If your son or daughter is suffering from exam anxiety then help is at hand. Resolved! Counselling for Children is waiting for your call.

I used to love examination season when I was a teenager. Still, I have worked with enough anxious, panicky and upset young people to know that this is far from being the typical experience. I was a secondary school teacher for twenty years and ever since I became a psychotherapist I have seen teenagers for the fear surrounding tests and exams. There are now dozens of young people in professional careers, universities and sixth form studies – in Reading, Oxford and all around – who won their futures through a combination of their own hard work, ability and my professional support.

If your son or daughter has exams coming up in the near future and is showing signs of becoming excessively stressed about it then please don’t wait too long to seek help. Every year I receive calls from such people a week or two before the exams begin. Whilst there is much that can be done in such a time, it is much better to have a more comfortable period of time in which to work.

I also offer counselling and psychotherapy for exam anxiety online, using vsee, whatsapp, zoom. Please get in touch for details.

Psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and mindfulness can work well in a surprisingly short period of time

teenager exam fearTwice, in the last year, I have been called by the parents of an anxious and panicking teenager. “My son / daughter has an exam next week. They’re in a real state, can you help?”

As it turned out one lived overseas and one lived at the other end of the country. All we could do was to have a telephone conversation. In those conversations I taught them methods of managing their emotions more effectively.

I taught them to accept the fear, to work with it and to pass. Pass they did and I received, on both occasions, effusive thanks regarding how much my help had seen them through their challenging times. It was lovely to hear and I was very glad to have been able to help them.

However, as I’ve written above, such situations are far from ideal. If your son or daughter is showing signs of extreme stress then the more time we have the more likely a happy outcome will be. 

You can call me on 07786 123736. email me at paul@resolvedcounsellingforchildren.com or use the contact form below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Telling people to ‘just relax’ is counter-productive

People in this situation are already, generally, suffering low self-esteem, on this issue at least. They are now trapped in a vicious-circle of becoming more and more afraid of being afraid. They’ve gone beyond mere exam nerves and their rational minds are now failing to function properly. 

When we become stressed glucose is diverted from the cerebral cortex (the part concerned with memory and logical thinking) to the muscles, lungs and heart. The more stressed we become the worse our memory becomes. The less we can think. Those with exam anxiety notice this and become still-more anxious, thus worsening the problem.

Talking to them with logic and telling them to relax doesn’t work because they already feel awful for being so stressed and because they simply aren’t able to process the logic. 

People aren’t relaxed in exam season. People need to be able to work with the adrenaline, to accept and step back from it. I teach them how.

Sometimes exam anxiety is a sign of a deeper degree of anxiety and depression

There are plenty of otherwise well-adjusted teenagers and young people living in Reading and Oxford who simply become overwhelmed in such times. Their cases are easier to work with. Others, perhaps, may present with the fear of exams and yet be carrying a whole host of other problems. Sometimes these have to be worked through if exam anxiety is also to be overcome.

This is why it’s really so important not to wait until the last week or two before getting in touch with me to find help. If your child experiences severe anxiety around tests then there is every reason to believe that they will experience the same fear in their GCSEs. If they were terrified during GCSEs and performed less well than they’d hoped then the brain will bring back that same fear when A’ Level examinations loom. It desn;t easily go away. The brain becomes more, not less, effective at summoning the terror over time. They may well not just grow out of it.

If you live in or around Reading or Oxford then help is at hand. I look forward to helping your son or daughter to overcome the fear of exams in order that they can become the best and happiest people they can be.