Conquering the anxiety monster (with love) metaphor

This metaphor is extremely useful for both children and adults. It works best when using Lego to design an anxiety monster, encouraging the person to make it as fearsome and overwhelming as possible. By breaking down the monster into its component parts, using Lego makes it easier to analyse and understand. Clients can then describe each part in terms of thoughts, beliefs, memories, and emotions, allowing for a closer examination of their qualities individually. This approach enables us to introduce acceptance, defusion, and mindfulness skills, addressing each part separately rather than the monster as a whole.

Breaking down the anxiety monster into its parts often changes how we perceive and relate to it as a whole. When the monster appears, roaring and stomping, we can see each part more clearly and are less likely to be overwhelmed by its totality. This perspective allows us to develop a better understanding of our anxiety monster and respond to it with greater skill. It may involve extending a hand of understanding and genuinely listening to what the monster has to say. For example, it might convey messages of needing to slow down, expressing fear, or feeling overwhelmed. These messages are important to acknowledge, even though it can be challenging when trying to overcome a monster. From this place of understanding, we can genuinely extend compassion towards what initially may feel like a monstrous part of ourselves. In reality, it is a part that requires warmth and understanding.

Upcoming live training

Stuff that's stuck featured image
2 hours (2 CE credits)
Stuff that's stuck

Dr Ben Sedley

Read more
Working with neurodivergent adults featured image
6 hours (6APA CEs / BACB CEUs)
Working with neurodivergent adults

Jennifer Kemp

Read more
Mastering ACT featured image
Two 3 hour sessions (6 CE credits)
Mastering ACT

Robyn Walser

Read more

Knowledge hub

Related to your search/filter:

Emotional efficacy and ACT featured image
Emotional efficacy and ACT

What do we mean by emotional efficacy? Emotional efficacy refers to an individual’s capacity to effectively ...

Read more
Internal family systems (IFS) and ACT featured image
Internal family systems (IFS) and ACT

What do we mean by internal family systems (IFS)? Internal family systems (IFS) is a form of psychotherapy dev ...

Read more
Imposter syndrome and ACT featured image
Imposter syndrome and ACT

What is imposter syndrome? Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon where individuals develop a deep do ...

Read more

Knowledge hub

On-demand training

Related to your search/filter:

An introduction to the ACT model featured image
An introduction to the ACT model

Dr Joe Oliver

Read more
ACT skills for working with chronic pain featured image
ACT skills for working with chronic pain

Dr Kristy Potter

Read more
ACT for physical health problems featured image
ACT for physical health problems

Dr Ray Owen

Read more

On-demand training

Blog: Latest insights into ACT

Related to your search/filter:

The impact of low emotional efficacy on wellbeing and performance featured image
The impact of low emotional efficacy on wellbeing and performance

Emotional efficacy plays a crucial role in our overall wellbeing and performance. When individuals struggle wi ...

Read more
The four big myths about love and how ACT can help featured image
The four big myths about love and how ACT can help

We’ve all grown up surrounded by idealised depictions of love – from the fairytales we read as childre ...

Read more
Re-frame, re-train and re-connect with Hazel Anderson-Turner featured image
Re-frame, re-train and re-connect with Hazel Anderson-Turner

Ahead of her upcoming course “ACTivate your coaching for beginners: A practical introduction to using AC ...

Read more

Blog: Latest insights into ACT

Resource hub

Related to your search/filter:

ACT values cards featured image
ACT values cards

Our new values card have arrived! ACT conversation cards are a fantastic therapeutic tool for working with val ...

Read more
The power of letting go - script featured image
The power of letting go - script

In this script we look at the experience of Sam, a fictional client. Sam’s experience with anxiety and f ...

Read more
Emotion efficacy therapy (EET)- reading list featured image
Emotion efficacy therapy (EET)- reading list

Emotion efficacy training (EET) is an approach that aims to help individuals develop the skills and strategies ...

Read more

Resource hub

Join our newsletter to be the first to receive updates on our upcoming events, exclusive free resources and other valuable goodies. Sign up now and embark on your ACT journey with us!

You can unsubscribe at anytime. Read our full privacy policy here: Privacy policy