Sarah Cassidy, Lisa Coyne

Tired of Anxiety


A Kid’s Guide to Befriending Scary Thoughts and Living Your Life Anyway


A step-by-step, visually engaging guide that draws on proven psychological science to give parents and other caregivers the means to make real, effective changes in the lives of young people who are experiencing long-term struggles with anxiety.



Tired of Anxiety is a step-by step guide for children on how to do the things that matter to them despite anxiety. Based on principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), the book uses evidence-based clinical techniques and describes them in accessible, child-friendly ways to ensure that families have a toolkit for working positively with anxiety over the long term. By acknowledging that difficult thoughts and feelings are a normal part of being human, rather than something we must try to stamp down or wish away, the authors normalise the everyday struggles of anxious young people so that children can learn to ‘make friends’ with their own anxiety and get on with the more important work of actually living and enjoying their lives. The text is presented in a visually appealing style, with frequent opportunities to engage with the material and a suite of supporting audio meditations.


SARAH CASSIDY is an educational, child and adolescent psychologist who specialises in the assessment and treatment of learning and emotional/behavioural difficulties. She is the Founder and Director of the Smithsfield Clinic, a private practice for young people and their families using largely ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and RFT (Relational Frame Theory) treatment methods. She lectures in Psychology at Maynooth University and trains ACT therapists throughout Ireland.

LISA COYNE is the Founder and Senior Clinical Consultant of the McLean OCD Institute for Children and Adolescents at McLean Hospital, Massachusetts, and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the New England Center for OCD and Anxiety, a Past President of the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS), and the author of several books.


Publisher: Pavilion Publishing and Media Ltd

Publication Date: End of September 2022



Table of Contents
Introduction for parents or other trusted adults
1. Getting to know your anxiety
2. Our brains as threat detectors
3. More on mindfulness
4. Control and avoidance
5. Values and what you care about
6. Building a better compass
7. Letting go of the fight with anxiety
8. Other things you can do when Frank comes to town – defusion
9. More practice at stepping back from your anxiety
10. You are the place that your thoughts come
11. Really going after your anxiety
12. Nobody’s perfect!
13. Commitment – saying yes and meaning it


  1. Louise McHugh, PhD, School of Psychology University College Dublin

    Cassidy and Coyne are well seasoned practitioners that have been working with children and young people for decades. This is clearly evident in this masterpiece. ‘Tired of Anxiety’ is warm, funny, easy to follow and most importantly extremely effective. Always fun and playful yet dignified and validating. This is a book that all children would greatly benefit from. The illustrations and interactive exercises are creative and engaging to complete. I’ll be purchasing this for young people in my family as well as ones that I work with. I cannot recommend this kids self-help book enough to any young person (or their parents) who could use some support managing anxiety.

  2. Dr. Elle Kirsten

    Tired of Anxiety contains a great deal of insight and understanding of anxiety in children, and provides a treasure trove of tools to help kids navigate their scary thoughts and ‘live life anyway’. Based on years of experience and research, Dr. Sarah Cassidy and Dr. Lisa Coyne discuss anxiety in a conversational and playful tone, easing the young reader into a choose-your-own-adventure-esque journey of mindful curiosity and self-discovery. The book is packed with memorable explanations – what if your amygdala is like a super sensitive smoke alarm in your house? – exercises, and mindfulness practices, leaving the reader at ease with their thoughts and free to continue their life’s adventure.

  3. Dr Meria Dolan, Senior Clinical Psychologist

    I would like to highly recommend Tired of Anxiety by Drs Sarah Cassidy and Lisa Coyne. I have found it very useful in my clinical work with children and their parents. The authors’ experience and expertise in treating anxious children really shines through, and the book is written in a very playful, engaging way. I especially enjoyed the fun artwork, and the personable manner in which the authors approach this difficult topic. In addition, the audio tracks included are highly useful. I have recommended the book to my colleagues, and I’m sure that they will find it very useful also.

  4. Denise Egan Stack, LMHS, IOCDF Scientific Advisory Board

    Tired of Anxiety is an absolute must read for anxious children and their parents as they navigate the often overwhelming path towards recovery. Experts, Sarah Cassidy and Lisa Coyne have written an engaging and informative guide for how to change one’s relationship with anxiety based on strategies. In a sea of self-help books, this one stands out because it goes beyond the basics and is written for both young children and their parents.

  5. Jill Ehrenreich-May, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami and Developer of the Unified Protocols for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders in Children and Adolescents

    Both children ages 7-11 who have anxiety and children who like cool chapter books (and parents who care for both) will love “Tired of Anxiety”! Cassidy and Coyne have crafted a particularly fun self-help book chock full of useful strategies that are clearly rooted in the science of helping children cope, along with eye-catching visuals and developmentally sensitive materials to support children in using more helpful, adaptive strategies for managing distress.

  6. Dr. Ian Tyndall, PhD, Reader in Cognitive Psychology, Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychology, Business, and Human Sciences, University of Chichester, UK

    Tired of Anxiety is a book that so many children and parents need right now. Anxiety levels in children and early adolescents are rocketing, with demand for support services for outstripping supply of qualified mental health professionals to meet their needs. This means that many children will suffer with debilitating heightened levels of anxiety that greatly impairs their wellbeing by narrowing their world to such a degree that they likely miss out on many potentially positive opportunities and life experiences. This extremely practical and useful book, based on ideas and principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), stands out as it is so easy to tell that this is for kids because Cassidy and Coyne know kids. It is pitched at their level and speaks to them like few books I have read for childhood mental health. The pacing is great, it reads more like a novel, and the activities in each chapter to help the kids more fully understand the ideas are ideal and engaging. Having researched ACT myself for many years, a regular critique we come across is that ACT as a therapeutic approach is only suitable for highly educated and verbally articulate adults as the concepts and metaphors used within sessions are considered rather high-brow and too abstract for the ordinary person on the street and children. This is where Cassidy and Coyne really shine, their chapters on Values (Chapter 5) and Defusion (Chapter 8) for example, make complex psychological ideas so tangible and easily digestible for both kids and parents., showcasing their clinical skill but also passion and drive to help this very important age group. I would highly recommend this book to parents, practitioners, and kids to help children cope with and live with their own experience of ‘Frank’ (anxious thoughts and feelings).

  7. Dr Anne Kehoe, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology at University College Dublin, Ireland and President Elect of the Psychological Society of Ireland

    This book is a truly excellent resource for children and families. Drs Cassidy and Coyne have taken the evidence based scientific principles for treating anxiety and explained them in language that children can understand. This is a self-help book that teaches children about anxiety in an interesting and fun way which they themselves can then apply within their own lives. Having anxiety can be a very scary experience and a very common one. I highly recommend this book to help children to cope with these scary feelings when they arise.

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