Focus on Anxiety & Depression

My parenting journey has been unique compared to many parents I know. All of my children suffer at some level from debilitating anxiety and depression. As a result, I have become well-educated over the last several years on the particular parenting skills required to support my children and others like them.

Why I'm Here

In the fall of 2014, a few weeks in to his freshman year of high school, my adolescent son, the sweet, polite, active, social, high achieving child I had always known, began to disappear. He stopped participating in activities he loved. He developed physical symptoms that kept him out of school. He gradually withdrew until he barely spoke to his family or friends.

Four years later anxiety and depression stopped my younger daughter in her tracks. I learned that she had been working so hard to appear “normal” - to excel, participate, and engage – so that none but her closest friends would know what was truly going on inside of her that she had literally worn herself out.

My older daughter pushes through her anxiety and depression every single day. While it has not brought her life to a standstill, it has had a deep impact on her energy and confidence.

Forging a path to help and support my children has been an incredibly educational journey, and I have learned some important lessons:

  1. YOU CANNOT FORCE ADOLESCENTS OR YOUNG ADULTS TO DO WHAT THEY DO NOT WANT TO DO!

  2. When parents open up and talk about the challenges their children are facing, we find that we are not alone.

  3. There is no single resource to assist parents of children experiencing anxiety and depression to define the best approach for their child.

  4. The resources that are available leave meaningful gaps in information, making parents’ decision-making that much more difficult and stressful.

  5. What parents really need is someone who understands what they are going through, who will listen and help them make informed decisions.

I would like to be that person for you. If you would like to talk, please contact me for a free discovery session.

The Journey Through Anxiety & Depression

Finding the path to parenting peace and wellness with a child experiencing debilitating anxiety and depression is no easy task. Sometimes, it is hard to know what is at the core of your child’s struggles. If the struggles are rooted in anxiety and depression, you may need something more than a traditional parent coaching program.

 

Kids who are battling anxiety and depression often:

  • Reduce or completely stop participation in their “life;”

  • Quit activities they previously loved;

  • Have frequent stomach aches, headaches, or other physical symptoms without a diagnosable illness;

  • Isolate themselves from friends and family, preferring to spend time with a screen or other technology;

  • Engage in a lot of self-criticism;

  • Refuse to go to school.

If you suspect your child is experiencing anxiety and depression, I offer a four-stage process, called Waypoints, to help you make informed decisions about how best to help your child and family. Any or all of these Waypoints can be combined with custom coaching. The goal is to design the best process to meet your needs.

The Journey: Waypoint 1

The Consultation

Waypoint 1 involves a free one-hour consultation, either via phone or in person, during which we will explore the details of your unique experience. We will discuss things such as:

  • The behaviors and symptoms that your child has demonstrated;

  • The structure of your family and family dynamics;

  • The impact of what is happening on other members of the family (parents, other siblings, other caregivers);

  • The approaches you have tried to help your child and your family;

  • The financial implications of finding the right path for your family;

  • Your needs and expectations moving forward.

If, at the end of the conversation, we each decide that I can be of help to you and your family, I will put together a report summarizing what we discussed and recommending next steps on the journey.

The Journey: Waypoint 2

Choosing a Path

Waypoint 2 begins with a broad look at the best options for your family based on your unique situation, and the costs associated with each. In particular, we will get down to the details of:

  • The challenges unique to your situation and alternatives to address them;

  • A customized list of questions for you to ask potential service providers as you investigate identified options;

  • Some resources you can explore to help cover associated costs.

The Journey: Waypoint 3

Navigating the Journey

Waypoint 3 is about implementing all the hard work that you accomplished during Waypoint 2. I will provide ongoing support and encouragement through this stage to:

  • Educate and prepare you for some things you might not expect;

  • Guide and support you as you navigate your role in your child’s treatment experience;

  • Help you acknowledge and accept what you can change, and what you cannot.

The Journey: Waypoint 4

Life Moving Forward

If your child participated in a structured treatment program, whether an IOP, a wilderness program, therapeutic boarding school, or other treatment facility, Waypoint 4 focuses on preparing your family and your local support network to replace the structure of their treatment environment. During this stage I will help you think through:

  • Possible changes to the home environment;

  • Smoothing the transition back to a local school, including syncing academic calendars and transferring credits;

  • Re-establishing social ties; 

  • Investigating possible transition support services;

  • Re-integrating in to the family, if needed.

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