Facing Fear and Anxiety with Kendra Read

Fear and anxiety are natural emotions. Dr. Kenda Read, Director of Anxiety Programs at Seattle Children’s, explains that she no longer teaches relaxation techniques because she doesn’t want children using them during exposure therapy.

Instead, she wants children to learn what anxiety feels like in their body so they can experience the feeling and learn that it will end.

Listen below for her perspective on riding the wave of anxiety.

Now we'd love to hear from you. What's bubbling up for you after hearing this vlog? Let us know in the comments section below!


  1. Susan Kenney on February 19, 2022 at 4:04 am

    That makes sense! To learn to face your fears rather than try to avoid them with deep breathing and relaxation techniques. I think that goes along with the other technique of talking back to your fears and telling fear that “I know you’re here to protect me but this particular situation isn’t dangerous, I can handle this. I’ve gotten through These feelings before, and I know that I will get through them, again.”

    That along with knowing what anxiety feels like, knowing how to recognize it, and knowing that it will crest and fall, seems like a good combination. Thanks!

  2. Christa on February 19, 2022 at 12:55 pm

    This makes so much sense and resonates with our experience. Thank you for articulating this approach, this is moving the needle in the way we really need it right now and also seems to be in line with Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory. I’d love to hear more from Dr. Read!

  3. Sue on February 19, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    It’s great when we see a convergence of methods that help explain how our minds and bodies work. Thank you, Dr Read! Since exposure is at least at first practiced with a guiding, trustworthy therapist, the fact of “riding the wave” plus the engaging therapist may well activate our “social engagement system” to calm our mobilized fight/ flight as Dr Porges says.

  4. Mandy on February 20, 2022 at 1:13 pm

    This is really interesting, thanks for posting! I’m wondering if we’re moving more into a mindset of viewing anxiety positively. Your talk with Renee Jain also discussed the advantages of anxiety. This is such a great way to view it – with acceptance at its core. Love it!!

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