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by Ester RA Leutenberg, John J Liptak EdD
Teens experience stress about a great number of situations and circumstances, and anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. For teens, such circumstances as speaking in public, moving to a new neighborhood, dating issues, taking tests, making good grades, and competing in athletic events may all cause stress. For some teens various circumstances or events can cause more than the usual amount of stress. This leads to anxiety.
Anxiety has been defined as a state of intense apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting mainly from the anticipation of a threatening event or situation, often to a degree that disrupts normal, everyday physical and psychological functioning. Fear is an emotional response to a real or perceived threat. Anxiety is anticipation of a future threat.
Anxiety is normal in the everyday life of all people and can actually be a good thing. Anxiety motivates one to accomplish goals and warns a person of a dangerous situation. However, intense anxiety can involve debilitating symptoms and affect performance in school, athletics, and interpersonal interactions. Some teens persistently experience excessive amounts of worry and fear about everyday situations and this may lead to depression. Persistent anxiety and fear can interfere with daily activities. Often, these symptoms are difficult to control.
This workbook provides facilitators who work with teens who may be experiencing intense anxiety issues with a series of reproducible activities that can be used to supplement their work with teens. Because these activity pages are reproducible, they can be photocopied as is, or you may adapt them by whiting out and writing in your own changes to suit the needs of each group, using that page as your master-copy to be photocopied for each participant.
The Awareness Modules
The reproducible awareness modules contained in this workbook will help you identify and select assessments and activities easily and quickly:
Module I: Signs of Stress Symptoms This module will help participants explore the signs of stress in their lives, recognize the symptoms of anxiety, and learn tools to begin to help decrease the anxiety.
Module II: Need for Control This module will help participants explore the various ways they need to be in control of their lives.
Module III: Social Approval This module will help participants explore the various ways that their need for the approval of others affects their functioning in social situations.
Module IV: Perfectionism This module will help participants explore ways that their need to be perfect and mistake-free and their determination to achieve unrealistic standards can cause anxiety.
Module V: Erasing the Stigma of Mental Health Issues This module will help participants explore the stigma of having intense anxiety and the impact that the stigma has on them.