Registration

About the Cool Kids program

The Cool Kids program is a structured, skills-based program that teaches children (including teenagers) and their parent(s) how to better manage a child’s anxiety. It involves the participation of the youth and their parent(s), and focuses on teaching clear and practical skills.

The program has been running at Macquarie University since 1993 and has undergone continual scientific evaluation and development to include the latest understanding of anxiety and its treatment.

Research results indicate that most young people who complete our programs show significant improvement. Following treatment, there are marked increases in school attendance, academic achievement, confidence, number of friends and involvement in extra-curricular activities and decreases in worry, shyness, fear and family distress.

Topics covered in the program include:

  • Learning about feelings and anxiety
  • Learning to think more realistically
  • Parenting an anxious child
  • Fighting fear by facing fear (stepladders)
  • Learning other coping skills such as building confidence or learning to solve problems

The assessment process

To understand if your child is suitable for the Cool Kids program they will complete a comprehensive clinical assessment. If the assessment identifies that anxiety is the main concern for your child, we will offer a place in either the research or training subsidised Cool Kids Program. If the assessment indicates that Cool Kids is not suitable for your child or you do not wish to be a part of the subsidised program we will provide appropriate referrals or suggest individual sessions with one of our full fee private psychologists.

Cost

Australian Government funding for our research allows families access to cutting edge treatment for anxiety, at a cost considerably less than that charged by private psychologists. We can also keep costs down when our services are conducted by our postgraduate clinical psychology interns as part of their training.

People who attend our subsidised programs are asked to assist us by filling in questionnaires and coming in for assessments, even after their program has finished. This is because our studies investigate the long-term effectiveness of the treatments we provide. Secondly, many of the treatments that we run involve minor variations to continually test the best possible treatment. This means that we sometimes have different versions of treatment and participants cannot choose which version they get.

I’m interested. What do I do now?

To find out more about completing the Cool Kids program at our clinic including current costs please read the Cool Kids Flyer PDF, 561.13 KB.

To register your interest complete our online registration form. This will be reviewed by one of our senior clinicians and we will then contact you to book an assessment session or to discuss other options.

Cool Kids Registration

Online treatment

For families unable to attend our clinic at Macquarie University, North Ryde, an online version of Cool Kids is available. Further information can be found at the Cool Kids Online page.

Prefer a tailored treatment?

We offer individually tailored treatment as a full-fee service: Individual Therapy

Want to support families that can't afford treatment?

The Centre for Emotional Health is participating in the North Ryde Fun Run on 26 August 2018. We're raising funds for families who are unable to afford treatment so they can get the help they need at a subsidised cost. Even a small donation will help. Donate

Cool Kids Social Registration

About the Cool Kids Social Program

Cool Kids is a 10 session face-to-face program aimed at treating anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. The Centre for Emotional Health has developed and conducted numerous research studies into this program and has found that the Cool Kids program is effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety in children and adolescents.

Our current Government Funded research is evaluating a new version of Cool Kids that directly focuses on social anxiety (Cool Kids Social Anxiety program). Children who have social anxiety are shy and worry a lot about what other people think of them. Children with social anxiety may have trouble in many social situations for example, they may struggle to perform in front of others or to socialise with children or adults; or they may have trouble answering questions in front of the class, or relaxing in a group. If this sounds like the type of anxiety your child experiences register for an assessment for the Cool Kids Social Anxiety program using the link below under the heading “What do I do now?” If this isn’t the type of anxiety your child experiences, register your interest in the Standard Cool Kids program.

What does the study involve?

  • An initial assessment to determine if our program is likely to be suitable for your child,
  • Your child and a parent attend 10 sessions with a therapist one-on-one at the CEHC to complete the Cool Kids Social Anxiety Program, and
  • Progress assessments, which happen during treatment, immediately after, and 6 months after treatment.

What do the assessments involve?

Clinical assessments are conducted before your family commences treatment as well as after treatment. All assessments involve you and your child being interviewed in person by a therapist and completing tasks and questionnaires about thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

The purpose of the initial assessment is to determine if our program is suitable for your child. These assessments are comprehensive and typically take 3 – 4 hours.  If we believe, after assessment, that our research program is not suitable for your child, you will be provided with other options that would best suit their needs.

Briefer progress assessments take place during treatment, immediately after treatment, and 6 months after treatment. The purpose of the progress assessment is to determine whether your child has improved.

What does treatment involve?

If the program is suitable for your child and you decide to participate, you and your child will be randomly allocated to one of two slightly different versions of the Cool Kids Program. Both versions use the current Cool Kids cognitive behavioural approach to treat social anxiety (i.e., skills based treatment). One version has been slightly modified to see if it might be more effective than the other.

Both Cool Kids Programs involve completing 10, 50 minute sessions over a 12-week period. The program uses a cognitive behavioural approach, that is, it teaches specific strategies for anxiety management including thinking more realistically and gradual exposure to anxiety provoking situations. Your child will attend sessions with a therapist and will be taught practical skills to manage anxiety and build confidence. Parents will attend all or some sessions with their child, depending on the child’s age.

Who decides which treatment we receive?

The treatment you are allocated to is decided randomly, like drawing names out of a hat. You will not be aware of which condition your child has been allocated to. If you would like to know, you can find out the condition after the study is completed. The decision as to which therapist you will have is also decided randomly.

Who will be the therapist?

All therapists at the CEHC have or are completing specialised training in child and adolescent anxiety. All therapists receive ongoing supervision from senior clinical psychologists who have additional expertise in this area.

How much will it cost?

An initial clinical assessment would typically cost $390. However, in return for your participation in our research and training activities we offer a discounted cost of $180.

Treatment as part of this research program is subsidised by government funding. Because of this government support, the Cool Kids Social treatment program costs only $550 (covering 10 sessions).

In addition, up to $250 of the cost will be reimbursed on completion of after-treatment (multiple) assessments. The Cool Kids Social study is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.

What do I do now?

If you would like to be a part of the Cool Kids Social treatment study or require further information please contact our friendly team at ehc.admin@mq.edu.au, or on (02) 9850 8711. Or complete the online intake, available at Cool Kids Social Intake.

About Cool Kids ASD

Our highly successful Cool Kids Program has been adapted for children who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This program uses the same principles as the standard Cool Kids Program however the presentation of the skills has been adapted to better suit the learning and thinking styles that are common to ASD.

The program is family-based and utilises Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy with the aim to provide children and parents with skills and strategies to help them better manage anxiety. These skills include:

  • Understanding anxiety
  • Relaxation
  • Parenting strategies that encourage brave behaviour
  • Identifying and using helpful (realistic) thoughts, and most importantly,
  • Facing fears, building independence and increasing confidence  through stepladders (gradual exposure).

Social skills are also touched on in the program as they are often a crucial part of building a child’s confidence, however parents should note that social skills are not the primary focus of the program and consequently the program will not replace programs or treatments that focus on social skill development.

The program is delivered over 10 sessions and is offered in both a group format (for children in grades 2 through 6) and on an individual basis (for children and adolescents of any age).  

Further information about Cool Kids ASD including costs, the assessment process and who is likely to be suited to the program is contained in the Cool Kids ASD Flyer.

Cool Little Kids Registration

About the Cool Little Kids Program

The Cool Little Kids program is an early intervention program targeted at parents of 3 to 6 year old children who exhibit excessive shyness or anxiety. Cool Little Kids equips parents with both knowledge and practical skills and tips on how to help their child manage and overcome anxiety.

The program uses Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) techniques to give parents effective tools and strategies to assist their child. Topics of the program include:

  • Understanding anxiety and shyness in preschool children
  • Causes and risk factors for child anxiety
  • Helpful and unhelpful ways of responding to anxiety in children
  • Skills and strategies to help your child build brave behaviours and face fears
  • Dealing with setbacks and difficulties
  • How to maintain progress after the program ends.

The program consists of 6 group sessions across a 6-8 week period, held at the same time each week. Each session runs for approximately 2 hours.

To find out more about completing the Cool Little Kids Program, please read through the Cool Little Kids Flyer.

If you are interested in completing the program please contact us by telephone on 02 9850 8711 or register your interest.

We also offer individual therapy for both the Cool Little Kids Program and treatment of other issues such as oppositional behaviour and parenting confidence with registered psychologists and clinical psychologists. Further information can be found on our Individual Therapy page.

About Tailored, Individual Therapy

In addition to our specific programs, we offer individually tailored treatment as a full-fee service. A registered or clinical psychologist will conduct an assessment to determine your child's specific needs and construct a treatment plan informed by latest research.

For further information on our individual therapy services for children and adolescents, please see this flyer.

Online programs and services

Cool Little Kids Online Registration

About the Cool Little Kids Online Program

Cool Little Kids Online is an online parenting program that aims to increase the confidence of young children, so that they have fewer anxiety problems as they grow. It is based on the world renowned Cool Little Kids program developed at Macquarie University. The program uses the principles of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and is backed by scientific studies showing its effectiveness in reducing current and future fears and worries for young children.

Cool Little Kids Online is designed to increase your knowledge and build practical skills in managing and responding to your child’s fears and worries. The program contains 8 'modules' with easy to read information, practical skills, videos and stories from other parents who have done the program. Each module takes about 30-60 minutes to complete. The program does require a commitment of your time and effort—but the reward will be worth it—a more confident, less fearful child!

Topics covered in the program include:

  • How shyness and anxiety develop
  • How to gradually and gently teach your child to face their fears
  • How to use rewards to increase your child’s bravery
  • How to reduce unhelpful parenting strategies
  • How to help your child become more independent
  • How to keep your thoughts accurate
  • How to prepare for future challenges

Who is Cool Little Kids Online For?

Cool Little Kids Online is suitable for a parent if:

  • Their child is 3 to 6 years old
  • Anxiety or shyness is the main problem causing their child difficulty,
  • Anxiety or shyness is affecting the child’s day-to-day life, and
  • Parent can read and write in English (e.g. read a magazine or newspaper and complete written forms)

Cost of Cool Little Kids Online


Cool Little Kids Online costs AU$160. This includes:

  • 12 months access to Cool Little Kids Online
  • Practice activities to implement skills
  • Technical support
Additional Support

Parents wanting additional support can opt to receive telephone sessions with an experienced psychologist during the program. These sessions provide an opportunity for parents to:

  • Ask questions about the program material,
  • Discuss progress and how to apply the Cool Little Kids skills to their child’s fears and worries, and
  • Receive guidance on how to overcome any problems encountered using the skills.

Telephone sessions are AU$110 per 30 minute session.

How to Get Involved

Further information on Cool Little Kids Online can be found at www.coollittlekids.org.au or in the Cool Little Kids Online Flyer.

You can enrol in the program by completing the Registration Form.

When your enrollment is received and payment processed a login for the program will be sent to you within 3 business days.
Please contact our friendly team at cehc.online@mq.edu.au or on (02) 9850 8711 if you have any questions.

Cool Kids Online Registration

About Cool Kids Online

This engaging, interactive online program for 7 to 12 year olds allows parents and children to work together to learn strategies to help manage anxiety. Cool Kids Online is based on the Cool Kids face-to-face program which has been running at Macquarie University since 1993. Results show most young people who complete our program experience significant improvements, with decreases in worry, fear, family distress and life interference.

Who is Cool Kids Online for?

Cool Kids Online is suitable for a child if:

  • they are 7 to 12 years old (grade 2-6), (for 13-17 years old view our teen program Chilled Out )
  • anxiety is the main problem causing the child difficulty,
  • anxiety is affecting his or her day-to-day life,
  • their parent can read and write in English (e.g. read a magazine or newspaper and complete written forms), and
  • they reside in Australia.

What does Cool Kids Online involve?

Cool Kids Online consists of 8 online lessons for parents and children to complete together over 10 weeks. Topics covered in the program include:

  • Learning about feelings and anxiety
  • Fighting fear by facing fear (stepladders)
  • Detective thinking, and learning to think more realistically
  • Building assertiveness and dealing with teasing
  • Helpful ways of coping when upset

Parents also receive four telephone sessions with an experienced psychologist during the program. These sessions enable parents to ask questions about program content and applying the Cool Kids skills to their child’s fears and worries. The sessions also guide parents on how to overcome problems encountered using the skills.

Stages of Cool Kids Online

  1. Initial assessment – online questionnaires completed by child and parent to determine whether Cool Kids Online is likely to be suitable and beneficial for the child’s needs. Includes a telephone debrief with a psychologist.
  2. Treatment program – 8 x online lessons accompanied by 4 x 30 minute telephone sessions with a psychologist.
  3. End of treatment assessment – online questionnaires completed by child and parent to provide feedback on child’s progress and any additional recommendations as required. Includes a brief written progress report.

Program costs

ItemCost
Initial assessment $100
Treatment program $570
End of treatment assessment No fee

How can I participate?

If you would like your child assessed for Cool Kids Online please complete the online registration form. We will then contact you to set up the initial assessment. You can access the registration form here.

How can I find more information?

More information is available in the Cool Kids Online program flyer.   A comparison of Cool Kids Online vs Chilled Out is also available.

If you have further questions, please contact us at cehc.online@mq.edu.au or on 02 9850 8711 (business hours 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday, AEST).

Chilled Out Online Registration

About Chilled Out

This engaging, interactive online program for 13 – 17 year olds allows teens to learn strategies to help manage anxiety. Chilled Out is based on the Chilled (Cool Kids for teens) face-to-face program which has been running at Macquarie University since 1993. The Chilled program is a structured, skills-based program that teaches teens how to better manage anxiety. Results show most young people who complete our program experience significant improvements, with decreases in worry, fear, family distress and life interference.

Who is Chilled Out for?

Chilled Out is suitable for a teen if:

  • they are 13 to 17 years old (grade 7-12), (for children 7-12 years old, view Cool Kids Online)
  • anxiety is the main problem causing the teen difficulty,
  • anxiety is affecting his or her day-to-day life, and
  • the teen can read and write in English (e.g. read a magazine or newspaper and complete written forms).
  • they reside in Australia.

What does Chilled Out Involve?

Chilled Out consists of 8 online lessons for teens to complete independently over 10 weeks. Topics covered in the program include:

  • Learning about feelings and anxiety
  • Building confidence and independence
  • Learning to think realistically
  • Developing assertiveness and problem solving skills
  • Helpful ways of coping when upset

Parents take the role of their teen’s mentor, and are provided with a downloadable Mentor Workbook that provides tips on how to support their child to use the Chilled Out skills and useful ways to respond to their child’s anxiety.

Families also receive six telephone sessions with an experienced psychologist during the program. These sessions enable teens and parents to ask questions about program content and applying Chilled Out skills to fears and worries. The sessions also guide families on how to overcome problems encountered using the skills.

Stages of Chilled Out

  1. Initial Assessment – online questionnaires completed by teen and parent to determine whether Chilled Out is likely to be suitable and beneficial for the teen’s needs. Includes a telephone debrief with a psychologist.
  2. Treatment Program – 8 x online lessons accompanied by 6 x 30 minute telephone sessions with a psychologist.
  3. End of Treatment Assessment – online questionnaires completed by teen and parent/s to provide feedback on teen’s progress and any additional recommendations as required. Includes a brief written progress report.

Program Costs

ItemCost
Initial assessment $100
Treatment program $775
End of treatment assessment No fee

How can I participate?

If you would like your teen assessed for Chilled Out please complete the online registration form. We will then contact you to set up the initial assessment. You can access the registration form here.

How can I find more information?

More information is available in the Chilled Out program flyer. A comparison of Cool Kids Online vs Chilled Out  is also available.

If you have further questions, please contact us at cehc.online@mq.edu.au or on 02 9850 8711 (business hours 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday, AEST).

Enquiry form

In case of an emergency or crisis please contact:

NSW Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511 or 
Lifeline – 13 11 14

Referrers (GPs, Paediatricians, Psychiatrists): please provide a completed copy of this form PDF, 891.33 KB to your patient, or send through to us via post/fax/email, along with a copy of any plans you wish to provide.

For all non-urgent requests, please fill in the form below or phone 02 9850 8711.

Location and hours

Location
The Australian Hearing Hub
Level 1, 16 University Ave
Macquarie University NSW 2109

View map and directions

Clinic hours
Monday to Thursday: 9am – 7pm
Friday: 9am – 5pm
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Phone: 02 9850 8711
Fax: 02 9850 6578 

Email: ehc.admin@mq.edu.au

Crisis service
NSW Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511
Lifeline – 131144

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