It isn’t your fault

I’m working like mad at the moment getting the Headspace Guildford groups organised for the end of August. These groups are designed to help children and young people who might be nervous about going back to school in September or struggling with anxiety more generally. Groups are always so much fun and full of energy and we will certainly be having a lot of fun in our groups – physical distancing or virtual platforms will not get in the way of that.

With groups, I find that they become more than the sum of their parts. Young people coming together and realising ‘hey, it isn’t just me who feels like this’ is incredibly powerful. Hearing how someone else is struggling, and how others are coping is incredibly helpful when you are having a hard time. Our groups are about

But there’s something else that it is important to say about these groups in particular (and applies to all groups and therapy in general). If you are anxious about going back to school, that’s not because of some weakness in you. It’s not your fault that you’re feeling that way. You might be nervous because school hasn’t always been much fun for you. It might be because you find the work hard or friendships can be rocky. It might be that school is just too loud or too big or that you’d just rather be at home. It might be that you’ve been at home doing your own thing for so long that you don’t want to go back.

You didn’t choose to feel this way and you didn’t cause this. We have brains that are designed to react when it perceives things are scary. I’ll blog more on this soon (watch this space). It’s not that something in you is broken and needs fixing. Some things are scary.

So the group isn’t about waving some kind of psychology magic wand and making the anxiety go away. The group is about understanding anxiety, working out how it affects you and then learning ways that help to make it manageable. We know this is an approach that works and usually, over time, people find that their anxiety goes down. If you want to know more about this read the brilliant book ‘you’ve got dragons’ by Kathy Cave.

We’re running the groups as not for profit. There is a charge which covers the cost of the materials and the staff time but Ellie is giving her time for free. We have kept the cost low so as many people as possible could be a part of them.

So, if you’re feeling worried, anxious, nervous or scared, think about coming to join us at the group. We’re putting loads of thought into these right now – can you put some thought into it too – undoubtedly you’ll feel nervous, but you know what? We’ll be a little nervous too – new situations or new people are often like that. But we’re prepared to give it a go if you are?

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