Anxiety-Free Child Program Review – Scam or Real Deal? My Honest Review
There are quite a few reviews of Anxiety-Free Child Program on the Internet. There is only one problem with most of them – they are not really reviews, but rather short, generic texts written by people, who apparently did not even read the program.
How Is This Review Different From Other Reviews on The Internet
- I own the whole program, including the bonuses.
- I went through the whole program.
- This review represents my honest opinion of the program
- This is by far the most comprehensive review you will find anywhere.
Of course, it is my review, and as such, it is subjective and I do not make any bold claims about the program and results. What you are going to read isn’t an advertisement or a sale pitch. My goal is actually very simple – share my honest opinion in order to help you get a better idea what the program is, what it is not, and if it is something you’re child may benefit from.
So let’s get started.
What You Get
When you purchase Anxiety Free Child Program, you will receive:
- Anxiety Free Child Manual (180 pages). This is the main part of the program, containing all the theory and exercises.
- Rainbow System (52 pages)- the 7 Step System For Less Anxious Child. This is a supplemental reading, that reinforces the main Manual and gives some additional practical advice. This is an additional bonus that you can purchase but it is not essential for the success of the program.
- Mastermind Transcripts. This is a collection of 6 interview transcripts with some of the leading therapists and child psychologists. Each interview is about 15 pages.
- CARIS Audio Vol 1. CARIS stands for Child Anxiety Relaxation and Imagery System. This system contains practical exercises that are part of the program. Doing these exercises is essential (read my review below).
- CARIS Audio Vol 2. This is a relaxation audio, that helps your child relax. It also helps your child perform some of the exercises, as being relaxed is very important during many of the exercises.
- Audio Version Of All Material. The Main manual, Rainbow System and Mastermind Transcripts all come in both written and audio version. You can use them interchangeably, or at the same time (reading the material while listening to it too, to make it “stick” better).
You can purchase the program in two formats:
- e-format, where all text material comes in the form of pdf documents (great for your Kindle reader), and all audio comes in MP3 format
- printed and CD version, where you will receive a printed book and CD’s
What is Anxiety Free Child Program And Who Is It For
- The whole program is a mix theory and science, sprinkled with common sense. It uses elements from various Cognitive Therapies, such as Rational Emotive Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness Cognitive Therapy, and others, and blends them into a unique program that can be performed at home.
- The program is specifically designed for children, however author covers a lot of ground when it comes to adult anxieties as well, as he acknowledges, that if a child suffers from anxiety, it is very common for parents to suffer from anxieties as well (and it is important to take care of yourself before you try to help your child).
- The program is presented in an actionable, hands-on manner.
- It is not designed to replace a professional therapy, if such therapy or medication is needed. However, in many cases, therapy, let alone medication, is not needed at all and the problem of anxiety and panic attacks can be addressed by some simple tactics presented in the program.
Let’s face it, we live in a society that loves quick fix for any problem. The magic bullet, or, in health-related issues, the magic pill.
Unfortunately, this quick-fix approach is often used also by medical professionals.
To me, over medication is a big issue, and I try to avoid the use of meds any time possible. I consider the meds to be the LAST resort, not the first one. And that stand true with the anxiety and panic attacks as well.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes, medication is unavoidable. But many times, it can be avoided by implementing simple tactic and life style changes.
Unfortunately, even simple changes may require serious effort. But like they say: Anything worth doing takes work.
And that’s what Anxiety Free Child Program is all about. It is about giving you a sound advice and showing you a way to deal with your child’s anxiety naturally. The goal is to show you what anxiety REALLY is, and how YOU can help your child conquer it.
It as a guide to a solution without the meds.
No need to argue that meds work faster. But unlike meds, that typically get temporarily rid of the symptoms AFTER they occur, this program will show you not only how to help your child – and yourself – to get rid of the anxiety when it occurs, but how to PREVENT it from occurring.
This takes effort and commitment. And quite a great deal of it. The solution is in fact simple. But it is not easy.
So now we are getting to…
What The Anxiety Free Child Program Is NOT, And Who it is NOT For
- If you believe that your child’s anxiety cannot be beaten without medication, then this program may not be for you.
- If you do not want to TRULY commit to the program then this program is not for you.
- If your child suffers from severe anxieties, then the program is not for you.
- If you are looking for a program for misbehaved children, this program is not it. (Check out Total Transformation System instead).
- If your child suffers from additional psychological disorders, such as depression, autism, and others then this program may be hard to implement; as the program requires child’s cooperation.
The parents play an important part in the program. In fact, author makes it clear that reading the program means nothing, if you are not going to take the advice and actually use it in the every day life.
I know you know that it is a common sense. Reading about diet or exercise will not make you lose weight any more, than reading about what to do to eliminate your child’s anxiety will stop the anxiety.
Action is absolutely essential.
The Main Manual
1. What Anxiety Is And Why It Can Be Treated Without Medications.
The program starts with explanation of what anxiety REALLY is, the symptoms and how it develops in children.
This is far cry from the typical introduction though. Author explains how anxiety fools its victim’s senses into believing that it is the anxiety that is in charge. He explains that anxiety and panic attacks, although uncomfortable and even frightening, are not really dangerous. He explains, how it is your mind and your perception that describes the danger, even if there is no real danger present.
This may be in fact a bit difficult read for many people as author, although very understanding and empathetic, uses a tough love approach, showing you the reality and putting things into a different perspective.
Rest assured, that his position is very well argued. To me, this section was quite an eye opener, as I myself have never thought of anxiety this way. It was one of those light bulb moments that can literally change lives.
On the other hand, I believe, that if you disagree with the author’s conclusions, the rest of the program will be very hard to follow and you may want to ask for your money back at this point.
Author’s position really makes sense but for many people, it may be hard to swallow. It is new and it will be quite shocking for most people. But I am convinced, that if you approach author’s argument with open mind, and without a preconceived bias, you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Rich then goes on to describe the most common anxiety disorders in children and the differences between them. This is to help you recognize the variety of symptoms.
He gives a closer look to possible reasons for anxiety, examines why genetics play only a small role for development of anxiety and panic attacks, furthermore re-enforcing his previous argument why he believes it is perfectly possible for most children to overcome their anxiety and panic attacks.
Author clearly argues, that physical symptoms of anxiety, such as sweating, accelerated heart-rate, trembling and others are often desired, giving examples of riding roller coaster, watching a scary movie etc. He explains, how it is not the experience itself, but rather the interpretation of it.
By now, you will have a good grasp of what childhood anxiety is and understand that it can be eliminated, so author’s next step is to show you how to do that.
2. Eliminating Your Child’s Anxiety With Variety Of Techniques.
He starts with the RIDE Technique (Release, Inspect, Don’t struggle, Encourage). He explains how this technique works and how it can help and gives tips on how to implement each element of the RIDE technique.
Since relaxed body means relaxed mind – and that means much less of panic attacks and anxiety – author shows his favorite relaxation technique called Red Sock Relaxation. Despite the funny name, this technique will dramatically help to relax your child’s body and mind. He also shows you some basic breathing exercises, and explains, how and why these are important in calming your child’s anxiety.
Rich then touches on the subject of thoughts your anxious child may have, which are often more scary than anxiety itself. He assures you that the thoughts are just that – thoughts, and as such, they can be altered by simply changing the questions that are running through your child’s head. Instead of asking “What IF…“, you can help your child to ask “What IS…“, to help your child see the reality, rather than scary fantasy.
Author then spends considerable time to to show you how the excessive worries can be tamed and what you can do to help your child to give him or her the peace of mind.
Food and nutrition has a direct impact on anxiety, and Rich shows you what foods you should serve to your child, and which to avoid, especially during a panic or anxiety attack episode.
After a short chapter on anti-anxiety diet, author returns to give some more tips on overcoming anxiety, and presents The Law Of Elephant Training. This has nothing to do with animal training, instead, it demonstrates how anxiety holds your child down the same way a small chain holds down an elephant. He then explains, how this has a lot to to with perception and habit, and shows how to break free from the habit.
Rich also shows you the Golden Rule Technique, which is very simple technique designed to help the child see reality for what it is, not for what it may be, by asking simple question “What would I do if I WASN’T afraid“.
This technique is especially effective in overcoming so called Anticipatory Anxiety to which author dedicates the next whole chapter.
3. Practical Lifestyle Changes.
Following these techniques is a chapter called Changes For Your Child. Author talks about the importance of habits, stress free schedule, as well as follows up on previous chapters about nutrition and relaxation. He summarizes the previous points made throughout the book, but also adds a lot of new pointers and things to watch for (tips on active listening, dealing with mistakes, importance of being a role model and more).
Author also talks about motivation and focus, and helps you analyze where you are lacking in this area, and gives tips on improving. He shows you how to better manage time, set goals, and more.
The last part of the book is dedicated to tips on finding the right therapist for your child. As I mentioned before, this program is not meant as a replacement for therapy, if therapy is needed.
If you believe, that your child does need a regular therapy, then this chapter will be invaluable to you as it gives you some concrete pointers, and shows you what to look for in your child’s therapist, what to ask him/her.
The fact is, that the program alone works great even without any additional therapy, if your child’s anxiety and panic attacks are mild.
If your child suffers from more severe anxieties, then this program will be an excellent addition to any professional therapy, giving you a lot of actionable tips to do at home, as a part of home therapy.
5. Alternative Therapies And Resources To Consider.
Here Rich describes a few lesser known, yet very effective alternative therapies (such as BioFeedback, Aroma Therapy and others), that can be very effectively used along side this program and regular therapy sessions.
The manual is concluded with dozens of useful resources you can further explore.
Doing vs. Reading
Just remember, that throughout the whole program the author is stressing the importance of DOING this program, rather than just READING it.
Staying organized and focused is essential, otherwise you are very likely to give up the program, or feel the program is ineffective, when in fact it is the lack of focus and action on your part, that makes it infective.
This brings me to…
The Weak Link
Each chapter concludes with Exercises and Reflection. These vary in difficulty and time they require to perform. Some of them are to be done daily, others are just a one time thing.
To me, these exercises were the strength and the weakness of the program.
The strength is obvious – they enforce what you learned and create habits that will ultimately become your child’s second nature, helping him or her deal with the anxiety and panic attacks.
The weakness lies in the ways most adults do things. Let’s face it, we postpone things for another time. We chose what instructions to follow and which to ignore. We often tend to disregard well meant advice simply because we don’t like what we’re hearing.
Our habits, our personalities, our perception, and our personal lives often determine how we deal with information that is new to us, especially if we are required to act on that information.
This program does not teach you how to follow instructions. It just assumes you will.
The program does offer some help with staying motivated and focused by including chapters on motivation and time management, as mentioned above. Although these chapters are well written and inspirational, and the exercises included are definitely going to help you improve in this area, if you are having hard time staying motivated and on track, you may want look for some more information and help in this area.
In all fairness, this is not actually the program’s weakness. The program is about overcoming anxiety, not about being motivated to do so. Author assumes, that by buying the program, you are already motivated. Why else would you buy it?
The Rainbow System
Although The Rainbow System is a non-essential part of the program, it itself is an excellent resource in your child’s fight with anxiety.
To me, this was like a compressed version of the Main Manual. On 57 pages, Rich Presta goes through the main points of the program, and summarizes the main points.
It goes through 7 main steps of the program, giving you a quick overview.
This makes for an excellent addition, after you read the Main Manual. It works kind of like CliffsNotes study guides. It works great during the shorter car trip (Rainbow System comes as an audio too).
The Mastermind Transcripts
Along with the main manual and the Rainbow System, you will also receive 6 Mastermind Transcripts. These are great supplemental readings. As other material in the program, these are also available in audio format.
Each interview is about 10-15 minutes (15 page e-book) and touches on variety of topics.
The interviews, just like the main manual, are a mix of theory and practical advice. They further reinforce what you read in the Main Manual, and also answer some new questions and look at the children anxiety and the alternative treatment from a slightly different angle.
The speakers are therapists, clinical psychologists, and psychologists with extensive knowledge and years of practice in the field. Each brings a new perspective and point of view on anxiety and treatment.
C.A.R.I.S Audio Vol. 1 and Vol.2
Finally, you will also receive audio resources that are designed to help you practice some of the exercises from the Manual and further help your child to relax.
Volume 1 has 4 audio files:
These audio files are essential for some of the exercises required in the Manual. Look at them as tools needed to perform the exercises. In other words, these are not just for listening, these are a part of the action-taking.
Volume 2 is a supplemental volume and contains 4 background audios designed to increase the level of relaxation.
It consists of :
The whole program sells for $97 for the digital format, or $147 for the printed + CD format.
I have the digital format edition. I burned all audio files on the discs, and printed all e-books. If you do not want the hassle, the printed edition is probably a better option as I found it quite limiting to read pdfs on my computer.
However, if you own an e-reader such as Kindle, than there really is no need for a printed edition unless you would also prefer the audio files to be on CDs, rather than in MP3 format. To me, this was not a problem as listened to the audio on my iPod.
This is not cheap, although it is considerably cheaper than other programs; and if you look at the price objectively, then you’ll have to recognize that it costs as little as 2-3 co-pays for therapy sessions (assuming the therapy is covered by your insurance).
There is also 60-days, no question asked money back guarantee. This is not a gimmick, because the payment is processed by third party payment processor (company is called Clickbank) and the money is not directly paid to the author. Instead, the money is being held for some time to cover possible refund requests.
Typically, if you issue a refund request, your money will be refunded as soon as the very next day.
So if you are on the fence, or even if you are not sure you can take the action the program requires, you can still order the program risk-free. You will have the whole 60 days to test drive the program, and should you not find it useful, or find out that you can’t implement it or can’t take the required action, you will get your money back. No questions asked.
In my opinion, the whole program is very solid and well written. It is not a quick fix, and although the program is in essence very simple, it may not be easy for many parents to implement.
Your role as a parent is invaluable in this program. It is not written directly for children, but rather for the parents, who just can’t stand seeing their children suffer from anxiety or panic attacks any longer, but who recognize that medicating their child is the last resort.
If you are truly motivated and dedicated, the program will work. Otherwise, you are wasting your time. However, with the money back guarantee policy, you can check out the program even if you are not 100% sure you will actually take any action.
Hope this review gave you a good overview of the program and helped you see if your child could benefit from the Anxiety Free Child Program.
I welcome any comments, so please feel free to leave your feedback or ask any questions you may have. If you already bought the program, please share your experience and help other parents.