Content warning: Anxiety
Natalie is a ten-year-old who was referred to The Bridge by her school social worker. Natalie is a very good student and is dedicated to her school work. However, she reports that she often gets stressed out regarding school.
Natalie’s parents are concerned because she has experienced severe somatic symptoms due to her anxiety. At her first counseling session at The Bridge, Natalie shared with her therapist that she gets extremely anxious going to school and fears the unknown. She likes having control over situations and does not like being surprised. She often wakes up in the morning feeling uneasy and nauseous. Due to this nausea, she has a difficult time eating breakfast before attending school and has experienced such severe nausea to the point where she becomes physically ill. In response to these somatic symptoms Natalie is experiencing, her Bridge therapist has taught Natalie multiple mindfulness techniques, which include deep breathing, grounding, and muscle relaxation. This therapist practices these techniques with Natalie on an ongoing basis.
The Bridge therapist has also worked with Natalie on time management and coping skills in efforts to calm Natalie’s nerves. She was encouraged to use a planner to write every homework assignment and important tasks down that need to be accomplished. Natalie was very receptive to this and now uses a planner that also incorporates a mood tracker. Her Bridge therapist has also introduced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to address Natalie’s cognitive distortions. Specifically, Natalie has a habit of jumping to conclusions and catastrophizing. The Bridge therapist works with Natalie on reframing these thoughts to develop less concerning but equally plausible ways to view these events.
Natalie has been very responsive to these therapeutic techniques. Her goal is to continue utilizing these helpful strategies outside of her counseling sessions.
The client stories shared on our blog are based on real scenarios, but names and identifying details have been changed or removed.