I have noticed how anxiety, and social difficulties in general have become very prevalent in today’s society. If you speak to teenagers or parents of teenagers who recently went off to college, you will see that many of these kids struggle, they are on anti-depressants or anxiolytics, and there are many more who manifest anxiety, but remain undiagnosed and untreated. I have also noticed that college bound kids who were high achievers, and seemed to be confident when they went off to college, lost their self-confidence and began to question their ability to succeed, and even their likeability. These kids, who ostensibly “had it all” – intelligence, confidence and popularity, after leaving for college, become filled will such intense self-doubt that they even began to question their self-worth. Anxiety is a normal experience, but it can become so extreme that kids are not able to cope, and might return home. More commonly, drinking, substance use, and even sexual promiscuity is used as a way to attempt to manage the anxiety stemming from a belief that they are imposters, and sooner or later their inadequacy will be exposed. After being in private practice for about a decade, I began to notice a common thread, and that is, when self-worth is lacking but remains unrecognized, it becomes a primary source of problems in peoples’ lives. I saw clearly how feelings of inadequacy were reinforced by the stress associated with experiencing challenge and disappointment, experiences that are unavoidable, especially outside the protective bubble of a sheltered, over-controlled, and micro-managed childhood. It appeared, that these experiences seemed to result in a sense of unworthiness and hopelessness.
This psycho-educational program is therefore designed to prepare college bound kids to become emotionally prepared, and to better cope with the stress associated with this new stage of development. Since, stress exacerbates anxiety and depression, and since there is a correlation between low self-esteem, anxiety and depression, the program will address low self-esteem and provide the tools needed to restore and maintain a positive sense of self. Stress causes self-doubt, and renders a person vulnerable to negative patterns of thinking. And since thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behaviors are all inter-connected, the program will include information dedicated to identifying and changing negative thinking patterns and self-defeating behaviors. I have also included information on integrating relaxation techniques into your life, and have in fact, created what I call an integrative relaxation technique, which combines breathing, imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation that can be used to calm an anxious body, and still an anxious mind.
So much mental energy is expended coping with feelings of inadequacy, so that when a new significant stressor is added, like going away to college, the ability to cope is undermined and problems begin to appear. If your insecurities and negative patterns of thinking and self-defeating behaviors can be addressed before the college experience, you will be stronger on the inside and better equipped to withstand the stress that accompanies this new experience. This program is helpful for those who struggle with low self-esteem and feelings of low self-worth in general at any stage of adulthood. Use FREE in the coupon box at checkout. On a final note, since there is a lot of information, after all this is designed to be a program and not a quick read, I recommend you read or listen to the content slowly and consistently over time so that the information can be processed and internalized.
Debby Fogelman, M.A, Psy.D
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