Why Anxiety is a Family Problem
When it comes to working with kids in therapy, it's easy to overlook how critical a role parents play in ensuring the success of treatment. But when so many parents are just as anxious as their children, and many have had negative experiences with therapy in the past, what's the best course of action? In the following interview, therapist Lynn Lyons explains the first thing you need to do when working with young clients and their parents.
A Story of Vulnerability and Possibility
By Lynn Lyons - Believe me, I like boundaries. My office is attached to the back of my house, and the rules surrounding that are made clear to my clients. But how can I teach my young worriers (and the older ones, too) to relish the uncertainty of human connection if I’m unwilling to connect genuinely with them?
A Therapist Shares Her Most Memorable Clinical Experience
Not all professional growth experiences come from classes, workshops, and consultation groups. Sometimes our clients can expand our comfort zones and teach us more about ourselves than we ever thought possible. Here, Lynn Lyons shares a moving, often hilarious, story about how her young client helped her become a stronger person and a better therapist.
...And Why They Need Ongoing Connection Now More Than Ever
When therapists work with anxious kids and their families, they’re often solving immediate problems, not envisioning a clinical relationship that could last for decades. But that’s what happened for brief therapist Lynn Lyons. Here, she talks about the unexpected pleasures of being there for her youngest clients as they grow into teens and young adults.
When Worried Clients Swing Back, What's Your Role?
By Lynn Lyons - Lately, I’ve become aware of just how much of my practice is made up of young adults who return to therapy after leaving the nest. This pattern is also indicative of a generation of young people stuck in the transition between childhood and adulthood. Here's what I do with "long-term" clients who swing back.
Putting Kids in the Therapeutic Driver's Seat
By Lynn Lyons - Why are our children so anxious and getting more so? It seems puzzling. After all, we live in the age of “helicopter parents” and ubiquitous child professionals. But too often in our anxiety to stop the anxiety, we surround the child with an anxiety-reinforcing system fixated on protecting the child from any twinge of the dreaded disease.
A Family Therapy Approach to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
By Lynn Lyons - OCD, like other anxiety disorders, is like a cult leader, demanding acceptance of a skewed view of reality. It shows up and makes an announcement that’s distressing--the obsessive thought. It then posits a solution to the distress, some action, either internal or external, that offers temporary relief---the compulsion. But by including parents in therapy, it demystifies the disorder and allows them to be part of a family plan to deal with it.