COUNSELING FOR PARENTS
Unsure how to get your child to listen to you?
Tired of repeating yourself, losing patience and getting angry?
Looking for a better way?
Finding it hard to have patience at the end of the day (or even at breakfast time?)
IT FEELS LONELY IN YOUR CORNER OF THE WORLD.
BUT, 1 in 5 PARENTS HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH DEPRESSION.
AND 18% OF ADULTS IN THE UNITED STATES (OR 40 MILLION ADULTS) ARE DIAGNOSED WITH AN ANXIETY DISORDER.
COVID-19 HAS PILED SIGNIFICANT BARRIERS AND STRAIN ON ALREADY STRESSED OUT PARENTS.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly exacerbated depression and anxiety among parents. The requirements of being a parent during a pandemic are indiscernible, understood only by fellow parents. A recent study found that since the onset of Covid-19, nearly half of parents—48 percent—said the level of stress in their life has increased compared with before the pandemic.  The demands working parents have been put under to juggle career and families has created a chronic stress paradigm that is difficult to navigate.
Depression & Anxiety impact the whole family.
Therapy can help restore balance to the home.
It is important to not ignore what you are feeling or to hope it just goes away. We know that depression and anxiety does not go away because we will ourselves to be better. I wish that were the case, but it just isn’t.
When parents get depressed or anxious, it impacts their ability to function as they would like to as a parent. Many parents will find it hard to make it through the day or will turn to isolating their selves from their usual support network. Guilt ensues, and it becomes a vicious cycle. Parents experiencing depression and anxiety are more likely to be impatient and quick-tempered and to yell at or spank their child.
Many parents feel at their wits end with their child’s behavior which seems out of control, not realizing the impact their own depression and/or anxiety has had on their child. Behavioral problems, health problems and academic struggles are more common in children whose parent is depressed/anxious and they are more likely to experience depression their selves as they get older.
Marriages and relationships also suffer as a result of untreated depression and anxiety. Statistics show that the divorce rate is nine times higher when one partner is experiencing depression. Dissatisfaction levels are also significantly higher when depression is present in one or both parents. When a person is depressed and/or anxious, functioning is not at optimal levels and when a child is involved, the other parent tends to step up more to fill in the gaps. This can lead to anger and resentment towards the parent who is struggling. Rather than feeling supported, that parent feels unloved and overlooked and the symptoms with likely increase.
Most of the time, anxiety goes unnoticed or is dismissed and explained away.
Anxiety therapy for parents can help you learn better ways to parent your child by managing your anxiety and learning how to channel frustrations.
Because like it or not, our children learn from us.
THERE IS HOPE! CBT IS HIGHLY EFFECTIVE AT TREATING DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY.
The good news is that cognitive behavioral therapy is very effective at treating depression and anxiety. The even better news is that, when treated early enough, the effects on your children and relationships can be mitigated or sometimes even reversed.
We will also take a look at how anxiety and perfectionistic traits impact depression.
Many of the clients I work with self-identify as "Type A" overachievers. They have excelled at everything in life so far. But are finding it hard to "succeed" at parenting. We dig into how perfectionism impacts your mood and your style of parenting. All too often, anxiety and perfectionism meet and create depression, which is a murky mix for a new parent trying to find confidence.
We will look at thoughts such as:
I'm NOT good enough.
I am a failure.
I should have done that instead.
I CAN'T do this.
My child would be better off without me.
This will NEVER get better.
It's ALWAYS going to be like this.
I will NEVER get my old life back again. And I miss it.
We will re-evaluate them.
We will challenge these thoughts.
We will reframe them.
And most importantly, you will also learn that, just as the wind blows, thoughts can come in and thoughts can go out.
THINKING A THOUGHT DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK!
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THERAPY FOR DEPRESSION & ANXIETY
The first step in therapy is to identify your goals.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE FROM THERAPY?
We will work together to set realistic and attainable goals. Valuable insights along the way can help you understand what might be going on to impact your mood. You will also gain tools to help you cope with upsetting emotions and help seeing situations from a different perspective.
YOU WILL LEARN TO FEEL MORE IN CONTROL OF YOUR EMOTIONS, RATHER THAN FEELING LIKE YOUR EMOTIONS ARE CONTROLLING YOU.
We will explore how to take care of yourself and your relationship and how to be the best parent you can be for your children. We will also focus on how to communicate your emotions to your partner and how to maintain intimacy in your relationship.
DISCOVER TRIGGERS FOR YOUR ANXIETY THAT MIGHT NOT HAVE EXISTED BEFORE HAVING CHILDREN.
Kids will be kids - right? But what if constant noise, questions, and toys everywhere are endless triggers for your anxiety? Many parents don't realize this, but these are all common triggers for anxiety. Certainly can't avoid them with children. So what is one to do? Therapy will help teach you ways to cope with your anxiety.
YOU PROBABLY STILL HAVE SOME QUESTIONS.
HERE ARE THE MOST FREQUENT QUESTIONS I HEAR...
I SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIGURE THIS OUT ON MY OWN.
It is impossible to have the answers to everything all the time. We are, after all, simply human. Parenting is hard and there is an ever-changing curve to navigate. I will work with you to identify the strengths you have within you and will equip you with the skills you have not been taught, helping you learn to surmount depression and anxiety with patience and perseverance.
I'M NOT SURE I HAVE TIME FOR THERAPY IN MY BUSY SCHEDULE.
Time is one of the single most limiting factors that stop people from getting help when they are feeling down. That is why I decided to offer shorter, 30-minute session times for parents. After the initial evaluation session and an additional 1-2 getting to know each other session (which are standard 45-55 minutes), we can discuss if 30-minute sessions would be appropriate.
I also work to keep treatment brief & focused, and only as often as is clinically necessary. Once we determine you are finding the relief you have been searching for, we can discuss how to maintain these gains and can begin spacing out sessions to a couple of times a month.
I also offer online therapy - available anywhere, anytime with convenience in mind.
I AM A VERY PRIVATE PERSON AND FIND IT HARD TO OPEN UP.
So am I. I get that it can be incredibly difficult to talk to a stranger about things you find hard to tell even your closest friend or partner. We will go at your pace and only talk about what is top of mind for you. This is your counseling after all and it will focus on helping you achieve your goals. You may even find that it is easier to open up once we get started. Many people tell me that I am easy to talk to.
MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY PARTNER IS TENSE. WE NEED HELP, BUT MY PARTNER IS RELUCTANT. CAN INDIVIDUAL THERAPY HELP?
Couples therapy is most effective when BOTH participants fully want to be there. If one is reluctant, individual therapy alone is a great alternative as it is effective at improving mood and emotions that can often have a positive ripple-effect to the relationship. So if you are feeling strain your relationship, getting help for yourself can have a positive impact on the overall relationship. And maybe, if your partner sees the difference, they will decide to join you for couples therapy - when they are ready.