By: Deanna Zamudio

I had the pleasure of working with a client who was initially referred to our program due to severe anxiety that was highly affecting her academics, home, and social life. This client had seen a therapist before coming to TIDES and was prescribed medication which negatively affected her more than it helped. When we began working together she avoided eye contact, was very shy, timid, and often seemed unsure of her statements. She reported her safe place being home and expressed being really scared about the way she felt because she didn’t know what was going on.

Through basic psychoeducation, patience, and open communication with the client and family, I started seeing this young lady transform into someone who was far more confident in herself. 

We worked closely before and during the pandemic, identifying and developing coping skills that best fit her while also identifying and bringing to light the root of the issue. My client served as a reminder of the work we do, and how there is ‘always more than meets the eye’. As our rapport grew, this client opened up about the root of her anxiety, and as we normalized it, I saw the fear and lack of self-confidence disappear and be replaced with certainty and self-worth.

Her parents, who were active participants in her treatment, also saw the change. Her school counselor, teachers, and principal made multiple statements of the positive change this client made as they all noticed her increase in confidence. The best feeling of all was hearing her notice, acknowledge and identify her own growth. The client herself stated, “I feel better about myself, and I believe in myself".

Many times, we are not able to see the growth that happens when we plant the seed in our clients. However, this client gave me the opportunity to see that growth. It reminded me that our program does a lot and often can change the lives of our students, simply because we listened and were consistently present.

Our TIDES program is working diligently to support young people who are experiencing increased trauma and instability due to school closures, distance learning, and the impact of Covid-19 on families and communities. Interested in learning more? Contact our TIDES Program Director Deanna Zamudio, LPCC 8362, at [email protected] or 619-281-8313 ext. 10734.

For more information on mental health services, visit our Mental Health Hub!