I'm an adult with anxiety.

Everyone worries from time to time and everyone experiences anxiety — both are normal emotions that give us information. When we have excessive amounts of either one, it can impair our lives and make day-to-day activities difficult to manage.

Worry is a cognitive process and happens in a different part of the brain (a higher part). Worry is an active process: it’s the thinking, imagining, “what if” part of our brains. Anxiety, however, comes from a lower, more primitive part called the amygdala. The term “anxiety” refers to the physical symptoms of fight, flight, or freeze and can be triggered by worry or a real or perceived danger. Think of it this way: anxiety is your body’s alarm system, and its job is to be on alert for danger. When all systems are firing normally, the alarm doesn’t go off very often and, when it does, the feelings, sensations, and experience pass within an hour or so. When the alarm gets stuck and goes off all the time for things that are not emergencies (like saying the wrong thing in a text message or not being able to sleep) and/or lasts for hours, that’s when we say there’s an anxiety problem. More times than not, our worry sets off the alarm, so targeting an overactive worry system is necessary.

Both are common and very treatable. Everything I do centers around teaching people skills to help put worry and anxiety in their place and you in the driver’s seat.

I believe my child has anxiety.

These days worrying seems to go hand-in-hand with being a parent. We want our children to be safe and secure and responding to their fears is a big part of that. But what happens when our child has a true anxiety disorder? And what happens when our intuitive reaction (providing reassurance, taking away the worry) actually makes the anxiety stronger? If you suspect that might be the case for yours, let’s talk today. There are solutions that both you and your child can implement to make it better.

The best thing a parent can do is give their child the knowledge about anxiety and the ability to manage it. I counsel both parents and children, together and separately. For parents, one of the most successful methods is the Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE) program. When we talk, I’ll tell you more about it.

Why We Need to Be Brave

Someone asked me recently to define my professional goal. The first thought that popped into my head was to be FEARLESS! (cue Superman theme song) But that’s not possible, really. I’m human, and fear is part of the human condition. As I tell my clients, my kids, and myself — it’s about being scared and…

Change Your Day in 22 Minutes — or Less

Every day, I take a 20-minute nap. I call it my 22-minute nap: one minute to fall asleep, 20 to sleep, and one minute to wake up. I was talking to a friend the other day and mentioned it. She was fascinated. I think what strikes people most about this glorious habit of mine is…

Tips to Talk to Your Kids about Therapy

Even though their mom was a therapist, my kids complained when they were little about seeing one. Looking back, I completely own that I probably didn’t present the whole thing very well. Ok I know I didn’t, because they thought they were the only ones who needed it (SO not true) and that it did…

Let’s Get You UnStuck!

Last week, I tried to help you figure out if you’re stuck. Acknowledging that you’re stuck is important, because we cannot fix something if we don’t know it needs fixing. So I know you’ve been waiting for the answer to the question how do I get myself unstuck? … drumroll … To best answer this,…

3 Ways to Tell If You’re Stuck

As part of my Behavior Therapy Training Institute Certification for Pediatric OCD, I had the amazing experience of having Dr. Marty Franklin as my faculty consultant. As we were discussing some of my cases, he said to me “He who values comfort over function shall have neither.” These words have stuck with me, because they resonate…

Let’s Set Some Boundaries, Shall We?

Recently I found myself saying yes to way too many things in way too short of time. In a single weekend, I found myself driving six hours a day (locally!), and my margin between commitments was seven minutes. Can you relate? Tell me! Given that this describes the life of most parents I know, the…