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Building Better Moms: Empowering Parents for Mental Health Discussions (20 and beyond COR): Presenter Carron Montgomery, LPC, RPT, EMDR Level II certified

Building Better Moms: Empowering Parents for Mental Health Discussions (20 and beyond COR):  Presenter Carron Montgomery, LPC, RPT, EMDR Level II certified

The How and the Why: Behind The Human Brain:The brain is a bottom-up process, hand model (based on Dan Siegel) feelings as messengers, co-regulation, emotional contagion, mirror neurons, catch your calm and confidence not your chaos and fear. The power of the mind/body connection. The brain loves and prefers what is familiar. Virginia Satir quote: “We prefer the misery of certainty more than the misery of uncertainty.”

 

Our brains have an evolutionary predisposition to overly scan for potential danger (negative/fear-based beliefs) that are hard wired to feel a fade sense of safety from latching onto negative/fear-based beliefs, yet are quick to dismiss or brush over any positives or accomplishments. Luckily (we all have neuroplasticity in our brains, which provides us with the ability to change the pathways in our brains at any time). Dan Siegel says, “As children develop, their brains 'mirror their parent's brain. In other words, the parent's own growth and development, or lack of those, impact the child's brain. As parents become more aware and emotionally healthy, their children reap the rewards and move toward health as well.” Such an inspiring and terrifying statement.

 

 

Being a parent is the most incredible and terrifying journey:

 

Parenting has become safer, yet harder and feels just as ‘dangerous’ if not even more uncertain. Similar to our children, we too feel the pressure to appear ‘perfect’. To further complicate this, we somehow expect our growing children to achieve this without the post-traumatic wisdom we possess. Experiencing disappointments, ‘normal’ setbacks, and mistakes needed to learn and grow. Society draws our attention to this mindset, with little thought to how compassion and post-traumatic wisdom emerge—through facing and moving through hard things that put life into perspective.

 

Generational wisdom—the transmission of simple yet profound knowledge that takes on many valuable and unique information. Organic moments characterized by uninterrupted time for meaningful connection. These rare moments create space for powerful storytelling to occur that will likely be passed from one generation to the nexr.

 

Favorite books on the brain:

 What Happened to You by Bruce Perry, M.D and Oprah Winfrey; Buddha’s

Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom by Rick Hanson PH.D with Richard Mendius, MD, and FACTFULNESS: Ten Reasons Why We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rowling and Anna Ronnlund.

 

How The Pandemic Is Still Influencing Mental Health and Overall Happiness:

 

Some of the biggest impacts appear to be on connection, sense of purpose and community: We are more separated and less unified. Find a community for yourself and your child. Base careers and activities around: Passion, Self-care (your physical and mental health are your wealth and not something to count pennies over), values, things in common. Stop trying to go back to ‘normal’, find your new normal and adjust your expectations. Social Media contributes to unhealthy comparison, as we only see what people want us to see, which is highlighted and explored in a fun and inviting way using the Art Project: Waterfall eyes by Artful Therapy, LLC and the book, Please Scream Inside Your Heart: Breaking News and Nervous Breakdowns in the Year that Wouldn’t End by Dave Pell and the song, Nobody Hates You by Jessia.

 

 

How the invention of the internet changed adolescence, and the pandemic served as a catalyst to expedite the negative impact of the internet on kids, teens, and adults:

 

The internet holds a lot of power and can be both helpful and harmful. Young adults and teens spend most their time on the unhealthy aspects of social media. To further complicate this, the internet and social media are more like the Wild West. There are few rules and regulations on one hand, while there are major consequences with regards to mental health, eating disorders, OCD, and legal problems when something is impulsively posted and misunderstood. Some people in the iGen generation now prefer to hide behind their phones, which can cause lagging social/emotional development and an extension of childhood—not wanting to be an adult. Social media also adds pressure to be on 24/7, friendship issues, and avoidance under the guise that they are still being social without direct in person interaction. Social media provides countless opportunities for your mind to wander in many unhelpful directions and reinforce unhelpful and fear-based beliefs about yourself.” Carron Montgomery, LPC, RPT.

 

“Anxiety loves to use your imagination to fill in any gaps of lack of information with the worst-case scenario.” “Lack of sleep is when anxiety gets high and behaviors get big. You can plan for the future, but the present is just as important. And remember, the less you do, the less you want to do” ~ Carron

 

Favorite books on this topic:

 Behind Their Screen: What Teens Are Facing (And Adults Are

Missing) by Emily Weinstein Carrie James; iGen: Why Today’s Kids Are Growing Up Less

Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy—and Completely unprepared for Adulthood * and What That Means for the Rest of Us by Jean M. Twinge, Phd.; From Surviving to Vibing: Filling In The Gaps, by Carron Montgomery, LPC, RPT and Caroline Danda, Phd.

 

 

Our Youth Are Not The Only Ones Impacted By Social Media—The Adults are too:

 

The book, Screaming on the Inside, by Jessica Grose provides empirical support on how the pandemic continues to affect adults, especially mothers. “Recent studies have shown that somewhere between 75 and 98 percent of parents now look for health information online, and research suggests that for some subset of parents, online information seeking is associated with higher levels of anxiety, distress, and worry. As the years go by, more and more parents get health information from social media, and that information may be even less verified and less reliable than the information that rises to the top on a Google search.”

 

 

Parental guilt:

 

This extends to parents feeling pressure to work outside hours, and also feeling the pressure to be alert and available. Jessica Grose’s book highlights healthy habits adults can implement around social media usage that can also apply to young adults, teens/tweens, and child consumers. “Dr. DiMarco gives her clients the same basic advice that we can all use to forge healthy relationships without social media use. First, if someone’s content is making you feel bad, make a pros and cons list about following them. If following them generates more negativity than positivity, just unfollow or mute them. Second, “Please actively pick a mom, or two or three,” she said—even better if it’s in real life, but online is okay, too—whose opinions you value, and trust, and who don’t make you feel like a dumpster fire. “She further highlights the overreliance on social media that we witnessed during the pandemic by saying, “The social media comparison got out of control for many people during the pandemic. “We all turned to social media for our socializing,” said Dr. DiMarco, it was our only way to connect. All our old coping mechanisms online—and the entire scaffolding of our lives—were ripped to shreds in the course of a week. And we’re still trying to figure out how to move forward."``This is why it is so important to educate ourselves because knowledge is power and we can’t coach our children on issues we don’t understand. This is also essential when we go back to the concepts earlier that we touched on with regards to how the brain works and the importance of co-regulation. In addition, we know the impact that emotional contagion has on a room/household due to mirror neurons and how the brain works.

 

 

The Impact Of The Pandemic On Friendships And Sibling Relationships:

It is important to recognize how much time we all spent in our homes with a limited connection with others outside our immediate circle. It is also critical to consider the ages of your children at the height of the pandemic, as each developmental age has different developmental needs and everyone has their own unique personality to consider. If they do not meet developmental needs, they can always go back and meet them, but need to recognize this in order to create these opportunities and adjust expectations. That is the most beautiful part of the brain!

 

 

Families and Siblings:

 

Most families reported feeling trapped and stuck during the pandemic. When anxiety is high, there is more conflict and stress and more emotional reactivity. Make time to refill everyone’s tank, including your own and your significant other or spouse. Then you can let your children find their passions and can also schedule one-on-one time with them to explore these together, regardless if it is something that you would have chosen.

 

 

College Kids:

 

Data collected from my sessions with the most amazing clients:

Many late adolescents and early adults express they don’t feel old enough or prepared to do adult things and feel a lack of possibilities and options. They say that they don’t feel prepared or ready for life. “I still feel like an 18-year-old.” It’s important to remind them of friends, expectations, and the consequences of not talking about life. We know that decreased communication leads to people feeling more alone. We should openly discuss that we do not expect them to feel as prepared socially and emotionally, but that they are not alone in that feeling. College is supposed to represent a pivotal milestone in life with a defined framework structure, but it's also something full of freedom and fun to push through it all.

When the pandemic hit, the scaffolding and supports that were in place to help students navigate through resource centers suddenly became inundated and unable to meet the massive increase in mental health needs, with no warning. Schools were so focused on getting students to campus that faculty and parents didn’t discuss how these changes would affect social and emotional freedom and development.

 

Young Adults: “I get hurt because people don’t plan things anymore like they used to, but I also don’t want to leave my house. Adults: A trend of losing their village because of overall burnout. Friends aren’t as likely to bring dinners or send that special text or write a thoughtful handwritten letter. “All of my friends have also been in a weird place socially. It’s not just me who doesn’t want to go to parties or make new friends.”

“All of my friends have therapists now. During the pandemic, I was like the only one with a therapist, and now it’s weirder if you don’t.”

The Impact On Millennials: And a Collective Depletion “According to the Wall Street Journal: “The economic hit of the coronavirus pandemic is emerging as particularly bad for millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, who as a group haven’t recovered from the experience of entering the workforce during the previous financial crisis. For this cohort, already indebted and a step behind on the career ladder, this second pummeling could keep them from accruing the wealth of older generations.” “We have never been more exhausted than we are now because of all the stressors brought on by the pandemic, and we can’t do it all alone. We are burned out, and we feel betrayed by an unfeeling culture.”

 

Activity:

How your world is different and how your child’s world has changed. ** Directions provided by the presenter.

Thoughts are formed from the experiences and sources of information we spend the most time absorbing. Many of the thoughts that young adults are collecting come from inaccurate data sources that may include: social media, the internet, news, bingeworthy TV shows. Not only are these sources of data creating distress, but they are also consuming leisure time that used to be filled with more opportunities for organic connection, conversation, and storytelling. I like to call this the lost art of generational wisdom.

Favorite books on this topic: SuperPowered: Transform Anxiety into Courage, Confidence, and Resilience by Renee Jain and Dr. Shefali Tsabary and FACTFULMESS: Ten Reasons Why We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Roslong with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Ronnlund.

 

Common Trends:

Increase in anxiety, depression, fatigue, isolation, suicidal ideation, having less support, feeling more easily overwhelmed, struggling to breakdown tasks, struggles around meeting new friends, feeling misunderstood by older generations, feeling trapped and stuck, and feeling unprepared for adulthood and not good enough.

“We often worry ahead and far into the future. Ironically, what we are usually worrying about changes before we even get there.” Carron Montgomery, LPC, RPT.

I see this happening increasingly in my practice. The false illusion that we can control most things in our lives can lead to less happiness instead of more. When you are too focused on the future, you miss subtle signs that may lead you in a more fulfilling direction. Try to focus on facts and not feelings and what is and isn’t in your control at this moment.  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/09/we…: https://emerybergmann.wordpress.com/2… YouTube video: My College Transition: Emil Bergman

  

 

Filling in The Gaps:

 

As a mental health clinician, I am witnessing a genuine openness regarding emotional well-being and an authentic sense of caring and connection from our youth. Ironically, they are teaching us what being attuned and having balance can look like. They know when their friends are in need and know that overworking themselves is not living! Though they are emotionally intelligent, young people are still struggling now more than ever. Adolescence and young adulthood mark periods that are filled with tremendous changes, with relationships. During this developmental period, teens move away from even trusted adults as the sources of wisdom and instead turn to each other for comfort. They have to be in tune with one another because the survival of their generation depends on their ability to detect the unspoken.

 

Added Pressures:

Tweens and teens and young adults are now the ones who are most likely to sense if a friend may be experiencing suicidal ideation or may be depressed and thinking of doing something that could harm themselves or someone else. The parentification of this generation is both a blessing and a curse, as it is too heavy of a load to carry and is incredibly stressful for a growing mind. It is our job to help turn this gift into a beautiful and powerful force to move forward and break down old barriers. This requires a community without judgment working together. You can’t know what you haven’t been taught, but you can seek information to help you catch up!

 

Most adolescents and young adults approach adults with a lack of trust and apprehension.

 

This has become the new norm for almost all tweens and teens, after so much uncertainty and unpredictability in the world. From the outside looking in, there is no doubt that the impact of isolation has and continues to affect this age group. However, we can make small changes to regain their trust. As an adult, it is important to know that a natural power differential exists between us and younger people, which can be overwhelming and intimidating for them. Overly identifying with your role of authority is a surefire way to shut down the audience you are trying to reach. Lecturing and passing judgment will only result in a message lost on deaf ears. All humans want to feel heard, even if you don’t agree with them. That’s why it’s so essential to validate this age group and lead with mutual respect. They are desperate for adults to just listen, truly listen. When we take the time to sit and wait, we invite a conversation and make genuine progress together.

 

Start by checking in with yourself.

Are you calm and in a place to regulate your emotions, or will your child feel your distress on top of their own? Tone, timing, and delivery, especially matter at this age. Look for signs that they feel emotionally safe and are interested in talking. If they seem ready, stay attuned as you speak and allow them to change the subject if needed. Remember, most conversations don’t happen all at once, and allowing them to feel a sense of control is crucial to gaining their trust.

 

 

It is also important to gain a perspective:

 

A perspective that allows you to see their world and the stressors they are facing. Remind yourself that behaviors often have nothing to do with you. Rather, their attitudes often have more to do with a natural predisposition to move away from adults and more towards peers — it’s a biological need that the brain has relied on for centuries, not a personal rejection. It is crucial that you recognize and honor these needs and the evolutionary power they serve. It also helps to see these behaviors as communication. When a person starts acting differently, there is always a reason. They may not know how to put it into words, which can be confusing for adults and easy to misinterpret as defiance, laziness, or being manipulative. Even so, it is still vital that we know where they are. Work with them, within their infrastructure, rather than against it.

Added Pressures:

Tweens and teens and young adults are now the ones who are most likely to sense if a friend may experience suicidal ideation or may be depressed and thinking of doing something that could harm themselves or someone else. The parentification of this generation is both a blessing and a curse, as it is too heavy of a load to carry and is incredibly stressful for a growing mind. It is our job to help turn this gift into a beautiful and powerful force to move forward and break down old barriers. This requires a community without judgment working together. You can’t know what you haven’t been taught, but you can seek information to help you catch up!

 

Most adolescents and young adults approach adults with a lack of trust and apprehension.

 

This has become the new norm for almost all tweens and teens, after so much uncertainty and unpredictability in the world. From the outside looking in, there is no doubt that the impact of isolation has and continues to affect this age group. However, we can make small changes to regain their trust. As an adult, it is important to know that a natural power differential exists between us and younger people, which can be overwhelming and intimidating for them. Overly identifying with your role of authority is a surefire way to shut down the audience you are trying to reach. Lecturing and passing judgment will only result in a message lost on deaf ears. All humans want to feel heard, even if you don’t agree with them. That’s why it’s so essential to validate this age group and lead with mutual respect. They are desperate for adults to just listen, truly listen. When we take the time to sit and wait, we invite a conversation and make genuine progress together.

 

Start by checking in with yourself.

Are you calm and in a place to regulate your emotions, or will your child feel your distress on top of their own? Tone, timing, and delivery, especially matter at this age. Look for signs that they feel emotionally safe and are interested in talking. If they seem ready, stay attuned as you speak and allow them to change the subject if needed. Remember, most conversations don’t happen all at once, and allowing them to feel a sense of control is crucial to gaining their trust.

 

 

It is also important to gain a perspective:

 

A perspective that allows you to see their world and the stressors they are facing. Remind yourself that behaviors often have nothing to do with you. Rather, their attitudes typically have more to do with a natural predisposition to move away from adults and more towards peers — it’s a biological need that the brain has relied on for centuries, not a personal rejection. It is crucial that you recognize and honor these needs and the evolutionary power they serve. It also helps to see these behaviors as communication. When a person starts acting differently, there is always a reason. They may not know how to put it into words, which can be confusing for adults and easy to misinterpret as defiance, laziness, or being manipulative. It is still vital that we know where they are. Work with them, within their infrastructure, rather than against it.

 

Teens and young adults do not want to share their inner world with a person that they view as in a position of power because they fear judgment and criticism. That only makes them more self conscious as they desperately try to find their place, which automatically makes anything you say magnified in their minds. Teens and young adults feel the walls and the silent judgments adults transmit. It is no surprise that when this occurs, they pull away and shut down, which results in creating even bigger walls that are harder to penetrate. Sadly, we have also lost the time for connection as adults due to stress, a lack of community, mistrust, and a global depletion of energy. Simple nuggets of real life wisdom are not being shared to counterbalance the negative impact of social media. As a result, our youth need us now more than ever!

 

 

Art works much in the same way:

 

Art is  an invaluable tool for self-discovery, giving young people a safe way to express themselves to adults and oer you a glimpse into their worlds. Author Andrew Newman has also created an incredible series of books that provide an approachable, fun, empowering, and educational way to connect with your children while also learning about emotions. These books can help equip both kids and adults with the knowledge to speak a shared language on mental health topics. All of his books are phenomenal! The Little Brain People, The Hug Who Got Stuck, and We Are Circle People are just a few of my favorites and can truly be enjoyed by any age.

Awareness and perspective are key and require reflection and attention. True power comes from being humble and kind. If you are approachable and open, people are more likely to show you what is on the inside. If we treat young people with the same emotional integrity they display in their own lives and relationships, we will all be mentally healthier inside our relationships and out.

 

Tips and Tricks to have a successful conversation with your young adult:

 

FIRST don’t force a conversation and let them know you are ready to talk when they are ready. Read the room and your child! This does not mean, you wait until the problems grow, but that you are more present and aware of soft openings. It is imperative that when they do talk, you let them feel seen and heard even if you don’t agree with what they are saying. Watch tone, timing and delivery. You can say almost anything if you are aware of how you deliver the message and consider what it would be like to be on the receiving end. You can’t have a conversation with someone who is not open for coaching or with someone who is on defense.

 

Parenting shifts from talking to them to talking with them. Sometimes they don’t want you to solve their problems and just want you to listen. When anxiety is high, don’t overwhelm them with too much information. Titrate emotionally charged conversations and look for non verbal cues that it is time for a break. Don’t give your child too many choices when you are trying to solve problems. When people are anxious they are less flexible and more rigid. Don’t take this personally, as this is how the brain and anxiety work. Look for your opening, don’t let them feel your feelings on top of their own (anxiety, sadness, fear), be curious and not an investigator. Remind yourself that even though you want to, you can’t work harder than your child. Let your kids teach you a skill that they are good at that you don’t know how to master yet. It shows a genuine interest, promotes connection and builds confidence!

 

Mistakes are necessary for growth:

We learn the most from our experiences—the good and the bad. People need to make mistakes. It can be hard to watch your child fail at something,  but when you feel the urge to rescue them, remind yourself that you are taking away an opportunity for them to learn and grow. The key is teaching them interdependence and not complete independence. People need people at every stage in life, especially when they are struggling.

 

Helpful statements to use in conversations:

Statements such as, I wonder,  it looks, help me understand what it is like: are helpful when broaching sensitive topics. Open ended questions allow room for a response or the space to not feel pressured to respond. It is also hard to come up with words when you are stressed and these statements provide the building blocks for a more in depth conversation.

 

Activities that promote regulation:

Touchpoints!! 

 

Rhythmic activities help people stay regulated and usually allow for breaks in eye contact. Rhythm and movement promote self-regulation. Some examples include:  being outdoors (why nature is so healing, while driving, cooking, playing basketball, art, creating, music, mindfulness, yoga, tracing, calm strips, changing scenery, don’t feed the fear of the fear, calming smells or oils, take your shoes o and feel the ground, walking, meditation, infrared saunas, acupuncture and know when it’s time to take a break.

 

 

Good Products:

Mindsight Breathing Buddha, weighted blankets, eye masks, scents, The Untethered Soul Journal by Micheal Singer, sound machines, TouchPoints for anxiety, vagus nerve oil, light therapy lamp, air purifier, calm strips, worry stones, meditation apps, healthy boundaries supplements, endocrine support supplement, and Taochemy Free Agent 55 to support healthy immune functioning. Visit this website for info on acupuncture with Stacy Tucker http://www.taochemy.com and this site for products: http://www.Almedalabs.com. Touchpoints.

 

 

Biggest impacts on connection, sense of purpose and community:

The domino effect of the past several years continues to affect us all socially, emotionally and physically. The past two years have impacted our general ability to support each other and to grow.

 

We are so separate and not unified. Find a community for yourself and your child. Base careers and activities around: Passion, Self-care (your physical and mental health are your wealth and not something to count pennies over), values, things in common. Stop trying to go back to ‘normal’, find your new normal and adjust your expectations. We need to adjust our expectations, and for many, school is their only community. Try to rebuild this for you and your family.

     

It is important to remind yourself and your young adults that everyone is different and doing the best that they can, given their current situation. I often remind my clients of this in our sessions. The book Screaming on the Inside: The Unsustainability of American Motherhood by Jessica Grose has so much to do about why we need community and the pressures mothers face. Our children are not the only ones feeling like they are not enough, we are too. “Anytime you feel guilty about not meeting some sort of insane, unachievable demand, ask yourself: Does this help me improve my relationship with my children? And does this help my community” (Screaming on the inside).

 

People rarely think the way you do (if you are sensitive and caring, it is easy to be disappointed or take things personally. You can work to make this your superpower when you learn how to harness it). If you are not a big feeler, you just don’t think that way. It feels personal, but it isn’t. Everyone is also just tired and out of gas and not going out of their way as much. And on top of that, you are tired and out of gas, which makes you even more sensitive and likely to take things personally that aren’t about you. In addition, the pandemic has left most out of gas and everyone is struggling in one way or another and not as likely to reach out or bring that meal. This can be easy to forget when you are struggling and feel like a rejection.

 

 

 

Importance of sleep and sleep tips: (TouchPoints)

 

When we don’t get good uninterrupted sleep we struggle with learning, anxiety increases and we often become less sure of ourselves. Binaural music, good sleep hygiene, dark rooms, lighting, temperature. More can be found on the sleep blog provided via email. Favorite book on this topic, Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. This is a great resource for College plus age kids and adults. One of the easiest changes you can make to improve your sleep is to purchase a good old fashioned alarm clock.  I would guess most of us use our phones as our clocks and they are next to our bed, under our pillow or somewhere close.  If you wake in the middle of the night to check the time,  you look at your phone. The phone itself emits light that wakes you up and if you  have texts you WILL read them, waking up your brain even more in  the process!

 

Community Solutions:

Creating a common and non intimidating language, equipping adults with skills, The good news is that even though we as adults are “fully grown,” our brains never stop changing and we can always catch up. As a community, we need to not only educate teachers, coaches, mentors, grandparents, but also parents on how to best reach young adults, teens, tweens and younger children. You may be surprised that you actually learn from them as much as they learn from you. Our generation was not taught about the amazing purpose that feelings can serve and how they can help us get our needs met.

 

Books like The Boy, the Mole, the Fox , Finding Muchness, The Candy Dish, Tiny Panda and Little Dragon, and Noticing are all amazing places to start. A page a day can help bring this wisdom back and is a non-intimidating way for teachers, parents, and kids to connect. The Book, Unstoppable Us, Volume 1: How Humans Took Over the World by Yuval Noah Havari is a perfect family book to read. The book highlights that superpowers are our ability to cooperate in large groups and our ability to believe in shared stories. When we believe in the same story, we all believe in the same purpose and we are more powerful when we are connected, working towards a shared goal. This community and connection allows us to tell stories and share this wisdom from one generation to the next generation. The book, Find Your People : Building Community in a Lonely World and Find Your People Bible Study Guide Plus Streaming Video by Jennie Allen are amazing and reiterate many points from this talk.

         

Additional Resources:

The Just Like You: Anxiety + Depression Project on Amazon Prime

Apps: Feelsy; Sanvello; Dali Journal; The Calm App; Headspace; Better Stop Suicide app; Mood Tracker; A Friend Asks app; Sanity and Self App

Podcast on suicide prevention that is a must for all: Raising Good Humans: Ep 95: Suicide Prevention with Dr. Kelly Posner and Founder—Director of the Columbia Lighthouse Project. An urgent episode empowering all parents, caregivers and practitioners to feel armed with information about suicide prevention with Dr. Kelly Posner talks about suicide prevention.

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This is a guest article by Carron Montgomery

 

Carron Montgomery is an author, mental health expert, registered play therapist, trauma specialist, speaker, trainer, and consultant. She has a private practice that specializes in treating anxiety, depression, divorce, trauma, and grief and loss. Carron has written several books and is working with Satiama Publishing company on the second edition of The Invisible Riptide and a graphic novel on social media, which will both be released this fall. Carron has written the original Invisible riptide and is co-author of From Surviving to Vibing: Filling in the Gaps. Carron likes to refer to herself more as a storyteller, as her writing often reflects the words of many generations and lessons from her life, as well as the remarkable clients who teach her as much as she teaches them. Her clients and three young children continue to remind her how precious life is every single day. Carron has extensive training and experience with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and associated modalities such as mindfulness, EMDR, Play Therapy, Sexual Abuse, Trauma and more specifically, TFCBT. Carron also has real-world experience as a mother of 3 young children and is active in the community as a mother, daughter, wife, advocate, and clinician. Carron’s passion is working with children, teens, young adults and women. Carron believes in collaboration and community. Carron loves to help normalize big feelings and negative beliefs by educating both her clients and their parents on the how and the why behind the purpose of feelings and the mind body connection. Carron’s approach centers on reducing the power differential, and she believes in the power of meeting her clients where they are, knowing that they are doing the best that they can with the knowledge and information they possess. She loves telling her clients that it is “only easy when you know how, and you can’t know what you haven’t been taught.” Carron often writes about the gap in acceptance and knowledge about mental health across generations. Carron loves empowering her clients and sees only normal people! Her approach is customized to each client and consists of front loading on psychoeducation and building rapport. Carron has written about the use of menus and metaphors in therapy and the classroom. She believes they serve many helpful purposes and uses them in both her practice and trainings. Menus help normalize many thoughts and feelings, and also provide words for kids and adults when they do not have them or cannot access them because of a heightened stress response system. Carron is an avid reader that loves reading about neuroscience to help educate and inform her clients to make their own decisions. Carron uses evidence-based strategies and tailors them to her work with each client. Collaboration is essential to her practice and beliefs in helping create a team of professionals who can speak a common language. Carron loves presenting workshops to parents, schools, and other professionals and training hospitals, teachers and school social workers. Carron is an avid writer that uses writing to reach a wider audience and as a healthy coping skill to help her digest her clinical work. She is always working on a book, articles or an upcoming podcast or speaking panel. She co-founded The Invisible Riptide organization with Dr. Caroline Danda to reach more people and promote the importance of understanding mental health across generations and in schools and businesses. The mission of The Invisible Riptide is to help children, adolescents, and the adults involved in their lives learn how to engage in effective conversations, create meaningful connections, better understand mental health, and build resilience. Her previous training includes undergraduate training at Denison University and graduate school at Avila University and pursuing training to become a registered play therapist and level II EMDR certified. She began her career interning at Swope Behavioral Health and MOCSA (The Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault). She was hired by MOCSA following her internship, where she continued to work and testify on behalf of her clients for over three years. After her time at MOCSA, she moved to Operation Breakthrough, working with families and underprivileged kids and teens. Once she had her first child, she moved into private practice and formed Aster Counseling, LLC. This allowed her more flexibility to be with her son and to practice what she taught her clients. Carron has been in private practice for a decade and enjoys every minute of her work! Carron’s career pivoted, as she saw a growing need for non-intimidating and accessible information to a much broader audience amidst a growing mental health crisis. She enjoys training clinicians and her intern. Carron was surprised to discover a deep passion for writing and being in a teaching role

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