State of Mind with Debra Sloss
Part II: Parenting Teens with Anxiety

Episode #20: We continue our 2-show series on Teens with Anxiety by focusing on parenting, as the prevalence of anxiety disorders has been steadily increasing in teens and young adults. Psychotherapist Debra Sloss is joined by Jenny Shain, the parent of two teens with anxiety so severe that both required residential treatment, and Santa Cruz psychologist Sheilah Siegel, Ph.D. to discuss strategies and challenges of raising teens with anxiety. Jenny explains what it is like parenting teens with anxiety and shares what she has learned along the way. Dr. Siegel helps parents recognize warning signs, develop ways to talk with your teen and learn approaches and strategies to support them. Since this interview was recorded in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we discuss the impact these conditions have had on Jenny’s family and Dr. Siegal discusses some of the expected impacts on teens with pre-existing anxiety. To learn more about this topic, listen to last month’s show Part 1: Teens with Anxiety (episode 19).

Broadcast: 7/5/20

Special thanks to Jeanne Baldzikowski for audio production and to Jennifer Young, who assists with research and outreach. And thanks to acoustic guitarist Adrian Legg for composing, performing, and donating the use of our theme music.

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Books & Articles

Under Pressure:  Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls (2019) by Lisa Damour, Ph.D. (Ballentine Books)

Helping Your Anxious Teen:  Positive Parenting Strategies to Help Your Teen Beat Anxiety, Stress, and Worry (2017) by Sheila Achar Josephs, Ph.D.  (New Harbinger Publications)

The Anxiety Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Deal with Anxiety and Worry(2008) by Lisa Schab ,LCSW (Instant Help Books an Imprint of New Harbinger Publications)

Anxiety Relief for Teens: Essential CBT Skills and Mindfulness Practices to Overcome Anxiety and Stress (2020)
by Regine Galanti PhD.

How to Handle an Anxious Kid:  If your child worries about everything, you can help—by first looking at yourself, Article by Melinda Wenner Moyer (2016)
Informative and compassionate article on how parents and kids affect each other and some ways to positively use the fact that kids in part learn how to meet the world from watching their parents.

Positive Discipline for Teenagers; Empowering Your Teen and Yourself Through Kind and Firm Parenting by Jane Nelsen and Lynn Lott (2000)

The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD (2012)

Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel Siegel, MD (2014)

Positive Discipline Tip Sheets:


Adolescentes (in Spanish):

How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus:

Como Hablar Con Jóvenes Sobre el Coronavirus:


The Child Anxiety Network – created by Dr. Donna Pincus and is designed to provide thorough, user-friendly information about child anxiety.

Worry Wise Kids – website providing parents, educators and mental health professionals with comprehensive, user-friendly information on the full range of anxiety disorders: how to identify symptoms, find effective treatments and, and prevent anxiety from taking hold in a child’s life.

Anxiety Disorders Resource Center by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. A guide to new research on effective treatments for child and adolescent anxiety in order to help parents make informed decisions about getting the best care for a child or adolescent with anxiety.

Apps to download

WorryBreath (box breathing to reduce worry and increase relaxation)

Headspace (guided meditations)

Support Groups

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Santa Cruz County No-cost Support Groups, Education Classes, Information and Advocacy
Our free support groups for loved ones of those with mental health conditions are now offered via Zoom, an easy-to-use teleconferencing platform!

*NAMI Parent Support Groups– Find more info and instructions to join the calls at
– For Parents & Caregivers of Youth (11-17)
– For Parents & Caregivers of Transition Age Youth (18-24)

*NAMI-SCC Parents of Youth Online Community an online discussion group for Parents of Children (up to 26) with a mental illness, sharing and supporting one another on a wide variety of issues from family and school to residential treatment and hospitalizations. To join, NAMI-SCC asks that you first attend a NAMI support group or class. During the current public health emergency, these are now being offered online.


Digital Screen Use – Teen Anxiety & Depression (Episode 7)

Behavioral Health Today,  May 12, 2020 – A production of Triad Behavioral Health, where they discuss trending topics in behavioral and mental health. Available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify


(ASPIRE) Program After-School Program Interventions and Resiliency Education®  – an intensive outpatient program through El Camino Hospital that helps children, teens and young adults with anxiety, depression or other symptoms related to a mental health condition. 866-789-6089,
* 10-week Middle School Program, * 8-week High School Program., * 8-week Transition Age Youth (ages 18-25)

Santa Cruz County Office of Education Alternative Education Program– Dedicated teachers assist students to achieve social, interpersonal and academic success. They inspire students to develop their greatest potential. Low student-to-teacher ratios are provided in a variety of K-12 educational environments. (831) 466-5728

1A Across America: Unpolicing Mental Illness a 35 minute NPR podcast about how law enforcement officials have become the de facto facilitators of mental health care in America and the many problems this response approach presents. Additionally, they discuss some efforts around the country to reform emergency responses and develop more specifically trained mental health crisis response systems.

Family Service Agency (FSA) of the Central Coast is a dedicated underwriter of State of Mind. FSA provides resources, support, and counseling services to adults and children.  FSA believes in the power and potential of people of all ages and backgrounds to discover their own creative solutions and welcomes people of diverse cultures, genders, sexual orientations, ages, faiths, socio-economic backgrounds.  FSA Counseling Offices offer Medi-Cal, Medicare, and low-cost, sliding scale services in both downtown Santa Cruz 831-423-9444 x200 and in Soquel 831-346-6767 x200.

Positive Discipline Community Resources (PDCR) uses research-based methods and experiential practice to teach social and emotional awareness skills that promote responsibility, resilience, and mutually respectful relationships that are positive and safe to learn in.  PDCR offers classes, support groups, training resources, and restorative programs for parents, families, schools, and community service providers.  Offices in Santa Cruz and Watsonville.  www.PDCRCC.  (831) 476-7284 x107