Nine year-old Nadia*, has been grappling with anxiety ever since the COVID lockdowns. Her GP referred her to KidsXpress for generalised anxiety, which for Nadia emerged as trouble sleeping, dramatic mood outbursts and the emergence of tics such as repetitive eye blinking.

Nadia lived with her loving parents and her twin sister, who appeared to handle the lockdowns with ease. It was a new and challenging experience for Nadia, who had never shown signs of anxiety before.

At KidsXpress, Nadia embarked on a transformative journey to conquer her anxieties. In her individual sessions, she found solace in a structured routine that began with an emotional check-in. It was a sacred moment for her to share her week, often filled with “encounters” with spiders, a fear she shared with her expressive therapist. This commonality helped normalise her anxieties.

Expressive Therapy empowered Nadia to explore her body and mind. She drew body maps and used drama and play to help her understand her brain responses. Nadia’s artistic talents flourished as she learned the power of storytelling. She crafted a narrative of a body overcoming its fears with the help of positive “What If” statements, to counter her anxiety and calm her amygdala.

Nadia’s therapist worked with her and her mum to help them create new neural pathways in Nadia’s brain using neuroplasticity, which allowed the brain to reorganise by forming new connections between neurons. For instance, they focused on challenging and changing her anxious thought patterns to boost her confidence and emotional well-being.

By the end of the sessions, Nadia’s mother knew when to jump in and stop the negative thoughts before they took hold. She became her daughter’s anchor, offering emotional support and a fresh perspective.

Nadia’s KidsXpress journey was a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Armed with newfound tools and unwavering support, she was able to sleep better, her tics and outbursts have reduced and she has emerged stronger and ready to embrace each day with courage and joy, her creative spirit shining brightly.

*At KidsXpress, we prioritise the privacy of the children and families we support. While their stories are authentic, stock images and changed names are used to protect their identities.