You realize your anxiety levels are rising to a level that impacts your daily life, and nothing you're doing seems to be helping.
An anaphylactic reaction occurs, and now you can't stop worrying about the possibility of another reaction.
Your child starts exhibiting excessive checking or safety behaviors, such as repetitive label-reading, not wanting to touch surfaces, or not eating foods outside of the house due to their worries.
These are just a few of the many reasons why those managing food allergies might decide to seek support from a licensed clinical counseling professional. No matter why you've decided you're ready for counseling, you'll need to look for a provider to work with, preferably one that understand food allergies or allergic conditions.
However, that's not always an easy task. Therefore, here are helpful tips to aid you in finding a licensed clinical counseling provider to help you when you need it most.
How to Locate a provider
Besides the Food Allergy Counselor Directory, there's not an easy way to find an allergy-knowledgeable counseling provider. With this in mind, below are other avenues that might help in locating providers who can support the psychosocial needs of those managing allergies:
Counseling Provider Criteria
Here's additional provider criteria to consider when evaluating counseling professionals that don't state they focus on food allergies or allergic conditions:
I've located a provider - now what?
Let's say you've located a provider online or through another avenue. Now what? Most counseling providers will offer a brief free consultation phone call so you can ask them questions and they can share more details about their services.
When you call the provider, here are a sample of questions you might ask to assess whether they're a good fit for your counseling goals:
If after that initial call, you don't feel that the provider is a good fit, it's absolutely okay to call others. Counseling is as much about the therapeutic alliance and relationship as it is about theory and therapy modalities that are used.
Hopefully the aforementioned tips are useful in helping you successfully locate a counseling professional that will provide the support you need. I'll conclude by sharing a few additional thoughts to keep in mind:
Written by: Tamara Hubbard, LCPC
Tamara is a licensed clinical professional counselor & family therapist in the Chicagoland area. She provides general counseling and food allergy-specific counseling to individuals and families. Tamara is a member of the American Counseling Association, and an Allied Health Professional member of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Learn more about Tamara Hubbard, LCPC, her training, and her counseling/consulting services at www.TamaraHubbardLCPC.com
We're all familiar with the term self-esteem, but it can be hard to describe it in a concrete manner.
In the simplest of terms, self-esteem is a positive sense of self. Having self-esteem often fuels confidence, pride, belief in self, a sense of belonging, and a positive self-image. Kids with poor self-esteem tend to be more self-critical, focus on perceived failures, doubt their abilities, and believe they don't measure up to their peers.
Per psychologist Dr. Paul Foxman, we develop self-esteem in two ways:
The first point probably seems like common sense. When parents and caregivers acknowledge and celebrate a child's accomplishments, as well as their values and choices, it helps the development of positive self-talk within the child.
At first glance, the second point may also seem like common sense, but let's dig a little deeper to explore how parental fear may inadvertently become a factor in the development of a child's self-esteem relating to their ability to self-manage their food allergy.
TWO WAYS TO HELP KIDS DEVELOP FOOD ALLERGY-RELATED SELF-ESTEEM:
Remember....kids that develop confidence in managing food allergies become adults who are able to navigate life with food allergies. The opportunities you allow and approach you take to teaching them food allergy management skills directly impacts their self-esteem and internal self-talk about their ability to handle food allergy-related situations.
Day 7: PDF Worksheet To Use or Share!
Today marks the end of Food Allergy Awareness Week 2019. I've covered a lot within the last seven days, including the following topics (in case you've missed any):
Day 7 leaves you with a hands-on PDF worksheet to help you explore your Food Allergy Mindset. Many don't typically even stop to consider their automatic beliefs or how their mindset impacts feelings and actions. This activity is useful for adults and teens, and can even be adapted to use with older elementary kids (with a parent's help). It can be downloaded, shared via social media, distributed at food allergy support group meetings, or even used during therapy sessions. (Please just be sure that the copyright information is visible at the bottom of each sheet).
So this officially means that it's the last daily food allergy mental health tip! But don't worry; there's always new posts/info popping up on the Food Allergy Counselor blog and frequent updates/additions made to the Food Allergy Mental Health Resource page.
Plus, there's NEW content coming....
stay tuned for more on that soon!
Thanks for reading these daily tips and for following the Food Allergy Counselor, Tamara Hubbard, MA, LCPC!
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