© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

Counsellor develops 'The Anxiety Project for Parents' programme

Caitlin Rawling
Marcelle Nader

Dunedin neuropsychotherapist and counsellor Marcelle Nader has developed an online programme called 'The Anxiety Project for Parents.'

Marcelle Nader, who has been working with young people for over 20 years as a teacher and counsellor, says her programme is to help both parents and children understand what anxiety is, and how to manage anxiety that has moved past what's normal and expected.

“Anxiety is the baseline issue for all mental health issues. It is the platform that if left unchecked, other things can layer on top of.''

If left, it can become chronic and invariably turns into depression.

''Young people have to learn how to manage their emotions and sit with something that feels uncomfortable,” says Nader.

The five-week programme helps parents understand how they may be contributing to their child's anxiety with  effective, research-based techniques to make an immediate and significant difference to both child and family. 

There are two parts to the programme. The first guides parents through how to help their anxious child, with weekly feature videos from Nader, parenting seminars, research information and other key sources, allowing parents to understand what anxiety is and the ways their parenting practices can change to make a huge difference.

The second part is a reflective workbook for parents to take an opportunity to stop and think about their own responses, reactions, thoughts and feelings in their own lives and in response to their anxious child or teen. These worksheets are significant in the change that Nader says comes from thinking more deeply about why parents do what they do.

“The thing about parenting is that we often don’t know anything about it, apart from our own experiences of being parented.” 

Nader says when parents are involved it makes a world of difference. Working with the child or teen is one really important aspect, but when the parents are onboard and doing the work too, the outcomes are significantly better.

More information can be found here https://www.theanxietyprojectparents.com/