Back to School???

By Marcia Kimeldorf, PhD

In most years, back to school involves anticipation of new friends, new classes, new school supplies, new books, and new experiences. In some ways, this year is like any other, but in many other ways, it is completely different since “back to school” this year is filled with more uncertainty than ever before. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we really don’t know what to expect. It’s not even clear if school will be held in person this year, and if so then for how long! The questions we have are numerous and the answers we have are few. 

However, if you think about it, nothing has ever been certain. Even when we believe something is “guaranteed” it is not. Unexpected events can always occur in a heartbeat. And so, the current era provides us with a tremendous opportunity: We can learn to stay flexible, tolerate uncertainty, and gain a life skill for thriving in an uncontrollable and ever-changing world.

What can we do? Here are four suggestions:

First, practice Radical Acceptance, which means recognizing and accepting that there are hard times in life. Radical Acceptance means that life sucks sometimes (!) and we can reduce our suffering by owning it and accepting it. Instead of wanting and waiting for things to be “back to normal,” acknowledge that things may be challenging for a while, and that many of us are struggling. That way, we won’t have as much disappointment if and when our hopes don’t materialize.

Second, practice Gratitude. Since nothing is guaranteed except this very moment, let’s try to be grateful for what we have – right now – in this very moment. Go ahead, pause while reading this, close your eyes, and take a few, deep slow breaths and consider what you are grateful for. I’ll wait… How was that? Did you notice a tiny moment of relative calm? Maybe a small sense of peace? Even if that brief exercise made you feel more anxious rather than less, try it again each day for the next 1-2 weeks. Each time, as you close your eyes, slowly breathe in and out for a few breaths and think about one thing you are grateful for, and let other thoughts go.

Third, take a step back from day-to-day tasks and think about the big picture. Ask yourself: What are the aspects of myself that I really like? And what parts of myself would I like to change? What would make me happier and more skillful? What are areas that I can improve upon? Even in uncertain times, we can still control our own choices. We can choose which media we consume, what we eat, who we spend time with, what we do with our time, and so much more. Take the opportunity to reflect, and think, about yourself.

And Fourth, let’s give up the urge to find the “perfect” solution to the back-to-school conundrum. There is no perfect choice! Less socialization with no in-person instruction? Ick. Potential exposure to COVID-19? Ugh! Remember that whatever we choose has pros and cons, and nothing is ideal. This is a life lesson: There is never a perfect choice! Not ever, and especially not now.

Inspirational Message

The Way of Mastery is to break all the rules—but you have to know them perfectly before you can do this; otherwise you are not in a position to transcend them.


What Clients Say

In a recent survey of our patients, 94% would recommend our practice to a friend.
Calmer in the Face of Hardship
I came to the Center for Anxiety for help in dealing with a family member who suffered from extreme anxiety. But I ended up getting a serious illness two months later and started having my own sessions. With the help of my therapist I got through my illness, learned to understand my habits that were making my major life stresses worse, learned to communicate better, taper my anger, and surprisingly I became more calmer even though my hardships in life worsened. Therapy is a lot of work and not easy, but nothing in life comes easy! I became a better and softer mom and (when I practice what I learned) and my kids and home are calmer and happier. I am still a work in progress and have more to work on, but I know I am on the right path. I wish I knew before how my communication style and anger were really impacting my life, how being softer you can accomplish way more then being harsh. I have been to other therapists in the past and I can hands down say that the Center for Anxiety’s approach is really effective. I have even referred a bunch of people to the Center and they have been really happy with the therapists and how much they really care for their patients.
I Tackled a Long List of Fears
When I first came to the Center for Anxiety, my list of anxieties/fears was long! I was scared of getting sick, getting stranded, driving, flying and more. With the help of my therapist, I immediately got to work and tackled every one of my fears. Now the world is open to me and I feel free! I can dream big and accomplish whatever I set my mind to! I am especially grateful that I was able to do all this without having to rely on medication. It was hard work – grueling at times! – but now I have the coping tools within me for life. In fact a family member recently said to me “You are awesome. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to because you don’t let fear stop you! ” Thank you Dr. Rosmarin and the Center for Anxiety staff for helping me get here. My fears no longer limit me and I love my life. Try it, it might turn your life around too!
Highly Skilled and Professional Treatment
When I sought treatment at the Center for Anxiety, the clinic was is in its incipient stages. However, by the time I successfully finished treatment, the Center for Anxiety grew and flourished into a world-class treatment center, offering cutting-edge, evidence-based treatment to countless individuals. The continued success of the Center for Anxiety comes as no surprise to me, with a team that contains such highly skilled professionals who display clinical acumen, empathy, and compassion. When I first entered treatment I was concerned that therapy would be similar to the experiences with past psychologists: a seemingly bottomless pit with no reductions in my anxiety symptoms, but was so relieved when I started to feel less anxious after only a handful of sessions. My therapist created a treatment plan that was tailored exactly to my needs and taught me practical skills to help me work through my anxiety that I still use and practice to this very day.
No More Panic
When I first came in, I was struggling with panic disorder and didn’t even know it, which only made dealing with it that much more difficult. After my first time sitting down with my therapist, however, I instantly started to gain perspective and look at the difficult situation in a different light. Our meetings helped me conquer the issue step by step and get my life back on track. I’d strongly recommend that anyone dealing with anxiety in a way that impacts their day to day life should visit the Center for Anxiety! I know it helped me tremendously.
Free of Obsessions
When I woke up one morning last June and didn’t want to get out of bed, I knew I needed help. The thought of getting through another day with all my anxieties, obsessions and rituals was just too overwhelming. After feeling stuck for years, I just couldn’t anymore. Thankfully, that’s when I found the Center for Anxiety. Dr. Rosmarin and his staff are experts at what they do, kind and professional. After just several weeks I accomplished my initial targets. The change I experienced in such a short amount of time was astounding that I stayed on for a while longer to work on more complex goals. I soon achieved those too. Now, I am free of my obsessions, know how to manage my anxiety, and love my life. My only regret: not having done this sooner. I wish I had known that you don’t have to wait to hit rock bottom to get help.
Depression Lifted
I’m 26 years old and I’ve been suffering from terrible depression for 7 years. In the throws of my sadness I literally wanted to die. Soon after starting therapy at the Center for Anxiety, my depression lifted. My suicidal thoughts began to dissipate. I remember the feeling that came over me as soon as the dark cloud above me left. It was the most liberating feeling I have ever experienced. I actually shouted to my friends, family and anyone nearby me “I’m Happy! I am Happy!” I felt free.
Over the course of four years I developed anxiety-like symptoms (tightness in chest, gut, back) that slowly but surely increased in duration and severity. The EXTREMELY uncomfortable nature of the symptoms notwithstanding, I still continued and managed to function. The effort required to do so, however, left me utterly drained. Having always been a very spiritual person I strongly felt that a course of therapy incorporating a spiritual component could potentially work well for me and decided to give the Center for Anxiety a try. Happily, I have achieved significant symptom reduction, tremendously improved emotional/mental health, and above all, Connection. Medication free. I’m no longer just existing, I’m LIVING. I’ve been given a second chance to become the unique human being that I was meant to be.
No More worries
I have wormed in healthcare for 36 years in many different settings, and I have been overwhelmingly satisfied with the Center for Anxiety. When staff says they are going to call, I get a call. From the first contact, I have been very impressed with the professionalism and efficiency. I had a situation and needed to have sessions more than once per week, and my clinicians worked out a schedule to accommodate my needs. I was astounded that they attended to me so quickly and effectively - they made my priority their priority. My clinicians were also excellent at what they do - they have a plan for me each session, and it's clear that they have thought in advance about each session, and that they are listening to what I say and observing what I do, even though our sessions have been conducted via Telehealth. Compassion is a quality that I have all too often found to be lacking in my experiences as a healthcare professional and patient, and this is not the case with the Center for Anxiety. Of all the websites I found on Google, I am so thankful that God guided my hand to yours.

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