1-day workshop

Anxiety and Learning

How to improve students’ academic performance and wellbeing

This inspiring day gives you practical guidance and proven techniques for reducing student anxiety, increasing students’ abilities and reinvigorating their love of learning

Course Factfile

Anxiety and Learning

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  • Price: £192 per person

Price includes lunch, refreshments and course notes


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This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.

This course is currently only available as inhouse training – please contact us for details. Alternatively, if you would like us to let you know when another in-person date is announced, please register your interest using the form below.

Internationally renowned student wellbeing expert Gareth Hughes’ wide-ranging day looks at the crucial links between our emotions and learning and provides you with a range of clear, easy-to-implement strategies to lower students’ anxiety generally, increase motivation and help students overcome: exam anxiety, writer’s block, fear of public speaking and much more.

Profoundly helpful – Gareth Hughes' experience and compassion shone through...

Vice Dean

Why take this course

The growing levels of anxiety, depression and perfectionism among our school and university students – exacerbated by the increasing focus on exam results, league tables and immediate employment possibilities – is causing many students to perform well below their potential.

Stress and anxiety massively inhibit academic learning and performance. Some may present with general anxiety and low motivation; others may experience anxiety in relation to specific tasks, such as taking exams, giving presentations or writing (often developing writer’s block).

As high levels of anxiety can lead to more serious mental health problems – and even suicide – it’s imperative we give adolescents the information and skills they need to cope with the many pressures they’re under today. By pushing more and more of our young people towards anxiety, depression or self-harming – in some cases even suicide – we are undermining the fabric of our country’s future.   This course is designed to help counter that.

The essential information and techniques you will learn – which tutor Gareth Hughes uses with great success at the University of Derby – will reduce student stress and anxiety, enable them to manage their emotions better and become more resilient and productive so that they can get the most out of their academic lives…

I’m going to use the information for all students – not only for those who have anxiety problems as it is applicable to all

Lecturer Biochemistry

What will you learn

  • A clear understanding of how anxiety and stress contributes to poor learning – at any age
  • How anxiety reduces motivation, causes writer’s block, freezes a student’s ability to remember what they’ve learned, impacts negatively on exam performance and messes up presentations
  • Essential insights into the links between learning and emotion
  • 5 fast, effective techniques to unblock thinking and lower anxiety
  • The common myths that are making our students anxious
  • Practical actions that students can take to start reducing their anxiety right away
  • An understanding of what really motivates students to improve their academic performance
  • A profound, holistic model of learning – in tune with how our brains actually work
  • How to develop more productive study routines
  • Tips on how to unlock writer’s block
  • A better understanding of why a good night’s sleep helps
  • New insights into why so many young people experience anxiety today – and the serious impact this can have on their mental health
  • Case histories – Gareth shares examples from his own extensive work with university students to illustrate key points
  • The importance of mental rehearsal
  • How to help students speak in public with confidence
  • Proven ways to help people overcome exam anxiety
  • The key things to remember when working with anxious teenagers and young people
  • Guidance for students on how to look after their own mental health
  • Don’t ignore the basics – how meeting physical needs can boost learning
  • Plus plenty of opportunities to ask questions of the highly knowledgeable and experienced tutor

Course Programme

The ‘Anxiety and Learning’ course starts at 9.30am and runs until 4.00pm.

Who is this course suitable for?

  • School and university counsellors or anyone involved in supporting students to manage their emotions and / or improve their academic performance
  • Students and parents or carers wishing to help their children academically or to help them prepare for university
  • Teachers, lecturers or other education professionals who are interested in creating environments more conducive to learning and helping students perform to their potential
  • Anyone involved in supporting students with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia or problems with their mental health
  • Study skills advisors who are interested in having a deeper knowledge of the interaction between emotions, the brain and learning and who wish to expand the strategies they use to help students
  • Anyone involved in working with or supporting learners and young people

Register your interest - next date

If you would like to be first to know once the new date is released, please complete the form below and we will keep you up to date.

Reviews for this course

4.7/5 (67 Reviews)
  1. Laura Young, Teacher

    It is the most relevant, best course I have ever been on. I didn’t want it to end! Want to know more to help young people.

  2. Melissa Bateson, TA

    Fabulous in-depth course – unpicking the myths behind anxiety and giving strategies to enable us to help children and young people succeed in life.

  3. Fiona Franey, Teaching assistant

    Very informative – great to challenge the myths of society and hear other people agree

  4. Deb Link, Mental Health Mentor

    Excellent, informative, reassuring, inspiring!

  5. Sarah Lalaz, Counsellor

    Really interesting course. Well presented with entertaining anecdotes and useful advice. Thank you!

  6. Victor Rybacki, Retired

    Very useful in helping students but also provides ideas about anxiety which apply elsewhere

  7. Lauren Johnson, Counsellor

    Informative, exciting. I feel empowered to use what I have learnt in my work with young people

  8. Brighdeen Rice, Teacher

    Excellent – lots of practical tips I can put into use straightaway with my pupils

  9. Homemaker

    Gareth delivered an extremely interesting and informative course. Solidified all the learning from the diploma course

  10. Therapist

    The stories of how to work with exam anxiety were really useful, as they allowed me to see how I can combine both therapeutic and more practical solutions.

  11. Headteacher

    Very useful. I could see how to relate this to 5 – 7 year olds even though the bias was on teenagers and university students.

  12. XI Form Learning Mentor/Teacher

    Useful to learn that anxiety can be defeated, that exam anxiety may have deep roots and of the alternative approach to writer’s block by understanding causes.

  13. OT & HG Practitioner

    HG ideas were applied so eloquently to the area of student learning.

  14. Retired Mentor

    Good help with exam anxiety – my children are students and I would like to give them the best advice.

  15. Parent

    Lots of useful strategies to help with understanding student anxiety – an inspirational presenter.

  16. Dyslexia & Autism Therapist

    Practical with lots of information that is immediately applicable.

  17. School Counsellor / Tutor

    I found it all useful. It fits well with my role in providing therapy to school students and teaching adults who want to become therapists.

  18. Teacher

    Real concrete steps and strategies I can use when helping my students with anxiety.

  19. Clinical Hypnotherapist

    Excellent guidelines and tips to pass on to teach students to reduce exam anxiety.

  20. Hypnotherapist

    Lots of information – very useful and well referenced.

  21. Counsellor

    Gareth’s experience was most useful on information, management and planning. I liked the idea of suggesting a variety of approaches so the student can choose/try and find out the most helpful.

  22. Psychotherapist

    Loved the day – fascinating and practical – thank you!

  23. Senior Wellbeing Officer

    Practical tools and human givens approach to these is so profoundly in tune with my own practice. Delivered in a clear and accessible way – where the language and methods used really helped my learning.

  24. Educational Psychologist

    All of the stories and real-life scenarios that Gareth shared were really helpful in consolidating my learning. It was all very clear and logical – a narrative ran through the day which aided my understanding and helped to link my thought processes.

  25. Educational Psychologist

    The whole day has been really helpful – packed with lots of useful approaches, reference to evidence, very engaging presentation – helpful professionally and personally – thank you Gareth!

  26. Educational Psychologist

    Presenter was exceptionally knowledgeable with lots of experience – lots of strategies and frameworks to equip for immediate practice.

  27. Pharmacist / Clinical Teacher

    Really useful study day, really well presented and highly relevant.

  28. Guidance Counsellor

    Just superb – loved the passion and the practical examples.

  29. Study Support Tutor

    Unpicking the myths – helpful to name them and identify how and why they
    are so unhelpful.

  30. Educational Psychologist

    Lots of specific thinking about exam anxiety and as always the hand-out is very useful. It was excellent!

  31. School Counsellor

    Good balance between information and activity, so much material
    was covered.

  32. HG Therapist/Journalist

    Gareth is superb – very knowledgeable, personable, receptive, amusing and relaxed when imparting information.

  33. Counsellor

    Absolutely everything was excellent! Gareth is so brilliant in the way he presents the information – I will retain this course content far better than others I have attended with many different workshop providers.

  34. Counsellor

    The trainer and information was clear, concise and engaging and I learnt a lot. I also enjoyed having the space for discussion and sharing of skills and knowledge.” “Excellent trainer – knew his stuff and presented in a very accessible way.

  35. Mental Health & Wellbeing Co-ordinator

    Trainer had a wide range of knowledge with references and
    very relevant examples.

  36. Mental Health & Wellbeing Co-ordinator

    Many thanks, it was very informative, well-delivered and the atmosphere was safe and friendly when discussing personal experiences.

  37. Counsellor

    Very helpful to think through how to help students take back control.

  38. Inclusive Learning Advisor – Social Emotional Mental Health

    Can’t think of any way it could be improved. An interesting training session, very practical and helpful – thank you!

  39. Personal Development Tutor

    Very informative. The breathing technique I will use and also the method for talking to students about their anxiety and creating an action plan. Lots of interesting, relevant information that will be useful with students –
    but also myself.

  40. Personal Development Tutor

    All of the anxiety-related information was useful to me. I could recognise a lot of what was said in myself as well as students, and the techniques will therefore be very useful.

  41. Personal Development Tutor

    Excellent ideas on how to break stress down to smaller chunks with students as I think the pressure of seeing the right number of students in a day gives me a tendency to hurry.

  42. Personal Development Tutor

    Information on academic anxiety and how to control – using this in 1:1 tutorials – all very useful for my cohort of A-Level students.

  43. Student Liaison Officer

    All the external forces that cause anxiety in a person and the ideas to take back control were particularly useful to me.” “Excellent session with lots of worthwhile ideas, practice and ways to cope.

  44. Personal Development Tutor

    Excellent information on questioning students to look at their own existing ways of managing anxiety, exam anxiety techniques and how we can help them to overcome this.

  45. Health and Safety Officer

    Understanding what anxiety is, how to cope with it, how it makes students feel, how sleep, good food, fresh air and exercise helps, and tips to use with students who are anxious and having panic attacks – great information.

  46. Pastoral / Safeguarding Team,

    Gareth was an excellent facilitator – knowledgeable and motivational.
    Great training.

  47. Wellbeing Coach

    Lots of ideas and skills to reinforce my current human givens knowledge, and to give me the confidence to now support young adults.

  48. Specialist Mentor

    Excellent enthusiasm and breadth of knowledge of the facilitator and ways of thinking within a structured context.

  49. Head of Learning Development & Safeguarding Sixth Form College

    Some very useful information and techniques to pass on to both students and staff.

  50. Teacher

    Thank you for a great learning experience.

  51. Senior Learning Support Assistant – Sixth Form College

    Very useful information and practical strategies for working in an academic environment – will be able to use straight away.

  52. Psychologist, Psychologist

    I liked the metaphors and new ways of conceiving aspects of anxiety.

  53. Psychotherapist

    Examples used were very relevant to my work at the university.

  54. Part-time Teacher

    The whole session was very enlightening.

  55. Teacher / Tutor / Counsellor

    Absolutely amazing – thank you very much.

  56. Couple & Family Therapist

    Super practical ways to empower students – loved the bit about unpicking the fear of failure/perfectionism/procrastination – Keep up the brilliant work!

  57. Parent / Carer

    Some great stories to reinforce ideas.

  58. Counsellor for University Counselling Service

    Found useful the three session model for exam anxiety and the practical common sense approach.

  59. Parent / Carer

    I learnt a number of useful ideas during the day, notwithstanding my ‘anxiety’ that the course was more appropriate for professionals. All sessions were useful and will, I hope, help me during student meetings. The speaker made the course engaging and interesting with humour too.

  60. Secondary School Teacher

    Fab info to take back to school – particularly useful for the boys I teach –
    thank you.

  61. Couple and Family Therapist

    Excellent combination of research, theory and practical ideas.

  62. Mental Health Nurse

    Consolidated bits of prior learning into a focused, cohesive approach –
    great course.

  63. Vice Dean (Education)

    The link between anxiety and learning was very well demonstrated. The
    “emotions are how we learn” thinking should feature more in universities’
    education strategies. Good practical examples and application ideas and
    how to dispel negative praradigms.

  64. Headteacher

    I could see how to relate this to 5 – 7 year olds even though the bias was on teenagers and university students. Very useful!

  65. OT – Student Mental Health Co-ordinator within Student Disability Service

    Really useful to learn how to manage anxiety overall and specifically exam anxiety. Many of the students attending SDS have anxiety as a disability and are being treated clinically for this and depression. This often emerges around exam time. It was a well focused, clearly organised and delivered day. Practical examples were very helpful.

  66. Counsellor

    Trainer delivered in an interesting way – good use of humour
    which I appreciated.

  67. HG Therapist

    A fabulously informative day – extremely well presented.

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