Speaker: Julie Cox, MSW, LCSW, PLLC
Webinar: Helping PANS Families Move From Grief to Empowerment
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PANS families need support through every stage of their journey. Julie will discuss three important aspects of the PANS family journey in this webinar. These aspects include:
- The PANS Family Grieving Process
- PANS Parent Self-Care and Self-Regulation
- Using SPACE To Treat Anxiety and OCD in PANS Kids and Teens
The PANS Family Grieving Process
Initially, PANS families need support navigating the grief process. PANS families need to feel validated, supported, and given room to express emotions such as shock, loss, fear, and anger about the PANS diagnosis. ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) is an evidenced-based therapy approach that is well-suited to supporting PANS parents in the grieving process.
PANS Parent Self-Care and Self-Regulation
As the grief becomes more manageable for the PANS family, the therapy work moves towards helping PANS parents increase their own self-care and self-regulation. As PANS parents release grief and gain skills to calm and soothe their own nervous system, they become more available to help their PANS child or teen with distressing emotions. Julie often uses DBT principles (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), another evidence-based therapy approach, to help parents learn effective ways to self-soothe and self-regulate.
As PANS parents are increasing self-care routines and their support systems, we identify the issues that the PANS child/teen is suffering from (OCD, Executive Functioning challenges, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Anger/Opposition).
Once we understand the PANS child/teen’s issues, Julie teaches PANS-parent specific interventions to address the mental health issues of their PANS child/teen. Julie may also work with the PANS child or teen using a variety of therapy techniques (CBT, ERP, SPACE, DBT, ACT, EMDR, Collaborative Problem Solving, or a combination of these approaches).
Using SPACE To Treat Anxiety and OCD in PANS Kids and Teens
In this webinar, Julie will discuss how she uses SPACE therapy (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions) developed by Dr. Eli Lebowitz, to treat anxiety and OCD in PANS kids and teens.
SPACE is an evidence-based therapy approach that teaches parents tools to aid in the reduction of OCD in their child or teen. SPACE has been rigorously studied, and the research provided evidence that teaching the parents SPACE tools is as effective at reducing anxiety and OCD as individual CBT therapy for anxiety or OCD for a child or teen.
SPACE is a particularly helpful approach for PANS families because the therapist providing SPACE therapy only needs to work with the parents to be effective at reducing anxiety or OCD in a child or teen. If a PANS child/teen is unable to participate in individual therapy sessions, this approach offers an excellent alternative. Julie’s hope for this webinar is that PANS families know that there is a reliable pathway to move from grief to empowerment through some of the steps discussed in this webinar.
About Julie Cox, MSW, LCSW, PLLC
As an undergraduate, Julie attended Binghamton University and majored in psychology. After college, she worked for 8 years in medical research at UCLA Medical Center, Columbia University Medical Center and a National Cancer Institute, where she was an Assistant Research Scientist and co-authored several research publications. When Julie realized that her passion was to work face-to-face with people instead of in the lab, she pursued her Master’s in Social Work at Fordham University. At Fordham. She completed a specialization in the research department at Fordham called Children FIRST: https://www.fordham.edu/info/23860/children_first. Over the last 20 years as a therapist, Julie has continued to train and refine her approaches to helping families reach their goals by completing several certifications in CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Based Therapy), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and Attachment Based Interpersonal Neurobiology. All of these treatment approaches are evidence-based.