Cool Kids Anxiety Program

Cool Kids Anxiety Program

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.


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

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