The Taming Sneaky Fears Program: How to Be a Trick Catcher and the Boss of My Brain

  • Suneeta Monga
  • Diane Benoit


This chapter begins by describing the approach used in the Taming Sneaky Fears program to explain the abstract concept of cognitive distortions to four- to seven-year-old children, i.e., by externalizing anxiety (calling it Sneaky Fears) and by referring to the Tricks (or cognitive distortions) that Sneaky Fears play (Not Telling the Truth, Exaggerating, and Only Showing the Bad Things). It describes how cognitive coping strategies traditionally used with older children are adapted to accommodate the cognitive abilities of four- to seven-year-old children, i.e., by learning How to Be the Boss of My Brain and using the Stop sign and the Trick Stoppers (Ignore Sneaky Fears, Think Brave Thoughts, and Talk to an Adult). The chapter provides step-by-step guidelines on how to communicate these abstract concepts and cognitive coping strategies to four- to seven-year-old children and their parents in one parent session (P-Session 2) and two child sessions (C-Sessions 3 and 4).


Preschool cognitive strategies Teaching preschoolers cognitive strategies Catching sneaky fears’ tricks Using trick stoppers Thinking brave thoughts Ignoring sneaky fears Talking to an adult 


  1. Benoit, D., & Monga, S. (2018a). Apprivoiser les Peurs-pas-fines—L’histoire de bravoure de Léo le lionceau & Dans la tanière de Léo: Le cahier de travail. Victoria, British Columbia: FriesenPress.Google Scholar
  2. Benoit, D., & Monga, S. (2018b). Taming Sneaky Fears—Leo the Lion’s story of bravery & Inside Leo’s den: The workbook. Victoria, British Columbia: FriesenPress.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryHospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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