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Anxiety in Children

In Anxiety by debbieconley

Anxiety in children is on the rise. According to The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, there was a 20 percent increase in the diagnosis of anxiety in children between 2007 and 2012. Every day at my practice, I see kids who struggle with anxiety. Anxiety in children is associated with feelings of not being safe or protected. In his book, Modular Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Childhood Anxiety Disorders, Bruce E. Chorpita, PhD, discusses several factors that are present in children who have anxiety. Why all this increase in anxiety?  There are many factors that come into play.  We have an environment where kids worry about safety. Safety is a basic need of all human beings. We have kids hearing about and seeing mass shootings on an almost weekly basis …

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What Will Your Children Remember of the Holidays?

In Family by debbieconley

Another holiday season is here.  We are bombarded with marketing tactics to buy the latest gadget or search for the lowest price or sprint for the new “IT TOY” this season.  Holiday madness or Holiday gladness?  Which one will you choose? Memories are very powerful.  They are encoded in our brains and strongly influence our lives.  When our children look back on their childhood holiday memories, what do we want them to remember? Despite our efforts to get the perfect toy or video game, etc. for our children, most can’t even remember what it was that they received last year for the holidays. I remember years of taking so much time to send out holiday cards, get matching wrapping paper and bows and the latest decorations.  I HAD to make …

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And We’re Off!!!

In Schedules & Routines, School Issues by debbieconley

For many of us, school started today.  Some kids were already back last week.  This brings a myriad of emotions for both parents and kids, although vastly different ones to be sure!!  How can we make this year successful for our kids?  For the lucky ones, repeat what was done last year.  If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.  For some of us, we may have to tweak a few things.  For others, a complete overhaul may be needed. I have spent the last month in my practice helping kids and parents gear up for a successful school year.  I thought it would be helpful to share some things that can make a positive impact. There are many other suggestions that can make the school year a success.  There are always …

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Unfinished Stories

In Therapy by debbieconley

Given the tragic suicides of two celebrities this week, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I felt it necessary to address the topic of suicide. In my practice, I see many children who are depressed as well as many depressed parents. The statistics are sobering. Suicide is on the rise in all racial and ethnic groups, in both men and women, in rural and city areas. The increase is in all age groups except those over 75. Since 1999, the suicide rate is up 30 % according to the Center for disease Control and Prevention. Suicide is the second largest cause of death in college age youth and kids 12-18. The suicide rate among young children 10-14 years old doubled from 2007 to 2014, according to the CDC. What’s Going On? …

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Parental Expectations, Childhood Anxiety and Self Esteem: What is the Connection?

In Therapy by debbieconley

It seems to be that no matter what age children are, parental expectations come into play. When children are infants we expect them to sleep through the night at some point!  When they are around 1 years old, we expect them to begin to walk , later on toilet train and God forbid they are not reading by Kindergarten!  The list goes on and on.  Parental Expectations.  There is nothing wrong with them.  We expect our children to be polite, share, do homework, help around the house etc… What if these expectations are not developmentally appropriate?  What is the expectations are unrealistic?  What if they cause undue stress?  Sometimes as parents, we may not even know we are creating this stress.  Think back to your own childhood.  What expectations were …

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Helping Children Cope with Death

In Therapy by debbieconley

Recently, in the midst of this beautiful summer, there have been several families that have been coping with the loss of young family members. None of us live forever, but most of us expect to live a long life. When or if we have the opportunity to discuss death with our children, we usually say something like, “When people get old and their bodies don’t work well anymore, they die”. But what if this is not what happens? We are all thrown off kilter when life throws us a curve ball and doesn’t follow the normal sequence. It is difficult enough for adults to deal with the loss of a young person, but is more difficult for children. How do we deal with our own grief and help them as …

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Consistency: What’s the Big Deal?

In Therapy by debbieconley

I’ll admit it. It’s the end of the school year. We are all running out of steam, kids, parents, and I’m sure we can add teachers to the mix as well. Do we really have to finish strong? Let me be clear. There is a difference in being flexible and being consistent. Sometimes we just can’t get to school on time, or miss a homework assignment. Life happens. That is different from being inconsistent and all over the place. Why is consistency so important to kids? Kids thrive on predictability. They like to know what comes next. They need to know what is expected of them. Kids also need to know we as parents and caregivers will do what we say. Kids don’t act like they want or need limits …

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What Can Parents Expect When They Bring Their Child to Therapy?

In Therapy by debbieconley

One topic I have been eager to educate parents about is what parents can expect when they bring their child to therapy. Every therapist has their own style and practices differently and has their own unique style. I can only speak for how I have chosen to practice. First, I made the choice to only see children 13 and under. (Occasionally I will see kids up to 16). In my practice, I meet with the child’s parents without the child for the first session. I want to hear from them what brought them here, why now, and what are they hoping to accomplish by bringing their child for therapy. I make them aware that they will be a big part of their child succeeding in therapy. I see their child …

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Making the Decision to Bring Your Child to Therapy

In Therapy by debbieconley

How do I even know my child needs therapy? Let me talk about making the decision to bring your child to therapy. For some parents, it’s an easy decision. They may have been receiving phone calls from school “strongly recommending” they seek counseling for their child. Other parents may be given the suggestion from their pediatrician. Some reasons you may consider bringing your child to therapy can be that your child’s behavior is interfering with his or her quality of life. The following list will give you some examples. I’m sure I have missed a few, but generally if you have concerns, don’t delay! Get Help!!

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Welcome!

In News by debbieconley

Hi! Welcome to my Blog. I hope this will be an informative place where you can get information on parenting issues that affect your family. First, so you know a little about me. I have been a therapist for over 25 years. I have worked in two Trauma Centers, a Burn Unit and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I have also worked for 12 years for The Children’s Advocacy Center with children who have experienced physical and sexual abuse. Currently, I have my own private practice and work with The Kane County Advocacy Center. I also work with The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Most importantly, I am a mom to 3 daughters who are all adopted. The twins are 20 and their little sister is 9. Somewhere …