Intervention: “The Worry Worms”

Review by Sharlene Christensen, CMHC, RPT

worry-wormsI am pleased to have the opportunity to write for the newsletter today. I wanted to share a fun intervention called “The Worry Worms”. This intervention comes from Paris Goodyear-Brown’s book entitled “The Worry Wars”. This workbook is a wonderful resource for therapists working with children who are struggling with anxiety. Paris does a great job of describing in child friendly language how anxiety can impact a child. She has written some excellent metaphors that characterize anxiety in different ways. The metaphors have illustrations that can be copied and colored. The book also includes “weapons” and “battles” to help in identifying and conquering anxious feelings.  All of the interventions in the workbook can be reproduced, so you can use them over and over again with your clients.

The purpose of “The Worry Worms” intervention is to help the client identify and begin talking about their worries. Paris explains how worries can sometimes “be wriggly and hard to pin down”. Paris suggests hiding some rubber worms around the room and then playing a game of “hot and cold” to find the worms. The client can talk about a worry for each worm that is found. Then the worries can be written on the pictures of the worry worms and the child can color them. Next the client can place them in a can of worms (a decorated Pringles can) to help contain their worries. The worries can stay in the can until the client is ready to battle them. The “worry worms” can be removed as the client conquers.

I have greatly enjoyed using this workbook with many children and young teens. I was fortunate enough to have found this workbook when I attended a training at the APT conference in Louisville, Kentucky where Paris Goodyear-Brown presented. I am thrilled that Paris will be coming to Utah in September to present for UAPT. She has very helpful information so don’t miss this opportunity!

To find out more about Paris Goodyear-Brown and “The Worry Wars” workbook visit