Last night local family law firm, Rayden Solicitors, hosted a seminar about child anxiety for parents and professionals working with children at the Abbey Theatre, St Albans. Despite a flurry of snow, over 100 people attended to hear from a panel of experts; Dr Lisa Barkley, principal clinical psychologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Lucy Mortimer mindfulness coach and founder of the Mindful Child and Susanne Wiechert, transformational health, life coach and art therapist.

Dr Barkley outlined what anxiety was and why children can suffer from anxiety as well as giving specific, practical tips for supporting children of all ages who might be struggling with it. Lucy Mortimer, a local primary school teacher as well as qualified mindfulness coach, took the audience through a mindfulness exercise whilst sharing her expertise on how mindfulness for children can not only reduce anxiety but develop stronger attention and concentration skills. Finally, Susanne Wiechert discussed how to combat anxiety by creating freedom for children through expressive art, art therapy and language.

Senior Associate, Priya Palanivel who chaired the panel, said “People might not expect family law solicitors to put on an event about child anxiety but we often deal with clients who are concerned that their relationship breakdown may have consequences for their children. As a parent myself, I am only too conscious of the fact that almost every child will experience anxiety, whether about school, homework, friends, relationships or even gender issues. I read recently that the 2015 NSPCC Childline annual review reported that: “Anxiety was the top issue mentioned in relation to low self-esteem/unhappiness, mentioned in a quarter of counselling sessions” and we felt that an explanation about the different strategies that can be employed would benefit all parents. I am delighted that despite the weather so many people came. I certainly learned a lot and I hope that our attendees did too.”

The event was such a success that Rayden Solicitors are hoping to put on further seminars on related issues in the future.

All profits from the event will be donated by Rayden Solicitors to local charity Herts Young Homeless.