If your child experiences and suffers with anxiety, it is not only hard for them, but
hard for you too. Seeing pain in our children brings us pain too. Anxiety disorders
are fairly common during childhood, affecting approximately 1 out of every 8 children.
Developmentally appropriate anxiety usually has little or no effect on your child's ability
to function in daily life but higher levels may cause difficulty with school, friends, and
Anxiety is a reaction to a perceived danger or threat. Children have both a lack of
experience in life and an incomplete ability to reason logically. Therefore, they are
often unable to judge the likelihood of a frightening event and may perceive them as
more dangerous than they actually are.
Some of the symptoms that are experienced and behaviors you may see with excessive
● phobias and feelings of panic and fear (e.g. fears of bugs, germs, and social
situations; school phobia, test-anxiety)
● compulsive behaviors / obsessive thoughts (e.g. excessive hand-washing, hairpulling,
compulsive counting, worrying and asking about the same thing over and
● physical symptoms (cold or sweaty hands or feet, racing heart, sleep problems,
When your child’s anxiety starts to interfere with their daily functioning or is causing
them distress, then it’s time to find a way to help them. There are a number of
strategies, techniques and therapies that may help your child. Meridian Tapping
Techniques (MTT), relaxation techniques, Mindfulness, Percussive Suggestion
Technique (PSTEC), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), physical exercise and
nutritional / homeopathic therapies are just some of them.
The technique that I would like to focus on is called the Meridian Tapping Technique
or MTT. You may also hear MTT referred to as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).
All the Meridian Tapping Techniques involve putting pressure on acupuncture points
(meridians) on our bodies while focusing on the disturbing emotion or thoughts. Often,
this releases blocked energy and decreases feelings of anxiety in just a short period
of time. "The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body's energy
system.....” (Gary Craig). Meridian Tapping stimulates the body’s energy system,
allowing painful emotions to be released. “Tapping” works similarly to acupuncture, but
without the needles!
Meridian Tapping is very easy to learn and simple to use which is why it is especially
suited to children. Once the child has been taught what the “tapping points” are,
they are asked to rate the intensity of their feelings of anxiety (or anger or sadness,
etc.). Then they “tap” on the points while repeating a statement about the issue that is
bothering them. Afterwards, they rate their intensity level and more often than not, it
has gone down and sometimes the worry or “bother” has even disappeared. Many case
examples demonstrate the incredible healing power of “tapping”.
To illustrate this, let me tell you about a child I worked with who had a severe case of
hair-pulling (trichotillomania)...not only had she pulled all of her eyelashes out, but the
hair from her eyebrows as well. She was a beautiful girl, but was suffering. She was
doing something she did not want to do (pulling out her hair) but couldn’t stop herself.
She learned about “tapping” in therapy and was able to stop the pulling completely
within a short period of time and now has the most beautiful eyelashes and eyebrows
you could ask for. But even more importantly, she is not suffering from the compulsion
to pull or the fear of social rejection anymore.
There are many more examples of this wonderful technique and it is well worth further
investigation. If you would like to find out more information and view some videos
about MTT you can go to my website at www.counselingbytheshore.com. I hope this information has
been helpful and “happy tapping”!
I specialize in working with children and parents experiencing anxiety. My goal is
to help you to decrease your anxiety and that of your child. I use innovative and
creative therapies that will help to resolve distressing feelings either of you are
experiencing. If you have any questions about this article or would like to discuss
any concerns that you have, please feel free to contact me at the phone number or
email address below.
Elaine M. Corona, MSW, LCSW
Counseling by the Shore, LLC
509 Main Street- Suite 2
Avon-by-the-Sea, NJ 07717