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A User-Friendly Intervention for
Practitioners Working with Anxious Children

by Dr Allison Waters and Dr Trisha Groth




Take Action teaches children aged 4-12 years helpful ways to cope with and manage anxiety. It is an evidence-based intervention combining recent advances in the cognitive-neuroscience of child anxiety with cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

Designed for easy use by mental health and educational professionals trained in CBT, Take Action includes user-friendly resources for practitioners working with individuals and groups of children with anxiety. In addition to a comprehensive practitioner guidebook on the background, assessment and treatment of childhood anxiety disorders, including detailed chapters on the six Take Action treatment modules, child and parent resources can be purchased as bound workbooks or a selection of them are available as printable digital files on a CD.

Take Action covers the major components of CBT including:

  • psychoeducation
  • somatic management
  • cognitive restructuring
  • exposure therapy
  • problem-solving
  • social skills development
  • strategies for being resilient
  • relapse prevention and maintenance

The six treatment modules are designed to build upon each other so that children develop an ACTION plan; a coping-oriented acronym used throughout the program that summarises the key skills children learn for taking action against their anxiety. The program has been designed to run sequentially across eight or ten weeks including sessions for children and parents. Children have received treatment with Take Action in both individual and group formats.

More than 450 children have completed Take Action since 2004 with research results showing that 60–80% of children are diagnosis free at the end of a group program. The program delivery continues to be assessed through diagnostic assessments and questionnaires completed by parents, children and practitioners. Ongoing updates on Take Action, including new research trials and news from users will be available via this website.

The program materials are designed and produced by leading psychology publisher Australian Academic Press, who has been providing quality evidence-based mental health interventions, including the former FRIENDS program, since 1987.


This web site is for information only. If you require treatment for anxiety you should seek professional help. In Australia, try the APS Find a Psychologist Service.

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