19th September, 2023

How to Cope With Your Kids’ Anxiety, Your Colleagues, and Your Own

With Nicky Odgers

Photo of Nicky Odgers

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On this episode

Confronting anxiety is easier said than done. It’s hard enough with adults, but with children it’s even more tough. Anxiety keeps us safe, but often we over-predict that something bad will happen and under-predict our ability to cope. The key is to learn how to manage anxiety before it becomes a problem.

This week’s guest is educational psychologist Nicky Odgers. She specialises in working with kids who are feeling anxious about attending school. A lot of what she helps kids with applies to adults – things like mapping thoughts and emotions to physical sensations, replacing negative thoughts with more realistic ones, and practicing techniques to help us relax.

Anxiety can interfere with our lives and become a problem if it goes unaddressed. Naturally we want to avoid things that cause us anxiety, but this stops us from learning that we can cope and that the terrible thing we fear may never happen.

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About the guests

Nicky Odgers photo

Reasons to listen

  • To learn about anxiety in children and teenagers, and how it can manifest as school avoidance
  • To gain insight into how anxiety affects adults, including healthcare professionals, and how to manage it effectively
  • To understand the thought patterns, physical sensations, and behaviours associated with anxiety, and how to address them to prevent avoidance and build coping skills

Episode highlights


Epidemic of anxiety


Anxiety as pathology


Thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and behaviours


Safety behaviours


When is it right to step in and offer help


Anxiety in healthcare


How to persuade someone their fears are unfounded




Teaching people to solve problems


Worry time and worry monsters


Distracting yourself from worry


Helpful safety behaviour


Helping anxious people


Neurodiversity and autism


Nicky’s tips for managing anxiety

Episode transcript

[00:00:00] Rachel: When was the last time you confronted your anxiety about something? It’s easier said than done. Isn’t it. When we feel anxious, we tend to avoid the thing. That’s making us feel that way. Obviously, nobody wants to feel anxiety, but when we avoid tackling our problems, we keep enforcing that land behavior. And tackling the issue then becomes harder and harder. But there are small steps that we can take that build up to finally addressing the things that are worrying us. [00:00:27] Rachel: Now many of us are not only coping with our own anxiety, but…

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