STILL Method Case Study


The STILL Method is a complete system to reduce anxiety. It uses a step-by-step system to understand and manage anxiety, improve low self-esteem and gain resilience.

STILL doesn’t just teach you to relax, it gives you essential tools to face challenges and feel empowered. The STILL Method is fun and engaging, allowing you to develop confidence and overcome anxiety.

STILL is an easy to follow, methodical approach

By using the STILL method you will learn what anxiety is and what causes it. You will learn tools to face challenges and feel empowered.

The STILL method teaches techniques to deal with immediate crisis, such as panic attacks, but also demonstrates easy to learn ways of dealing with painful memories and recurring thoughts.

In recent years there has been an unparalleled rise in the number of children, young people and adults presenting with high levels of anxiety and associated conditions. Schools and parents are having to devote more and more time to managing anxiety.

The STILL Method brings together the best techniques from, positive psychology, cognitive behavioural therapy, Neuro linguistic programming and personal development, into a complete system based on the best available evidence and a set of tools that can equip any child, adult, teacher or parent.

DS was referred to the Brighter Futures team by her school following an incident which occurred during her PE class. Whilst DS was changing in the changing rooms, other pupils made comments around DS’s body, comparing her to a boy and then questioning her biological sex. This incident significantly impacted DS’s self-esteem and mental health, as she became terrified of such an event occurring again in future PE lessons. Whilst school did challenge the other pupils in their behaviour, DS became too anxious to attend PE in future lessons. DS would often cry and feel anxious days in advance before PE, in anticipation of same traumatic experience re-occurring. As a result, DS would frequently miss a whole day of school when PE was scheduled. This was particularly problematic for DS, as one of her biggest passions in life is football and sports.

When I met DS, she wanted support to help better manage her worries, particularly relating to attending PE. DS was aware that her anxieties around this subject were having a negative impact on her life and were preventing her from accessing one of her favourite subjects.

Due to DS’s needs and situation, I applied the STILL Method approach, as this is aimed at helping individuals better manage their worries, and to overcome fear. In total, DS attended 16 1:1 STILL Method based sessions as part of her supportive intervention.

Initially, we covered the “cuddling the puppy” metaphor, to talk about DS avoids her fears (in this case, avoiding PE), and how avoidance prevents her from learning that she can learn resiliency towards her anxieties. This metaphor was also explained to DS’s Mum, to further encourage Mum to send DS to school, despite her worries about what might happen during PE.

DS was also set activities to practise at home, including “Morning Mirror” incantations, Top 3 lists of things that have made her happy during the day, and various coping skills to practise when she is calm, to give her confidence using them when she felt anxious or overwhelmed. Mum reported that DS frequently practised these techniques in the house, which further helped her gain confidence to face her fears.

Moreover, in the sessions, we covered how DS reacts to her anxiety/panic attacks, to help her become familiar and understand of her own responses to stress. DS then chose her favourite of the 3 “STOP fear” techniques, to help bring her out of/prevent a panic attack. In DS’s case, she chose to practise a technique involving scanning through various senses.

DS also found the STILL Methods’ “Body Hacks” very helpful to reduce feelings of anxiety and to help bring her into a state of feeling “okay” once more. These body hacks are physical exercises, which aim to use up adrenaline released by the fight or flight response. The exercises also help our brains focus (to calm racing thoughts) and to steady breathing.

Furthermore, during each session, DS practised techniques in eye movement therapy (EMT), which is also a part of the STILL Method. EMT aimed to help DS process her fears in a different, less negatively impactful way, compared to what she was used to. During every activity, DS would rate her fear lower at the end of the activity, compared to the start.

DS also struggled with many “thinking errors”, in terms of her “fortune telling”, “mind-reading” and “catastrophizing”. In our sessions, we also covered formal ways to challenge her negative thinking errors, which DS then practised at home with her mother.

During the middle of the support, DS stopped missing school due to her fears around PE. However, she would not take part in the lesson. Towards the end of the support, DS began changing in the changing room again with the other girls, and started to take part in PE once more.