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Teenage Girl Needs Help with Anxiety, Schoolwork

19 Aug
Question: 
 
I have a 16 yr old granddaughter who is frightened at night, can't sleep without a night light, and any small sound - even normal ones - causes her such anxiety, she has even asked her Dad to stay with her until she goes to sleep. This is fairly new. My son, her remarried father, & her mother have been divorced for several years - very "nasty".  Her mother plays mind games with her and lays guilt trips on her to try to keep her away from her Dad. (Not just saying this because he is my son) 
 
This year she has finally gone to live with her Dad and stepmom. He has had to get tutoring because she tests at the 7th grade level, and her grades began to drop when she went into the 10th grade (the year her Dad moved out of state and was no longer close to help her with homework.)  
 
She is very smart and capable. I think she would benefit from Guided Imagery. Do you think your "Teen Tension Tamer Kit" would be the best for her, based on what little I have told you? I really value your opinion and feel that she really needs help. Thank you so much 
 
Laura

p.s. I attended your workshop in Alexandria; the Healing Trauma imagery has been life changing for me, I thought I had let go of many things but had not. I have had physical improvements, I am convinced as a result of finally letting go of some old baggage. THANK YOU SO MUCH. 

Answer: 

Hello, Laura.  Thanks for the feedback about the Healing Trauma imagery - I'm delighted the imagery has been working for you!  (It's my favorite, personally.)

As for your granddaughter, I'm thinking that  Relaxation & Wellness and Healthful Sleep might be the way to go, just to establish some baseline relaxation skills and give her an ability to manage anxiety. If she can do that, she'll have a huge leg up.  

And if she responds well to those and she's interested in more, you then might want to consider the Winning at Learning imagery by Emmett Miller. But you wouldn't want to overload her at the outset.

It sounds like she might also need some counseling, to help her get over the effects of that traumatizing divorce and multiple separations.  An assessment from the school, for both learning disability (which might also qualify her for some free tutoring) and psychological stress could be a help.  

Good luck to you, your son and your granddaughter with this new chance to help her find some stability and connect with her own inner resources!

All best,
Belleruth

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award