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Help for teen with anxiety


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Am I allowed to ask for recommendations here? If so, wondering if anyone can recommend a therapist or doctor for a teen with anxiety. If not, maybe give me your thoughts on how to find a good one or common therapy techniques.

Student is 2x exceptional and has struggled with school related anxiety. Now it is overflowing into life outside of school and we want to nip it in the bud and provide tools to help manage the anxiety. Locations in Montgomery, Delaware or Chester County would be good.

Don't know what to look for or where to turn. We went to the pediatrician who printed out a list of providers. But most were Out of Network for our insurance or I couldn't find reviews on them. I think it's important to find someone that understands the complexity of being a student that is twice exceptional. 

Thanks in advance for any recommendations or info. 


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CBT - cognitive behavioral therapy - seems to be the go to technique for most issues.  It can be hard to find a therapist because not a lot of people go into this field (I think people also get burned out from listening to other people's problems too).  I'm a big fan of Ross Greene.  His protocol is to go upstream, figure out where the problem comes from and solve it.  He would say that anxiety is the manifestation of how your child exhibits the frustration they have due to their unsolved problem.  This a DIY program and this is a link to more info:  

When I see a student with school related issues, one of the 1st things I'm going to do is ask what sort of support is the school providing - in other words, is this student getting FAPE via their IEP or 504?  (GIEPs are strength based and they might list needs but cannot provide support.)  With a 2E student, I've seen where there is denial that an individual can both  be gifted and disabled so with one masking the other, the student can come across as a typical student who doesn't need any support.

You have not mentioned anything about what the school is doing to help your child who has school-related anxiety.  Has the school done an eval?  Do they have a 504 or an IEP?  What areas of suspected disability were assessed by the school?

Does your child have Medicaid?  An anxiety diagnosis should be sufficient to qualify under PH-95.  This opens up CCBH's network to get treatment for this.  I understand if you don't want to have Medicaid for your child.  Coordinating benefits can be a PITA.

I wouldn't worry too much about reviews on particular providers.  My suggestion is to make an appointment and take a therapist for a test drive.  You'll know after 3-6 appointments if they are a good match for your child or not.  I'm also not sure about medication.  There are meds out there that are safe for children and can help with anxiety.  A therapist will not be able to prescribe but they might suggest going to your ped or a specialist to look into this option.  Sometimes, parents are not open to this but you can often see more progress when therapy and medication are used together.

If your child has not been assessed for their issues, Ginny Sutton is who I suggest for an assessment.  She does take most insurance.  She does see a limited number of clients & I know that she has experience with 2E children.  I did weave some questions into my reply so if you want to provide more info about what your child's IEP or 504 has in the way of support or how to get an IEP or 504 to support your child, please feel free to add that info.  Knowing how old your child is can also help.  With more details, we can provide better resources - things to add to what's there.  My child was identified as gifted & had a GIEP & a 504 in 4th grade.  It wasn't working.  She needed an IEP to get the right support and that didn't happen until 9th grade.  The school didn't do her eval within PA's timeline so it wasn't until June that we sat down to write out her IEP even though the school requested permission to do an evaluation in the fall of 8th grade.  The school had a perspective:  'she's gifted & will figure this out by herself' but 2E doesn't work this way.  You need to give a student the tools so they can help themself.

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