Treatment for Separation Anxiety, School Refusal and Transitions to School

SW Psychology is a friendly and highly experienced clinic with a special interest in the treatment of anxiety, panic, and associated conditions across the lifespan. We believe in early intervention, education, support, and skills building to give children, adolescents and their families the very best start in life. Our Clinic provides effective treatment for separation anxiety, school refusal and managing transitions to school.

Separation Anxiety Treatment

Separation anxiety is a normal part of child development, typically developing around 7-9 months or age and can continue to about two and a half years of age, however, it is also common for children to experience separation anxiety at later ages and stages around times of significant change, adjustment, transition, and new separations from parents.

Ongoing separation anxiety can be problematic and create a lot of distress and difficulties for some children around separating for child care, kinder, school, or when parents leave to go to work. It can also be troubling and distressing for some children when anticipating a separation to sleep independently at night, or attending sleepovers and school camps. To learn more about Separation signs and symptoms and when to seek treatment, go to our Blog Page to read our detailed articles on separation anxiety.

School Refusal and Transitions to Child Care, Kinder, School and Secondary School

Is your child or adolescent experiencing separation anxiety and distress around going to kinder, school, or transitioning to the next year? Is your child stating they don’t want to go to school, are feeling anxious or wanting to avoid school, or finding it hard to sleep when school goes back?

SW Psychology is an Anxiety Clinic helping to address school refusal and transitional support in the following ways:

  • Helping manage new transitions to kinder, primary school, & secondary school
  • Addressing separation anxiety & school refusal
  • Building emotional resilience skills & independence
  • Enhancing self-esteem & social confidence
  • Parent support strategies, guidance & education
  • Effective and individualised therapy for children & adolescents
  • School visits and on-site meetings with school staff to develop practical support strategies in the school setting

Quick Tip: What are Some Warning Signs of High Separation Anxiety?

Some separation anxiety is normal, however, the frequency, intensity and number of symptoms present are the tell tale signs your child may have be having a problem with separation anxiety. Some common red flags could include the following:

  • Excessive clinginess and avoiding separating from parent
  • Excessive worry and reluctance to leave the house, or refusal to attend activities outside of the home
  • When separated, a preoccupation with where the parent is, and when they will return
  • Avoidance and resistance of a place where they know they will be separated, eg, school refusal
  • Anger outbursts, tantrums, and emotional meltdowns leading up to a period of separation
  • Significant physical symptoms including sore stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, headache, trembling
  • Night time anxiety including a preference for co-sleeping in parents bed, or frequent night time waking and need for parent to help settle
  • Fears about being lost or left behind
  • Fears about being alone in parts of the house, e.g., wont go to the toilet by themselves, or tends to follow the parent around the house, or call out frequently to check if parent is still around
  • Frequent worry about the safety of a parent, family members, or themselves

School-aged children may also experience:

  • Extreme feelings of homesick and may avoid sleepovers, or school camps

To read more on Separation Anxiety and when to seek treatment visit our  Blog Page to find out more about Separation Anxiety.

For further information about booking an appointment to see one of our Child Psychologists call SW Psychology on (03) 9806 0623 or Book Online at the top of the Menu Bar.

separation anxiety