The Importance of Parental Self-Care
A parent’s primary responsibility is caring for and maintaining safety for their children. When a child has a mental illness it makes this goal that much harder to achieve. All of your focus shifts to supporting your child and minimizing their discomfort. You spend all of your time and energy doing anything and everything you can to help your child.
Although it is important to be an ally for your child, you can only do this to the best of your abilities if you are taking care of yourself. By addressing personal needs and creating time and space to prioritize yourself, you will be able to increase your effectiveness and ability to care for your child.
Self-care can feel selfish and self-serving. However, this is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and for those around you. Self-care often is associated with self-indulgence, in treating yourself, or doing things to pamper yourself with luxuries you would not usually allow. However, these types of care are often short term and superficial, addressing surface level distress.True self-care addresses the underlying stressors and responses that occur. Self-care is any activity that brings joy, fulfillment or self confidence. Self care can be any activity, such as reading a book, deep breathing, practicing mindfulness or brushing your teeth. By shifting the lens of our understanding of what self-care means, we can begin to remove the guilt and stigma of prioritizing your well-being.
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Licensed Therapist, MA
I started as a therapist over 14 years ago, working in different mental health environments. Many people with OCD that weren't being treated for it crossed my path and weren't getting better. I decided that I wanted to help people with OCD, so I became an OCD therapist, and eventually, a clinical supervisor. I treated people using Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and saw people get better day in and day out. I continue to use ERP because nothing is more effective in treating OCD.
Licensed Therapist, LCMHC
When I started treating OCD, I quickly realized how much this type of work means to me because I had to learn how to be okay with discomfort and uncertainty myself. I’ve been practicing as a licensed therapist since 2016. My graduate work is in mental health counseling, and I use Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy because it’s the gold standard of OCD treatment.
Licensed Therapist, MA
I have personally struggled with OCD and know what it's like to feel controlled by intrusive thoughts and compulsions, and to also overcome it using the proper therapy. I’ve been a licensed therapist since 2017. I have an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and practice Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy. I know by experience how effective ERP is in treating OCD symptoms.