CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT 2019 IS ALMOST OVER?! As this year comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year and give thanks to the food allergy community.
Food Allergy Mental Health Thoughts for 2019....
In starting this website over a year and a half ago, my goal was to emphasize the importance of exploring the psychosocial impacts of managing food allergies and allergic conditions. Additionally, I wanted to develop and share psychosocial resources to help those managing food allergies.
In that time, it's become even more clear to me that the food allergy community yearns for more focus and guidance on navigating the ups and downs of life with food allergies. I've also seen the allergists and allied healthcare professionals working within the field of allergy and immunology more frequently discussing the psychosocial aspects of food allergy life.
So what does all of that mean? Just as we're watching food allergy treatment trends grow and expand, we can hopefully expect to see a shift in food allergy mental health as well.
Trends I hope to see continuing to develop within this space:
Giving Thanks to the community....
I'm a big believer in paying it forward, whether through actions or words, and truly believe that we don't do enough of this. Additionally, none of us live in a vacuum alone. We're all part of various systems: the family system, the community system, and in this instance, the food allergy system.
Therefore, I'd like to give thanks to the food allergy community as I write my final post for 2019.
To The Food Allergy Community:
Thank you for....
I look forward to continuing to develop food allergy mental health and counseling resources, and positively impacting the food allergy community in 2020 and beyond!
Tamara Hubbard, MA, LCPC
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Founder/Creator of the Food Allergy Counselor website
Due to the positive feedback I've received for the Food Allergy Mindset worksheet I shared a few months ago, I've decided to publish additional worksheets that I've created. (I'll be publishing them over time rather than all at once.)
These worksheets are useful tools for adults, parents, older kids/teens, and even medical professionals and mental healthcare providers to share with their patients.
In addition to publishing them via this Food Allergy Counselor website (in the Resource Section), I will also share them via the Food Allergy Counselor Directory & Website Facebook page, as well as my Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Stay tuned for additional worksheets and resources
that will be shared over time!
The IDEAL Method worksheet
The I.D.E.A.L Method, originally created by PhDs Bransford and Stein in 1984, is a problem-solving tool for when fear and anxiety take over.
The benefits of using the I.D.E.A.L Method are:
Use the worksheet below to work through your own situations. (The PDF has two different download/share options - Adobe or Scribd).
In case you missed the Food Allergy Mindset worksheet,
you can access that one below as well (via Adobe or Scribd).
(To read more about the food allergy mindset topic, check out Tamara's article in Allergic Living's Food Allergy Anxiety Guide.)
So stay tuned for additional worksheets and resources I'll be sharing over time!
As a licensed clinical professional counselor that works with those managing food allergies, I'm often asked for anxiety management tips. Before offering any guidance, I always explain that anxiety isn't always negative, and in fact, is a healthy and adaptive tool that helps us navigate life safely. Sometimes sharing this simple fact offers some reassurance.
However, when people feel that their anxiety or worry are reaching unhealthy levels - that it's impacting daily life or resulting in excessive restrictions of foods, social interactions, or achieving developmental milestones - it's useful to have resources to offer in addition to the work we do in our therapy sessions.
Below are a few newer food allergy anxiety-focused resources that may offer tangible tools to help understand and navigate allergy worries.
1. Allergic Living's "Food Allergy Anxiety Guide"
This special edition digital magazine covers a wide variety of food allergy anxiety topics. Leading food allergy clinical psychology and counseling professionals working within the food allergy community share tips via articles and even podcast conversations. Additionally, you'll read relatable stories from individuals and families managing food allergies.
2. "When Food Allergies Cause Anxiety" (Article)
Authored by Food Allergy Counselor website creator Tamara Hubbard, MA, LCPC, and published in the Fall/Winter edition of Coping with Allergies and Asthma magazine (online/print), this article offers five tips to help parents and caregivers approach food allergic kids exhibiting elevated levels of anxiety.
3. Siblings of Children with Chronic Conditions: 4 Potential Signs of Distress to Be Aware Of (Blog Post)
Written by one of the providers at Brave Minds Psychological Services, located on the Food Allergy Counselor Directory in NJ, this post explores how siblings of children with chronic conditions may be emotionally impacted.
4. Allergic Living Video Series: Managing Food Allergy Anxiety (video)
Editor Gwen Smith chats with Dr. Linda Herbert, Director of the psychosocial clinical and research program in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C about food allergy anxiety in children.
5. uh-PARENT-ly Podcast on WGN (Podcast)
Check out this interview with Gia Rosenblum, PhD, an allergy-informed psychologist in private practice in NJ (listed in the Food Allergy Counselor Directory).
6. Post-Anaphylaxis Anxiety Reminders & Tips (PDFs)
Below are two PDFs with tips to help those feeling overwhelmed after a food allergy reaction better understand how to create a plan to move forward. Both versions include the acronym T.R.A.C.E., created by Tamara Hubbard, MA, LCPC, but the second version also offers tips to further help manage stress and anxiety caused by a reaction (adapted from content put together by Jeanne Herzog, PhD)
Additionally, don't forget to check out the Food Allergy Counselor website's Resource Section, offering links to workbooks/books, articles/research and useful tools, as well as the Food Allergy Counselor blog, with posts authored by allergy-informed
clinical counseling providers.
If you're looking for an allergy-informed licensed clinical psychology/counseling provider, be sure to check out the
Food Allergy Counselor Directory to locate one near you.
*(Check back often, as these resources continue to expand!)*
Stay connected with food allergy counselor
Follow on Twitter or Instagram, or on Facebook at FABHA & the Food Allergy Counselor Directory to get updates on the FAC Directory, blog or resources.
Listen to & subscribe to the Exploring Food Allergy Families podcast!
Connect with Tamara
on Facebook via
Tamara Hubbard, LCPC counseling page
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