When anxiety needs treatment

Learn about: When anxiety needs treatment from Esther Hess, PhD,...
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When anxiety needs treatment

Every kid gets anxious. They will worry about grades on tomorrow's test. They wonder if they are as pretty as the next gal in the classroom. They get nervous because the did something bad and daddy is coming home. What distinguishes and anxiety disorder that we have to treat is when that anxiety actually interferes with the child's function. What ends up happening is that child begins to avoid certain situations and narrows the world they live in. We have kids who become obsessive about certain thoughts that they can't get out of their heads. We have kids who suffer from panic disorder. They are so scared, and it comes out of no where. I have kids who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, where they personally have witnessed some terrible experience. They live again and again that terrible experience. What ends up happening when you have a debilitating panic disorder, it actually stops a child from living a functional, full life. That's when you want to do early intervention and treat in a fully comprehensive way. A lot of times, with counseling, behavioral intervention, sometimes medication. What you want is a child who doesn't have a closed world, but is expansive and as beautiful as possible.

Learn about: When anxiety needs treatment from Esther Hess, PhD,...


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Esther Hess, PhD

Pediatric Psychologist

Dr. Esther Hess is a developmental psychologist. She specializes in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of children with developmental delays, regulatory disorders and language impairment, specifically autism, Asperger’s Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder, not otherwise specified.  In addition, she treats various psychological ailments including, affective disorders, selective mutism, school phobias, attention deficit disorder, non-verbal learning disorders and difficulties as related to childhood response to parental divorce. Her expertise is in the utilization and application of a developmentally based psychotherapy (the DIR model) as devised by Dr. Stanley Greenspan. This model, conceptualized as Floor Time, takes into consideration the various underlying elements that may be impeding the child including where he/she is at developmentally, various biological constraints, and the relationship between the child and the parent. 

In addition to working with the impacted person, Dr. Hess interfaces with the entire family and coordinates the efforts of the various members of team specialists who assist in boosting the impacted individual’s developmental lag.  She is currently one of Dr. Greenspan’s Senior Clinicians on the West Coast, certified in  D.I.R./Floor Time and has trained parents, interventionists and clinicians both nationally and internationally in the developmental/relational method known as Floor Time.  Dr. Hess is the executive director of a multidisciplinary treatment facility in West Los Angeles, Center for the Developing Mind.

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