Food Allergies, Asthma, and Eczema

I specialize in helping people manage anxiety, pain, and stress, and am particularly interested in supporting those who are coping with the psycho-social impact of severe food allergies, asthma, and eczema.

As a chronic, yet largely “unseen” condition, food allergies present a unique challenge to children and teens. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), while effective for reducing anxiety, must be tailored to the concerns of children with food allergies – it needs to be offered in an integrative and nuanced way to support children and their parents. I practice from a behavioral health perspective. The connection between thoughts and feelings is central, as good decisions are more difficult when anxiety colors one’s problem solving. I recognize that developmental points (e.g., first diagnosis, early childhood, start of school, overnight camp, adolescence, college, etc.) impact treatment adherence and risks for families with food allergies.

Get in touch to learn more about how I can help you and your family cope with stress and anxiety caused by food allergies, asthma, and eczema

Furthermore, the cultural implications of closely managing food and family celebrations must be considered, because some behaviors that are essential for health and survival, can cause families to feel isolated and different. Stress management practices, cognitive discrimination abilities, and a sense of community can be strengthened so that anxiety is reduced. I refer to this perspective as, “Spot and Balance.” Most importantly, families can become more resilient as they navigate their food allergy journey and craft their own narrative. Resiliency is about thriving, not just surviving. I look forward to supporting and educating families as they create a new narrative, adjust to losses, manage situations that trigger anxiety, and establish positive identities for each family member.

I have developed a guided imagery protocol for those with co-occurring anxiety (and am recruiting participants, too).  I offer multi-family half-day workshops to parents of children with food allergies, where we learn and practice stress management skills for children and adults. I have been a guest speaker at Lurie Children’s Hospital Food Allergy Support and Education (FASE) hosted by Dr. Sarah Boudreau-Romano, where I spoke to parents about coping with anxiety. I am a volunteer member of the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) Chicago Community Engagement Council.