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“I DON’T LIKE MEETING NEW FRIENDS, ENTERING NEW PLACES. (AGE 15, WILLA)

Having anxiety for Willa, manifested in her avoiding new environments and compulsive habits that would lead to pulling out her hair. She was interested in movement because she said, “when I move I feel like I can not think about anything else and I feel so comfortable.”

I asked her to create a movement phrase about her anxiety. What it looks like? How it moves? She took her body and leaned side to side but anytime she lifted her body upward towards the ceiling she stopped. As if something was holding her down. She repeated this movement several times and never managed to expand past her shoulder height, as if she was reaching up as a child but couldn’t get the cookies off the shelf.

She communicated to me, meaningful childhood stories about trying for independence and being told to stop. Anytime she moved with confidence, autonomy she was pulled back and the task was done for her.

The sessions allowed Willa to practice moving and embodying how to be assertive, how to reach further into a situation and how to gain control for her choices for the first time.

She ended the session drawing a picture of herself entering a new environment. Standing tall and walking straight inside.

She was empowered and aware of her potential. She felt seen, safe and secure in her ability and her body!

Do you know a child experiencing anxiety or worried thoughts? Everyday I work with children of all ages and their families to help them improve their lives. Email me at therapy@drloribaudino.com or call me at (310) 966-0700 to schedule your time.

Please Note: These stories are based on real moments but all names, ages, and identifying information has been changed to ensure confidentiality and safety for all individuals involved. The events are a composite of related scenarios used to illustrate the work; bringing understanding to the benefits of supporting children through a mind/body connection.

Special Thanks to The Andrea Rizzo Foundation. Dreasdream.org

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