Millennials: The Anxiety Generation?

Millennials are labelled the Anxiety Generation for good reason.
As a life coach for Millennials, the anxiety generation, I spend roughly 1000 hours a year face to face with Millennials. We meet through Skype world-wide. I mentor Millennials who are not doing well in life. One of the main causes is Anxiety, followed by self-sabotage and failure to launch. One could easily believe that this is truly the anxiety generation.

What is fascinating about Millennials is how extraordinary they are.
Millennials are extraordinary in non-linear thinking, embracing new concepts (like Big Data).  and in caring about their peers (virtual or real-life).

Once they have gone through life coaching, Millennials often find their way towards daily micro-successes. They learn how to assess what they do in their lives in a non-judgmental fashion. Most importantly, they learn how to breath and get back into their bodies. How to get  out of their heads. The Millennials who do this find a great deal of their anxiety goes away permanently.

Blanket diagnosing of Millennials with all forms of anxiety is happening on all fronts. Professionals, parents and the Millennials themselves witness the effects of a person who feels unsafe in the world. Anxiety becomes their self-diagnosis. To have Millennials understand the underlying issues requires a different way of looking at things.

So many Millennials feel safer in the virtual world then in the real world.
They feel uncomfortable advocating for themselves in words and writing.  Tweeting is their gateway to communication. They would rather give in to the many self-soothing vices like video-gaming, social media and weed, then figure out how to communicate to the “others”.

When we never look down as we hammer things, it’s easy to blame the hammer for our bruised finger instead of the fact we never learned to really look at what is going on.

Self Diagnosing vs Professional Diagnosing of Anxiety
People who self-diagnose and those who have been given a diagnose of anxiety disorder need to realize one thing; you are greater than your labels. For those who self-diagnose or who have professional diagnoses of depression they share a truth. Both are suffering, need understanding and need to rise above perceived limitations.

Is Anxiety the New Millennial Excuse?
I do not believe people use anxiety as an excuse for being stressed out. 95% of the Millennials I mentor suffer from anxiety. It is no less debilitating if they have been professionally diagnosed or not.

My heart breaks when I see them suffering as they do. The thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that I have overcome my own crippling personal anxiety where I could not function, I could not get into a subway car, an elevator, a plane or even a car and I know that with the techniques a good life coach for young adults can provide Millennials, they can rise above these debilitating anxieties just as I did.

Unless you are in a person’s shoes, you cannot know how hard anxiety can be to do battle with on a day-to-day basis. Every time Millennials attempt to rise above their challenges they are performing quit acts of bravery. Victory is not the true measure of their bravery.

To those suffering with anxiety, I say to you: Have faith, seek out mentors, align with those who see you as more then your labels. I believe in Millennials as the generation who will help this world get on track. Heaven knows we need it.

Know a Millennial in need of mentoring? Check out www.MentoringYoungAdults.com

Interested in Mentoring Millennials? Check out www.MentorsProfessionalWorkshop.com

Mentoring the Missing Millennials of Mental Health

I have good news and hopeful news for our missing Millennials of mental health.
But first: the bad news.

Mental health issues are at epidemic proportions in our young adults. Millennials and Generation Z clients with anxiety are through the roof but for those with extreme narcissism or undiagnosed border-line personality traits, the prognosis seems bleak.

Good news:
A great deal of our clients find the proper breathing techniques, meditations and a good life coach for young adults can be all they need to deal with mild to moderate issues of anxiety, depression, anger issues etc., For those with more advanced mental health issues, the proper meds combined with a mentor can make a world of difference.

But for those with extreme narcissistic tendencies or diagnosed or undiagnosed borderline personality traits, very little works. There is a way now for these young adults with these mental health problems to also find a way forward… but first… I’d like to share with you a case study.

Meet Skeeter and his mom Benjamina. When people sign up to have a young adult mentored, they go through a form. We then ask that they share a bit about their story. Here is a modified version of Skeeters’.

Tell us a bit about your situation.:

My son is trying to navigate life and deal with the consequences of his choices.
He is creative, bright and charismatic, but he is feeling uncertain about his future, depressed within himself, and swings from high highs to low lows.

He can come calm and clear and then be erratic and unpredictable.

My experience of my son is that he has difficulty focusing in a classroom, has a great sense of humour, very insightful, very sensitive, can be manipulative and possessive. He is also very self absorbed and can be defensive/aggressive. He loves to argue his point and prove people wrong. He has anger issues and can go from 0-60 quickly.

First session: Skeeter chooses his three goals:
1) Work on his anxiety
2) Time Management Skills
3) Work ethic

Challenges:
1) Drama – every time I do something and I have a decision and I tend to bring choices that bring more drama into my life.
2) I don’t put as much importance on what other people are doing/thinking.
3) Perfectionism – “I can’t do x until my y is done”.

First indicators of success:
1) When I enter a situation calmly being completely centered in my head.
2) Being where I need to be – consistency – order in life.
3) Me taking care of business and not second guessing myself.

Great first session.
Great second session. We start implementing ways to get s**t done and Skeeter feel good about it.
Third session… no show. Call him. Text him. Email him. No response.
Fourth session… I call from our office line (different phone number). He answers and then says: “Oh Ken!.. can I call you back?” Never calls back. (sigh).
Email mom. Explain the whole thing.
Session Five: She gets Skeeter to Skype for next session with her in the room. We explain what’s happening and how he has a choice to make. He says he likes the process and will be there from now on.
Session Six: I get a text from Skeeter.
Skeeter Peterson:
Could you call at 8 instead of 745 Ken
Thank you
Ken Rabow:
Yes. I’ll call at 8
Skeeter Peterson:
I won’t b ready at 8 Ken im just gonna call you when I’m done it won’t be too long and it will be in between my time of 8-9
Ken Rabow:
your time is 7:45 to 8:45 . you can call anytime in that and we’ll talk until 8:45
Skeeter Peterson:
Ok
(We end up talking at about 8:10 for 15 minutes. Apparently he accepted an extra bit of work last minute and his boss made him go back to work as he had simply snuck away to speak to me without telling me that or asking his boss. When told to go back to work, Skeeter says he will call back in 10 minutes… no call.) Text at 9:55
Skeeter Peterson:
I don’t know why I keep messin up
Makes me just wanna give up forreal
Ken Rabow:
you got to think about wanting to do better, feel you deserve better and plan a bit ahead. at least for our talks as a start.

Call his mom. Skeeter will not meet for the last two sessions. I offer to meet with his mom and I do some research. What can I offer someone who seems extremely self-involved, would rather sabotage things and live for the drama and tends to lie with no thoughts of ramifications?

I find it!

Hopeful News!

Schema Therapy. Schema therapy is excellent for young people with mental health issues that don’t seem to improve with traditional therapy or mentoring. They specialize in people with narcissistic issues, personality disorders, treatment-resistant depression and more.

I have a session with Benjamina, share my observations and give her a link.
The next day, I received this email:

“This has been very helpful for me. Thank you. This is why met. This resonates so much. I have found a woman Wendy Behary in Jersey. She wrote, Disarming the Narcissist and holy s**t the one passage on recognizing a Narcissist was spot on!!!! I feel so liberated and relieved knowing that this body of therapy exists. So truly thank you sincerely! I think this is the direction and guidance he needs”.

As a mentor for young adults, when we take on a client, we never give up on them, even it that means sometimes they need something else. To most of you out there, go find a great mentor, it will change your life. For those of you who find nothing works, there is always something. This is one for those missing Millennials of Mental Health.

Know a Millennial in need of mentoring? Check out www.MentoringYoungAdults.com

Interested in mentoring Millennials? Check out www.MentorsProfessionalWorkshop.com

Mentoring Millennials – The Difference Between Heaven and Hell

How do we Mentor Millennials and get them where they need to go? Start with where you are… So here we are. A new year has begun. Your Millennial is back in university and you are hoping that last year’s effort (best described as crap-tabulous) will not be repeated. Horrible marks. Terrible self-talk/self-image. Massive anxiety.
Here’s the worst part… who can you talk to about your child? Especially if you believe (as so many of the parents who talk to me about this feel) that every other person’s child is doing fine and it is just your child who cannot cope.

I will give you the answer to the parent/Mentor issue at the end of this article but let’s start first with helping your Millennial:

The Three Challenges

1. Just-in-Timers. for lots of students, it was easy in High School to wait to the last minute, binge study and pull off some nifty grades. The harsh reality is that this doesn’t work in University/College and the student does not have the resources or experience to try another way.

2. The Deliciousness of Indulgence. Being away from home and having no external controls, mixed with a massive amount of booze, weed and fellow video-gamers with unlimited internet access is a recipe for badness. The uninformed will say “just say no”… good luck with that.

3. The Scourge of Social Anxiety.
This is at epidemic proportions in North America. This anxiety can make it practically impossible to reach out for help in school. Making it difficult to get back on track when they fall behind, it can push them to make self-destructive choices when the inevitability of their situation is shoved in their face by mid-terms.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/millennials-stress_b_2718986.html

The Three Solutions


1. Just-in-timers meet the Daily Routine.
By starting with the simplest tasks inserted in one’s day-to-day life, the Millennial learns to use a scheduler (why does this generation prefer to keep notes on loose slips of paper?!?) to take control of their daily lives. It may seem like a small step but simply being able to do one five minute task a day instills in them what they didn’t get by obligation or just-in-timing High School

2. Indulgence meet Observation: Remember what I said about “just say no”? Well double that on this one. We are not talking about people doing serious stuff in a way that is self-endangering. Those people need immediate action but for those indulging just enough to keep them from doing anything in life; here is the solution; observe it. Yes. Notice when you are doing your indulgence. Think about why you are doing it. Is it to self-medicate (i.e. deal with your anxiety)? Is it to alleviate boredom? Is it for social sharing? Is it ‘just ‘cuz? This may seems nuts but all of those are valid. The trick is to figure out which one, when, offer better things to do that you would enjoy more for some and leave the others (at the beginning). This is the start of conscious use and helps make different choices in the future.

3. Calming Social Anxiety. This can seem so formidable. It requires a Mentor who conveys non-judgmental trust. It requires the Mentee/Millennial looking at their challenge with kindness instead of harsh self-judgment and then to implement the following over six months; deep breathing (versus shallow breathing); visualization/meditation; learning positive self-talk; patience and relaxation.

Why Mentoring Millennials May Not Work (at first)

OK. It will work. (Deep breaths please). The three solutions I mention above work for 90% of the Millenials I encounter, just please don’t try this at home folks at least until you finish this article: Let’s start with a story:

The Long Spoons.

So… true story. I wanted to understand Heaven and Hell. So first, I travelled to Hell (Insert Donald Trump joke here…)
There were rows of tables piled high with platters of the most delicious food. Each platter was more aromatic and more beautiful to behold than the last. Every person held a full spoon but both arms were splinted with wooden slats making it impossible to bend their elbows to bring the food to their mouths. The people were emaciated, suffering and bereft of hope.

So I went to Heaven (Insert Wayne Dyer tribute here…)
Everything was the same. Same tables, same platters of food, same splints on the arms making it impossible to bend elbows but the people were satiated, happy and fulfilled. The big difference: In Heaven as a person picked up their spoon and dug into the nourishment availed to them, they stretched across the table and fed the person across from them. That person thanked them and then leaned across the table to feed their neighbor.

What’s This Got to Do with Me?!?

Chances are there is nothing wrong with your mentoring skills (if you have been working on them) but imagine the mentor is the person with the spoon, the wisdom is the food and the person starving is your child. You cannot mentor your own child, the whole concept of tribe was designed to have you mentor your neighbor’s child and them mentor yours’.

This is why people come to Professional Mentors/Life Coaches like myself and the Mentors I train. This is why you should become a mentor but get a distant relative or friend from another city to study mentoring with you. Then, you mentor their child and they should mentor yours’.

Let’s start a movement and use the long spoons the way the were meant to be used. I believe the Millennials have the potential to be the greatest generation since the 1940’s but they need new mentoring paradigms.

Find someone you trust and believe in to train you and your mentoring partner and begin a tiny revolution! It shall grow.

Millennials, Do This To Get the Most From Your Mentors

So here we are. A new school year. New clothes. New books. New gadgets, but most kids are walking in with exactly the same old labels. No. Not Calvin K. I’m talking about: ADHD; Depression; Anxiety, Slacker, Stoner etc. As a Mentor’s Mentor of Millenials I have a few suggestions to transform this year but…

First, let’s start with a quick pair of definitions:

Mentor; one who guides his/her charge.
Telemachus: one who seeks the help of a Mentor to make their way “out there”.

I have worked with countless young people who have made great changes for the better in their lives. Changes where they were responsible for their successful outcome. These successes are now part of who they are and how they see themselves and shall help guide them in whatever endeavors they take on in life. This is the most rewarding work I have ever done in my life and I consider it an honor to work with these people, following their leads, turning them out of the occasional dead ends and sharing in their joys, their quiet accomplishments and the lessons they learn from their failures.

Most systems of “repair” seem to be focused on the symptoms. They use the deficiencies to define the whole of the person. Statements such as: “I’m ADHD”. Hello, my name is Skeeter and I’m a stoner.” “I’m such a (fill in the blank)” ring throughout the school hallways.

To those who spend so much time on their symptoms, I would suggest you reflect on the following: We amplify what we focus on, in word, thought and action. The more frequently we are defining ourselves by what we lack, the more we allow our inner thoughts to validate those beliefs in our million micro-decisions of the day.

We cannot underestimate the amount of people who are in denial about their personal foibles. I am not suggesting self-delusion as a the road to success. I encourage you to (and by extension those you mentor) to “own” their challenges as well as their strengths, but please do not let yourself be defined by them.

Every young person I have ever met has the ability to be successful in every aspect of their lives, even school ☺ That may seem like a bold statement but the truth is, evolutionarily speaking, if you are alive, then you are doing something right. But to move forward, the Telemachus must find their own personal way towards success.

Mentors; know this! Each Telemachus has in them the seeds for success and the challenge is to find the proper system for that particular person. What you need to bring to this system and how you can determine when your “Telemachus” is ready for your mentoring.

A questions to all parents: Who knows your child better than you do? They do. They may not “know” it or share all of it with you but your understanding of your child is based on history. More than likely, theirs is about right now and tomorrow. The past is often the same place where broken toys reside. Rich and meaningful at one time, but now it is mainly of use for stubbing toes and tripping us up.

Secondly, to the Mentor:
It is in the future and the now that one must re-learn about your Telemachus.
You, the Mentor must bring an open mind, humility and the presence of mind to NOT JUDGE.

Finally: To the Telemachus. You are not your label(s). Not the ones your parents gave you, the ones “professionals” gave you, the ones teachers or peers gave you nor the ones you give yourself when you feel lost.

Live each moment as a new creation. Learn from the past and set a course for a new future. This is the job your Mentor should join you in but remember, it is YOU who must be in command. Use your courage to venture forth, your wisdom to assess, your determination to soldier on in the face of setbacks and your faith to learn from those around you.

Now go out there and kick some butt!

Secret S**t Your Kids Won’t Tell You

There are so many things that teens and Millenials think that are simply not being heard by their parents. How do I get to hear it? As a life coach for troubled teens and unmotivated millenials, I ask the simple, slightly obvious questions that it seems no one asks them or takes seriously.

What is weird is that once you hear the answers they seem obvious and they actually work!
This will be series of short facts and solutions.
If you like them or if you have one you want us to look at please comment at the bottom of this blog.

The following are in no apparent order. Just when they are shared by my clients.

Case Study #3 – Why I Have So Much Anxiety Reason # 12

Kid’s Statement: I never know what will trigger it but when the anxiety comes I lose all control and feel lost. I get these attacks 4 – 6 times a day.
Fact: Most anxieties have specific triggers.
Question: How many attacks to you get?
Response: I’m always anxious. I get many attacks a day. I can have between four and six in a single class.
Ken: Are their times you can control them?
Client: Yes.
Ken: When and how.
Client: When they are not taking over. I can just calm myself down.
Ken: What is the range for your anxiety?
Client: My panic scale goes from 1 – 20. Up to six I can calm myself down. At 10, I’d stay home. 10 – 15 is a no man’s land. I’m a crying mess. At 20 I won’t remember saying or doing things. Over 10 I’m sort of out of control. Between 6 and 10 grounding exercises will help me snap back out of it.

Ken: What if I could show you a way to be anxiety free for one day a week?
Client: I would get anxiety without my anxiety.
Ken: That makes sense. Let’s find something that you would be OK having instead of anxiety. That let’s you feel safe. In command. And that you might prefer.

Result: Client now has two anxiety-free days a week and averages two to three panic attacks on other days. Client goes above 10 only once every one or two weeks and the over-all scale is reducing in intensity. Client is also finding that they can enjoy the healthy feelings they are choosing on the anxiety free day and has begun writing brilliant poetry.

Ken’s Comment: There is no way that this sort of issue that presents itself in this way can be dealt with by close family members. It requires an outside coach. My concern is that certain people would be too quick to medicate such a client. Although I am in favor of medication when self-harm is apparent, I do not feel that such a client, in this case required it and in fact, they didn’t.
Sometimes the triggers are not the first place to go. If the client already has some coping mechanisms, I want to get those “solid” before going back to the triggers. Everything is based on what the client’s strengths are. Rules are made to be broken 🙂

TIP #! Daily Showering (or the lack thereof)
Statement: “I only shower when I need to or if I have worked out or if I’m going out somewhere special”.
Fact: They sometimes smell like a homeless person.
Question: “Why don’t you wash more often?”
Response: “It dries out my skin”.
Ken: “What do you wash yourself with”.
Client: “(A commonwealth country) spring”.
Ken: You know, its close to impossible to really tell if you smell ok or nasty at least 1/2 the time. If I got you a quality shower soap, that didn’t have toxic crap in it, had moisturizers and didn’t have you smelling like a tart. would you try it?
Client: Sure!

Client now washes (almost) every day.
Ken’s comment. Up until now the discussion between parent and child stopped at you smell like a homeless person.

TIP #2 Reasons NOT to study – Reason #372

Kid’s Statement: I always intend to study and the day just slips away from me. Before I know it, the day’s done.
Fact: You know you’re not going to study and we know you’re not going to study.
Question: Why aren’t you studying?
Response: I just can’t seem to get organized.
Ken: If you started doing three 5 – 15 minute sessions of study a day, do you think you could handle that?
Client: I think that is do-able.
Ken: Let’s just start with that and figure out in each day the best time to get those sessions in and see what happens. Tick them off in a chart so we can figure out your best patterns.
Client: I can handle that.
Result: Within one month, client is doing three 15 – 25 minute sessions and learning how to take brakes (and what kind to take) and get back to studying.
Ken’s Comment: Parents pointing out the problem or telling them to “just do it” only reinforces the child’s self-condemnation. It’s kind of like the Chinese finger puzzle.

Stay tuned for more Secrets!

Finding The Confidence ……. To Find Love

As a life coach for troubled teens and unmotivated Millenials, I work with a lot of people with mental health issues ranging from anxiety to schizophrenia. What is really a great honor is to have people in their teens and 20’s trust me enough to share their deepest thoughts about their lives with me.

Sometimes, these thoughts need to be shared. I am doing so now with permission.

Meet Reginald (Really? You think that there is a twenty-something schizophrenic living in Toronto in the 21st century named Reginald?!?). No, it’s not his real name. He is on a fair bit of medication which he takes consistently since we have been working together. Reginald has gone back to university and is following my regimen of taking one course in semester one, two in 2nd semester, all the way up to five once he has learned how to study efficiently, prepare to write papers (not in the 24 hours before its due) and work with T.A’s and teachers when something doesn’t make sense.

Regg is doing famously. He is also in a wheelchair, more round than tall and although when I met him he radiated “I know more than you” (which he often did) he now radiates the warmth, the grace, the brilliant humour which is how I know Reginald to be.

So here we are. Doing great at school (low 80’s), contributing really well in class and what should come along? Valentine’s day! And who is sitting next to him in class but a warm, sensitive woman who seems to “get” Regg’s humour and he senses there is something there. Now remember, this is Reginald 2.0. Through the work we’ve done he has found new faith in himself and his self-worth has grown with every task we have set upon doing and succeeding or figuring out how to rise above.

They go for coffee. They share thoughts. They share fears. Esmeralda shares the fact that she used to be a cutter and then Reginald tells her that he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Esmeralda’s starts shifting uncomfortably in her seat, not making eye contact and shortly afterwards excuses herself due to a very bad headache. She also doesn’t sit on the same side of class anymore.

I see Regg twice a week, which I do with all my clients, better to reinforce good habits and less time to acquire bad ones. We meet the next day and he shares the Esmarelda incident with me.

What do you say to someone who is the most thoughtful, astute, wise and sensitive guy you could know who has just had all his self-worth shattered. His greatest fears realized. “No one will ever love me for who I am”.

This is not just the cry of all the Reginalds in the world. It is the call of a great many people out there who feel less than worthy.

I told Regg the simple truth: “Regg, you are special. There is no one like you and I feel honored to work with you, laugh with you and learn from you. There is no question that there are other people out there like me who will see you for who you are and women who will not care about any labels you may have. They will fall in love with you”.

You can’t just give up because you haven’t found love or met people who live their lives based on appearances or fear. You know that. Tell yourself: “I deserve to be loved. I deserve happiness and I will be patient and relentless in my pursuit of both”. Say it again.
Say it everyday into the mirror while looking into your deepest self.

To all the Reginalds and the Esmeraldas out there: Keep your eyes sharp, your hearts open, your faith strong and your resolve everlasting and Happy Valentines Day to those who are loved and those waiting to know that there is a lover out there who will love them as they are.

Check out more of Ken’s articles on Huffington Post by clicking here

Anxiety in Teens – A Parent’s Nightmare

Anxiety in teens: Case Study #3 – Why I Have So Much Anxiety Reason # 12
There is an epidemic of anxiety in teens these days.

Kid’s Statement: I never know what will trigger it but when the anxiety comes I lose all control and feel lost.
Fact: Most anxieties have specific triggers.
Question: How many attacks to you get?
Response: I’m always anxious. I get many attacks a day. I can have between four and six in a single class.
Ken: Are their times you can control them?
Client: Yes.
Ken: When and how.
Client: When they are not taking over. I can just calm myself down.
Ken: What is the range for your anxiety?
Client: My panic scale goes from 1 – 20. Up to six I can calm myself down. At 10, I’d stay home. 10 – 15 is a no man’s land. I’m a crying mess. At 20 I won’t remember saying or doing things. Over 10 I’m sort of out of control. Between 6 and 10 grounding exercises will help me snap back out of it.

Ken: What if I could show you a way to be anxiety free for one day a week?
Client: I would get anxiety without my anxiety.
Ken: That makes sense. Let’s find something that you would be OK having instead of anxiety. That let’s you feel safe. In command. And that you might prefer.

Result: Client now has two anxiety-free days a week, averaging two to three panic attacks on other days. Client goes above 9 once bi-weekly and the over-all scale is reducing in intensity. They are discovering that they can enjoy the healthy feelings they are choosing on the anxiety free day and have begun writing brilliant poetry.

Ken’s Comment: There is no way that this sort of issue  can be dealt with by close family members. It requires an outside life coach. Some might be too quick to medicate such a client. Although I am in favor of medication when required.  I do not appear that this client required it and in fact, they didn’t.

Case Study #5 – 11 Yr Old Client. Anxiety – 2 – 3 times per week

The setup for anxiety in teens and the way to avoid it.
4:00 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon. My day off. I hear my cellphone (that I forgot to turn off during our family nap) make the sound it does when someone has left me a Skype text.

It’s Victor (not his real name). An amazing kid. 11 years old. Brilliant. Funny. Some coping issues and he is asking if he can talk to me. “Ken can I talk to you for a little later in the evening if you can I want to talk to someone about a fear and your the best person”. I have worked on these sorts of things many times before with older clients but never someone of this age. I pick up the phone and we talk.

Since he has been very young he has had this recurring fear.
A fear that comes back several times each year. Sometimes an event can trigger it. Sometimes it just seems to happen. On those terror-filled days and sleepless nights, his parents are helpless to release their child from his terrors. They keep building and nothing works.

We spent close to an hour on the phone. The client and I had worked on breathing exercises in the past. Visualization exercises were incorporated to help Victor focus his mind towards positive thoughts. We mixed those up with some simple talk about his fears. His concerns and how they felt in his body when they would begin to appear.

Speaking with someone new on this subject seemed to help him a bit and he asked if he could come in with his mom the next day and work on the issue.
On the next day I met with Victor one on one first. We worked on a breathing technique where he put one hand on his belly and another on his chest. I had him focus on having his belly move on the breath without having the chest move and to breath in on a count of five, hold the breath for a three count and then breath out on a count of five.

This had an immediate effect of letting him focus on something new.
(There is more to the intake as to why I knew that diverting his attention would work).

We then added EFT (Emotional freedom technique). I don’t use this on a regular basis, but I really like the idea of having Victor doing tapping, focusing on breathing, and stating affirmations based on what he really wanted to focus on and had been avoiding.

All this brought him to a more relaxed state. At this point we brought in his mom. We determined that Victor should suggest three things that his parents could do when he was anxious at night that would be helpful.

This avoided all the frustration on the parents part of trying different things that didn’t seem to work. It also avoided the frustration on Victor’s part of feeling that his parents were diminishing his concerns.

We now have a short-term and long-term method of dealing with this and so far things are improving.
None of what I am saying in this article is meant to be anything other than a case study and to show parents and young adults going through anxiety and anxiety in teens, that there are many ways to deal with these things.

New choices must be based on what works for the client. The big question is; are they visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. I find that a great deal of these people are kinesthetic and that is why something that they feel has to be used versus talk therapy to get them to change their “reality”.

I just want you to know that there are alternatives.

2017 – Ken Rabow update on anxiety in teens and young adults.
It’s hard to believe but four years later, even more parents are coming to me dealing with anxiety in teens.

It is hard to know why things are getting worse out there but here is the good news. Mentoring young adults, giving them a place to be heard and not be judged for the anxieties. Allowing them to slowly build up good coping strategies: breathing; visualizations; better communication; and being listened to really works reduce anxiety in teens and young adults.

The wonderful part is when you remind them when they have a once-in-a-blue-moon anxiety event, how it used to be every day. It’s a great moment when they realize how far they have come.

For more articles by Ken Rabow on anxiety, click here

For a free consultation about how Mentoring Young Adults can help with anxiety in teens and so much more, click here.

If you wish to know the pricing for our mentoring courses, click here.

Mental Health Issues in Teens and Young Adults

Facts About Mental Health In Our Youth
According to the mental health commission of Canada, in any given year, one in five people in Canada experiences a mental health problem or illness. Only one in four children or youth who experience a mental health problem or illness report that they have sought and received services and treatment.

The Big Question(s) for Parents
The world today is label-happy. Go see a specialist with a troubled child and end up with a fixed diagnosis that may or may not be helpful. It can be the start of true healing or it can become a self-fulfilling label that limits the child’s beliefs and capabilities by thinking that this is all that they are. How do we help our children when they are suffering from what seems to be a mental health problem without stigmatizing them, getting them the help they need and the support they deserve?

There is Too Much Misinformation Out There.
The biggest danger is false or partial information. There are a lot of misconceptions and stigmas about mental health issues. They include but are not limited to:
1) understanding the illness in terms of the impact on the child and the family
2) medications – side effects, benefits and long term use
3) available treatments
4) advocating for your child
5) helping the patient gain insight on their illness
6) helping the patient be part of the healing process
7) how psychiatric forms work (should they be necessary).

The Big Answer for Parents
The big answer is that there are no big answers. We have to look at each individual client as their own person, free of the labels that some professionals would like to box them into. By looking at the total individual, we can come to an out-of-the-box way of seeing them and choosing the proper methods of creating a good mental health strategy. Starting them on a road towards their own successful lives, aware of but not limited by their conditions. With our life empowerment coaching added, you will also have ongoing support on this journey.

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Anxiety – The Quiet Demon

4:00 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon. My day off. I hear my cellphone (that I forgot to turn off during our family nap) make the sound it does when someone has left me a Skype text.

It’s Victor (not his real name). An amazing guy. Brilliant. Funny. Some coping issues and he is texting through Skype if he can talk to me. “Ken can I talk to you for a little later in the evening if you can I want to talk to someone about a fear and your the best person”.

I have worked on these sorts of things many times before but each time is unique. Every person’s anxiety is different. I pick up the phone and we talk.

Since he has been very young he has had this recurring fear. A fear that comes back several times each year. Sometimes an event can trigger it. Sometimes it just seems to happen. On those terror-filled days and sleepless nights, his parents are helpless to release their child from his terrors. They keep trying but nothing works.

We spent close to an hour on the phone. We had worked on breathing exercises in the past. We had also done some visualization exercises to help Victor focus his mind towards positive thoughts. We mixed those up with some simple talk about his fears. His concerns and how they felt in his body when they would begin to appear.

Speaking with someone new on this subject seemed to help him a bit and he asked if he could come in with his mom the next day and work on the issue.

On the next day I met with Victor one on one first. We worked on a breathing technique where he put one hand on his belly and another on his chest. I had him focus on having his belly move on the breath without having the chest move and to breath in on a count of five, hold the breath for a three count and then breath out on a count of five.

This had an immediate effect of letting him focus on something new. (There is more to the intake as to why I knew that diverting his attention would work).
We then added EFT (Emotional freedom technique). I don’t use this on a regular basis, but I really like the idea of having Victor doing tapping, focusing on breathing, and stating affirmations based on what he really wanted to focus on and had been avoiding.

All this brought him to a more relaxed state. At this point we brought in his mom and we determined that Victor should offer three things that his parents could do when he was anxious at night that would be helpful.

This avoided all the frustration on the parents part of trying different things that didn’t seem to work. It also avoided the frustration on victors part of feeling that his parents were diminishing his concerns.

We now have a short-term and long-term method of dealing with this and so far things are improving.

None of what I am saying in this article is meant to be anything other than a case study and to show parents and young adults going through anxiety that there are many ways to deal with these things.

New choices must be based on what works for the client. The big question is; are they visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. I find that a great deal of these people are kinesthetic and that is why something that they feel has to be used versus talk therapy to get them to change their “reality”.

I just want you to know that there are alternatives.

Phobias – Fear of Fear Itself

So many young people come to me these days with different levels of fears. The effect of these fears range from stopping them from succeeding all the way up to almost complete debilitation.

These are some of the fears I come across in trouble teens and young adults on a regular basis:

Fear of failure;
Fear of humiliation;
Fear of large crowds;
Fear of sleeping alone;
Fear of learning to drive;
Fear of life itself and basically fear of seeking new adventures.

The clients who come to me have tried all sorts of things to overcome these fears: talk therapy, medication, CBT, hypnosis and all traditional and some non-traditional modalities.

My success rate in overcoming these fears is between 90 and 95%. It has very little to do with me or my process but it has everything to do with tapping into the inmate positive powers that rests within each and every person.

I cannot deny that teaching some breathing techniques, some grounding techniques and some visualizations to create a “safe place” no matter where they are or what is happening is of great benefit, but the real transformation comes from taking whatever talents/strengths they have and starting a daily routine that involves doing the things that they have a connection to: (Writing, playing an instrument, dance, photography, Etc.).

Using something that they feel a connection to, we create a daily routine that helps them focus on the strength and power of doing something on a daily basis, rather than focusing on their fears. Each challenge is seen through the lens of how can we get back to their daily routine, free of judgment.

After a while, the client learns how to take any situation, analyze it and figure out a way through the challenges.

We then incorporate the strengths of current success to approach medium to minor fears, slowly building up the skills of: solid foundation, belief in oneself, good communication skills (Within and without), and “true grit”.

By focusing on what works, we teach these young people that you amplify what you focus on. The fears are approached from every angle possible in their newfound confidence helps dissolve those fears.

If you have any questions on the subject please feel free to send me an e-mail and I will get back to you on your questions within 24 hours. Click here