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Creating Better Plans for Anxious Students: Advanced Strategies for Schools, Providers and Families

anxious students strategies therapiesWith Lynn Lyons, LCSW

September 20, 2019

Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, MA

Those who work in schools are being asked to do more and more to support the emotional well-being and mental health needs of their students.

When it comes to dealing with anxiety and its pal depression, programs are introduced, professional development offered, and plans are written. But what’s working and what isn’t? How much can we expect of counselors, psychologists, and teachers and administrators? How is the collaboration and communication between parents, schools, and outside mental health and medical providers going? And what are students actually learning in school about their mental health?

This intensive training will focus on HOW to interrupt anxiety’s cognitive patterns in schools with simple, process-based strategies. We’ll get specific, detailing accommodations that help, as well as those that inadvertently “do the disorder” by supporting avoidance and isolation.

Participants will learn how anxiety’s quest for certainty and comfort impacts an anxious student’s functioning and attendance, the common problems with plans and goals for anxious students, and practice creating plans for anxious students that are skill-based instead of avoidance-based. Attendees will be asked to attend with a student in mind and are welcome to bring an IEP or 504 to use during this hands-on workshop.

This full day training will give mental health professionals and school-based providers the skills they need to:

  • Recognize the cognitive and behavioral patterns that worsen anxiety and depression in students
  • Create behavioral plans and goals that focus on skill-building
  • Teach the 6 patterns of anxiety and depression in classrooms, groups, and school counseling sessions
  • Target the most concerning and pervasive behaviors, such as avoidance, disconnection, and isolation with effective interventions and plans
  • Stop parents, teens, schools, and health care providers from inadvertently “doing the disorder”


  1. Frontloading and four critical concepts of anxiety/depression treatment
  2. 6 patterns of the anxious/depressed student, and how to shift them
  3. Keys to behavioral plans, 504 plans and goals: are you “doing the disorder” or building essential skills?
  4. Activities to use in the classroom, groups, and with counselors
  5. Relaxation with a message: maximizing this skill
  6. Working together: essential collaboration with parents, schools, and outside providers

Who May Attend?

This is an intermediate to advanced level training appropriate for those working in school settings or those who are working with students in a variety of roles including:

Social Workers, Psychologists, Mental Health Counselors, Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Addiction Counsellors, Classroom Teachers, School Counselors/Psychologists, Resource Teachers, School Administrators, School Paraprofessionals including Special Education Assistants, Classroom Assistants and Childcare Workers; Nurses, Youth Workers, Parents, Caregiver, Foster Parents, Grandparents, Early Childhood Educators

CEs will be available to social workers, psychologists, licensed marriage & family therapists, licensed professional counselors/licensed mental health counselors and nurses through Commonwealth Seminars. It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state and profession.


Lynn Lyons, LICSW is an internationally recognized psychotherapist, author, and speaker with a special interest in interrupting the generational patterns of anxiety in families.

Her skill-based approach to anxiety focuses on the need to teach families about HOW anxiety works and what families can do to pull members out of the powerful “anxiety cult” that demands obedience to its need for certainty and comfort.

Lynn is the co-author with Reid Wilson of Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents and the companion book for kids Playing with Anxiety: Casey’s Guide for Teens and Kids.

She is the author of Using Hypnosis with Children: Creating and Delivering Effective Interventions and has multiple online programs for parents and children.

She maintains a private practice in Concord, New Hampshire where she sees families whenever she’s not on the road teaching.

Learning Objectives

Mental  health providers and those that work with students will learn how to:

  1. Write effective behavioral plans and IEP goals for anxious students in a school setting.
  2. Identify the difference between avoidant and skill-based goals for students.
  3. Create steps for increased collaboration between school staff and outside providers.
  4. Design activities for social and emotional curriculum that address prevention of anxiety and depression.
  5. Describe the four critical concepts for creating skill-based interventions for anxious students.

$220 includes 6 CEs and handouts, snacks, coffee and beverages. A campus cafeteria will sell lunch nearby.

Cancelation policy: No refunds after August 30, 2019. To transfer to another participant, contact Lynn at [email protected]



Grievance Policy

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) seeks to ensure equitable treatment of every person and to make every attempt to resolve grievances in a fair manner. Please submit a written grievance to: Lynn Lyons at [email protected]. Grievances will receive, to the best of our ability, corrective action in order to prevent further problems.

Accommodations for the Differently Abled

The NECC facilities are handicap accessible. Individuals needing special accommodations, please contact: Lynn Lyons at [email protected].



Psychologists: Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education credit programs. Commonwealth Educational Seminars maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Psychologists receive 6.0 hours of continuing education credit upon completing this program.

Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors: Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for LPCs/LMHCs. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content. LPCs/LMHCs completing this program will receive 6.0 hours of continuing education credit.

Social Workers: Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Social Workers. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for Social Workers. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Social Workers completing this program will receive 6.0 clinical hours of clinical continuing education credit.

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists: Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for LMFTs. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content. LMFTs completing this program will receive 6.0 hours of continuing education credit.