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

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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Mindfulness and Anxiety - Start With a Seat

Mindfulness and Anxiety - Start With a Seat

Mindfulness should be more than an “every now and then” kind of thing.

If you only practice mindfulness when you’re already upset, you may calm down in the moment - but it’s harder to reach for the skill when you need it. It’s much more effective to set up a daily practice, and really reinforce this skill.

The foundation for all of this? Being in the moment.

So today, let’s practice just sitting.

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Anxious Parenting Series Week 7 - Out of the Nest: Parenting Your Anxious College Student

Anxious Parenting Series Week 7 - Out of the Nest: Parenting Your Anxious College Student

Anxiety disorders are a huge concern in college.

Stress disorders, self-harm, overwhelm and depression all become big concerns in college due to a couple of different factors: age, brain development, and the stress and independence that go hand in hand with starting college.

And rather than you being able to monitor any big changes in your student, you’re not there.

You only hear and know as much as they want to tell you. Whether you have serious concerns, or you just feel like you’re out of the loop, it’s tough to parent your college student and feel like you’re actually having an impact.

Parents will often reach out to me about their new college students, sharing concerns like:

  • My college student never calls!

  • I’m worried my college student has anxiety and depression.

  • I’m not sure if my college student can manage stress.

  • Is my college student depressed/anxious/too angry/too overwhelmed?

  • And the ultimate concern: I don’t know how to help my college student deal with everything that’s going on.

It’s tough to figure out how to parent and deal with these concerns when your student no longer lives in your house. And even if you’ve noticed signs of anxiety in the past, the game plan can be so different when your child is in college vs. when they were at home.

So what can you do?

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Anxious Parenting Series Week 3: Strategies for Parenting Anxious Pre-Schoolers and Elementary Schoolers

Anxious Parenting Series Week 3: Strategies for Parenting Anxious Pre-Schoolers and Elementary Schoolers

“My child won’t go to school anymore - now what?”

Children with anxiety often have trouble in the school setting, regardless of how that anxiety is presenting. You may have a child with separation anxiety, generalized anxiety, or specific fears about the school environment. All three of these diagnoses can play out in a myriad of ways - but regardless of how the anxiety looks, it can leave you feeling helpless as a parent.

Anxiety often becomes more noticeable in elementary school, because of the environment.

There’s a huge switch from getting to stay at home or in a small daycare to having to attend school 5 days of the week.

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