College Counseling and Coaching with Joann Elliott, M.Ed., LPC at College Counseling Tutoring in Kirkwood, MO

College Counseling and Coaching with Joann Elliott, M.Ed., LPC at College Counseling Tutoring in Kirkwood, MO

Deciding on your college and figuring out how to apply in the first place can be STRESSFUL.

It causes a bunch of anxiety in the many, many highschoolers and college-aged students I work with. And while I’ve written on How to Prepare Your Anxious Highschooler for College and Parenting Your Anxious College Student, sometimes you need really specific information and to do lists from someone who does more than just the emotional/stress management side of college. That’s where Joann comes in!

I’m so excited to share our interview below! Joann also has one book out and another on the way, helping to walk parents and teens through the whole college application process (links below).

Joann: I provide college counseling for teens who are trying to navigate the college admissions process. 

I work with helping them identify colleges and/or majors that may be a potential fit, brainstorming the essay, creating an activity list/resume, completing the Common App, organizational skills, help with scholarships, interviewing, talking about their fears and concerns, answering questions, and whatever else comes with the college process. 

Kelsey: Could you talk a little about your approach and how you modify it when working with teens who have anxiety/perfectionism/stress/anger management?

Joann: The interesting thing about what I do is that nearly everyone has stress about the college process, not just those with diagnoses.  It might be the idea of leaving home and the fear it invokes or it might be just being anxious about getting it all done and making a good decision.  For people who have anxiety or perfectionism issues, though, college counseling can be especially helpful because we can separate fact from fiction and ‘urban legend’. Knowledge is powerful and knowing when to ask for help is a sign of intelligence!  Being able to ask questions freely is a great help to reducing students’ stress. For the anxious student, breaking down the steps into manageable baby steps has proven very stress-relieving as well! Being able to talk in a safe environment away from the school day where students can voice their opinions, fears, and concerns reduces stress and anxiety.  They are in a place where they can be their true selves.  Meeting regularly can help keep the student on track and not get off-course further reducing stress.

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Getting Your Child to Actually Do Their Homework: Be Proactive!

Getting Your Child to Actually Do Their Homework: Be Proactive!

Here we are, less than a month out from the new school year, and you’re worried that you’re going to have to go through the homework struggle… all over again.

You’re hoping this year will be different. You worked so hard, collaborating with your child's teacher, and finally had a good system... by April. And now you’re worried that you’re going to start up all over again at ground zero.

But it doesn’t have to be like this! Read below for a few tips on getting your child to actually do their homework.

What do you do?

I encourage parents to have a conversation with their kids about why the homework isn’t happening. Are they stressed out about it? They wanted it to be perfect? Do they hate school or classmates or their teacher? Whatever is underneath the homework avoidance will inform your approach to it.

Prevention is key:

Try to have these conversations and come up with a plan BEFORE the homework really starts to pile up. Schedule an initial meeting with your teacher to talk through the struggles last year, and proactively come up with a plan and when you’ll be checking on it this upcoming school year.

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Substance Use and Anxiety Counseling with Madeline Seim Leitner at Collective Wellness LLC

Substance Use and Anxiety Counseling with Madeline Seim Leitner at Collective Wellness LLC

Substance Use/Abuse/Dependency and anxiety often go hand in hand.

Sometimes, teens and adults with anxiety try to self-medicate with substances. Other times, your substance dependency can lead to significant stress and anxiety. Whether anxiety has led to your abuse or vice versa, it’s crucial to work with a therapist trained in substance use. This is where Maddie Leitner, MSW, LCSW comes in.

Similar to my passion for working with anxiety and perfectionism for kids, teens, and college students, Maddie focuses her work on two areas she’s passionate about: substance use and anxiety, and the link between the two. It was a pleasure to interview her, and i’m so excited for you to learn more about her work!

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Parent Coaching with Nicole Schwarz at Imperfect Families

Parent Coaching with Nicole Schwarz at Imperfect Families

When your child is angry, anxious, or easily overwhelmed, you do your best as a parent - and sometimes it feels like too much. That’s where parent coaching comes in.

Parent coaching is a way for you to get direct feedback and advice on how best to manage your child’s behaviors and emotions, along with recognizing the family dynamic. It’s like having a really supportive therapist just for your parenting. And we have a fabulous resource online and in St. Louis - Nicole Schwarz!

For some kids with anxiety and anger management, individual therapy is the best bet. We can work individually to help them build the skills they need to manage their emotions before they feel too big.

For other kids, individual therapy helps, but it’s not enough on its own. That’s where parent coaching comes in.

Read below to learn more about how Nicole works with parent coaching tailored to parenting styles.

I often refer people who are parenting anxious children to Nicole, because of her understanding and empathetic approach. I’m so excited to share this interview with you all!

Why did you choose to become a Parent Coach in St. Louis?

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Parent Coach. I started my career as a therapist working with children, teens, and families because I wanted to provide kids with tools and support early in their development. However, over time, I realized my favorite way to support kids was to empower their parents. I no longer provide mental health therapy, instead focusing on giving parents tools and education through Parent Coaching.

What kind of treatment do you provide?

I provide Parent Coaching which is personalized support, education, strategies, and encouragement to help you parent well through the difficult stages of child development. My coaching philosophy is rooted in Positive or Respectful Parenting, which focuses on brain research, connection, and teaching - rather than consequences or punishments.

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Emotions Elevator: BrainWise Lesson for Anxious, Angry Kids

Emotions Elevator: BrainWise Lesson for Anxious, Angry Kids

Elevators and Emotions:

Here’s the first thing we need to recognize about elevators: they go up, but they also go back down.

Emotions work exactly the same way. Emotions can get higher and higher, and feel bigger and bigger, but they also can come back down.

In session, I start by drawing a long, vertical rectangle to represent our emotions elevator.

For younger children, around pre-school and kindergarten aged, we draw three circles along the side, at the bottom, middle, and top of the elevator.

For older kids and even teens, we’ll instead label the elevator on a 1 to 10 scale, where 1 represents just a little bit of that emotion, and 10 represents all the way at the top.

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