Tag Archives: Anxiety

Therapeutic Support: Coming Out Of Isolation

While musing about my therapeutic work with clients facing issues of anxiety, loneliness, depression and family conflict, I am acutely aware that often I see clients in a vacuum. Where are their families, grandparents, families of origin, communities?

In my clinical office I often see clients facing feelings of hopelessness and helplessness,  triggered by  what we are all exposed to in the news media, social media, as well as their  on-going exposure to the pain and suffering they witness within their nuclear and extended families, Having little means to affect change, we often do not know how to help, and feel that the little we can do, on our own, can make any real difference.

Too often, not finding other options, many find themselves checking out, going on line, and spending  too many hours on their own, in isolation, staring at screen, playing games or “connecting” with random others.  Are these individuals seeking a way to connect with other human beings, that is somehow being cut off in the real world? I wonder..

Isolation, depression, fear, hopelessness and helplessness are not inevitable if we chose to join with others to affect change. I have come across a new social justice app, called Group Plan-It, a socially conscious application that allows people to come together, plan and together, carry out socially conscious  activities, and interact with people  around the world in a connected, positive manner.

We all need connection, compassion and support, not only from professionals, but from each other, from our elders, families, work and spiritual communities. I invite each of you to consider how to come into community and connection with those in your personal and global world. With each person who comes out of a place of isolation our world will become a more connected and compassionate place.

Harnessing the untapped strength of Grandparents

The Strength of Grandparents.

We live in challenging times. Anxiety, depression, high conflict separation and divorce are all too common. When parents are at the peak of their pain, whether from a disintegrating marriage, a health scare, the loss of livelihood, struggling with anxiety or depression, or embroiled in marital conflict, their struggles for stability and strength all too often affect their children in a negative manner.

Parents turn to professional therapists, teachers, doctors and nannies for help. It occurs to me that with our teams of paid help, we often forget about one of our greatest resources— our children’s loving grandparents.

Looking around, I see and hear about Grandparents stepping up to help with their grandchildren. I see them walking their grandchildren, baby-sitting, and generally stepping up to support their adult children as they work or go out for a “date.” Musing about this phenomena in our world, I have been thinking about how we, as professionals, might harness the wisdom, love and support of grandparents within our work..

What if we, as professionals, and as a community of adults supporting children, were to invite, on a regular basis, the loving grandparents, into our consciousness, and into our offices? What if grandparents became regular guests into our offices as an integral part of our team? What if grandparents were to work with us, to create and maintain the on-going safety and security of the children? Such help could be particularly significant during times of great stress within a family.

Grandparents can offer the strength of family history and on-going, un-conditional love when parents find themselves emotionally absent or troubled. Healthy and strong grandparents, as part of the team, can provide necessary stability for their grandchildren during times of greatest instability, fear and stress.

Grandparents can offer life lessons, a shoulder to cry on, help with their homework and place of calm and joy when all seems bleak. Grandparents can provide children with stories of their family history, giving them a strong foundation in the past and faith in the future.

As a collaborative divorce coach, child specialist, and mediator, I work with the team of professionals, crafting parenting plans, providing support for vulnerable parents and children. It occurs frequently to me, that professionals, despite all of our best efforts, and with the best of intentions, can only do so much.

With much consideration, I invite readers to consider their own parents, the children’s grandparents as an unharnessed, often times unappreciated but potentially significant, but most-often strong, loving support for themselves and their children. I invite my gentle readers, professionals and lay people alike to consider how we might invite grandparents into our meetings, to work together, in an organized and specific manner, in order to tap into this loving source of strength and stability for all of our children.

I welcome your thoughts.