When Young Children Are Anxious

with Glen R. Elliott, PhD, MD and Natalie Pon, MD

When Young Children Are Anxious

Episode 14, Season 2 | December 9, 2021

Show Notes

Young children typically experience some degree of fear — of separation, the dark, strangers, loud noises and new experiences. But how do we know when it’s something more and prevent these fears from interfering with our children’s daily lives? In this podcast episode, we chat with two child and adolescent psychiatrists, Dr. Natalie Pon and Dr. Glen Elliott, to discuss the various ways anxiety presents in young children, what is typical vs. troubling and the role of play in managing fear. Parents and caregivers of children under 6 will find our conversation especially relevant.

Guest Info
Glen Elliott headshot

Dr. Elliott diagnoses and treats severe psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. An internationally known expert in psychoactive medications, he is the author of Medicating Young Minds: How to Know if Psychiatric Drugs Will Help or Hurt Your Child. Before joining Children’s Health Council, Dr. Elliott was Director of the Children’s Center at Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, University of California, San Francisco for over 17 years. He also is Associate Training Director for the Stanford Child and Adolescent Psychiatry residency programs.


Natalie Pon headshot

Dr. Pon is committed to working with children and their families using a developmentally informed approach to psychiatric assessment and care. She believes in understanding a child and family’s story that has led them to seek psychiatric care and co-creating a narrative and treatment plan that addresses the child as a whole person; this may include psychotherapy, behavioral or social interventions, family/parent support and medication management, amongst other treatments. Dr. Pon specializes in the assessment and care of young children (0-6yo) and treats the range of early childhood mental health issues, including but not limited to anxiety/depression, disruptive behavior, adjustment and attachment issues, trauma (including medical), parent-child relational issues. She is very experienced with child-centered, dyadic, trauma-focused and cognitive-behavioral play therapy. She has received training in PCIT (parent-child interaction therapy) and is currently completing her certification. She has advanced training in psychodynamic work with young children and completed the infancy/early childhood year at the Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program (CAPPTP) at San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis (SF-CP). Dr. Pon is part of the RISE-IOP team at CHC and provides medication management for adolescents in the treatment program. In addition to her clinical work at CHC, Dr. Pon is adjunct clinical faculty at Stanford Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, where she supervises child psychiatry fellows in young child work, evaluations and play therapy. She also co-teaches the play therapy course for child psychiatry trainees and has taught and demonstrated play therapy with live cases in various modalities/settings. Dr. Pon completed her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Stanford University, where she served as Chief Fellow. She completed her general psychiatry residency at Baylor College of Medicine, where she trained at The Menninger Clinic in the Adolescent Treatment Program.