About Dawn

More about me and the work that I do

I'm a big fan of sensitive parents

I love working with parents and kids and built my clinical practice supporting struggling families.

In my work as a therapist I’ve realized that the best, most effective way to help children is to help their parents, which is why I’ve shifted my focus from traditional counseling to facilitating this structured program where I am able to give parents more flexible, personalized support.

Together we create a research-informed, effective intervention to support the parents in making change for the benefit of their anxious child. We pull in lots of resources so that parents feel informed and empowered to support their anxious children.

The wonderful parents I work with are highly attuned, thoughtful, and intense parents who are really hard on themselves. Just like their kids.

And I'm a big fan of sensitive kids

I always used to say that every child I see in my office is either anxious or angry — and all the angry ones are really anxious. 

Anxiety can create a score of behavior problems. Anxious kids may avoid new events, not let their parents out of their sight (even to go to sleep or go to the bathroom), and tantrum if any little thing goes wrong. They don’t WANT to be that way — they just don’t know how NOT to be that way.

If you have an anxious child, you’re probably exhausted, depleted, guilt-stricken and worried. But here’s the good news: It’s NOT your fault and there IS help.

My Background:

My masters is in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Dayton. I am trained in the SPACE (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions) method, have post-grad certification in Infant-Toddler Mental Health from Arcadia University, and completed the certification training for postpartum mood disorders through Postpartum Support International.

My work is further informed by my time as a parent educator for the Oregon State Extension Services and as an instructor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies for the Ohio State University.

I have also worked as a preschool teacher, school age childcare site director, and family case manager. 

Lectures and Workshops:

I’ve presented at the Columbus Society for Clinical Social Work and Ohio State Counseling and Consultation; the 2011 Open Adoption Symposium in Richmond, VA; the American Adoption Congress annual conferences; the 2nd International Conference on Adoption and Culture; the Voices for Ohio’s Children Healthy Kids Conference; the Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children conference and several times for the All Ohio Counselors Conference and for the Central Ohio Counseling Association.

Publications and Features:

I have written for Salon.com, Utne, Ode, Brain Child, Huffington Post, Parenting, Yoga Journal, Wondertime, Adoptive Families, Bitch: A Feminist Response to Pop Culture, Kveller.com. Disney’s Family.com, CommonsenseMedia.org, Early Childhood NEWS and Greater Good among many others. I was interviewed on New Hampshire Public Radio’s Word of Mouth, on Q with Jian Ghomeshi, and on Dawn Davenport’s Creating a Family. I also consulted on a This American Life episode about open adoption.

Books:

My essays appear in several books including Joanne Bombarger’s Mother’s of Intention (Bright Sky Press, 2011), Rebecca Walker’s anthology One Big Happy Family (Riverhead Press, 2009), Mothering and Blogging (Demeter Press, 2009) edited by May Friedman & Shana L. Calixte and the textbooks Child Adoption: Issues and Perspectives (Icfai University Press, 2009) and Mixed Heritage (Greenhaven Press, 2009).

Personal Life:

My husband and I have two children. Both our children were intense, spirited kids who gave us a run for our money. Our son is now fully grown and our daughter is a senior in high school.

Besides forcing my family to listen to show tunes with me, my favorite things to do are read, run (slowly but surely), and go see movies that pass the Bechdel test (and some that don’t).

You (and your child) can do this

we can do it together

Ready to schedule?

Schedule a Free 20-minute Consult

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