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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Helping Professionals Interview Series - Therapist Angela Adamson at Calm Mind CBT

When you’re looking for help with your or your child’s anxiety or OCD, you want a specialist - not just someone who is ok working with it.

That’s why I’m so excited to have interviewed Angela Adamson, a fellow anxiety specialist located here in St. Louis.

“One of the most effective skills for treating anxiety is doing exposures. Exposures are how we test out beliefs. I work with you and your child to develop a step-by-step, achievable plan to test out fears. When we face our fears while using cognitive tools, we can rewire the way our brain processes anxiety. Over time, when people change both their thoughts and behaviors around anxiety, the symptoms of anxiety start to decrease.“

What do you wish people knew about getting treatment for anxiety disorders?

I wish people knew how treatable anxiety disorders are when you have the right skills. It's not easy, but it is absolutely treatable. I also wish more people knew how strong they really are EVEN when they feel anxiety.

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BrainWise Strategies for Kids: Using Our Wizard Brains to Stop and Think

BrainWise Strategies for Kids: Using Our Wizard Brains to Stop and Think

Our brains are in charge of everything we do. We take in information, and we send that information where it needs to go.

Every brain has both a relay center, and amygdala, and a pre-frontal cortex. In BrainWise, we say that your emotional response (the fight/flight/freeze response) is driven by your Lizard Brain. Your pre-frontal cortex, which helps you to stop and think, is your Wizard Brain.

The BrainWise curriculum was designed to help kids build social and emotional control and self-regulation skills. When I previously worked in the Saint Louis Counseling School Partnership Program, I received training in this program, and still use components of it in my practice today. To be clear, I’m not TECHNICALLY providing brainwise as I’m not maintaining really strict fidelity with the model. I have a whole walkthrough on the modules in an earlier post. This week, I want to walk you through how I introduce the model in my individual work with angry and anxious kids.

I strongly encourage parents, teachers or therapists to consider buying the BrainWise curriculum if these seem like helpful tools.

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