Author - Debra Kissen

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Dr. Kissen is a licensed clinical psychologist and anxiety specialist residing and practicing in Chicago, IL. Dr. Kissen is the Clinical Director of Light on Anxiety Treatment Center of Chicago. Light on Anxiety Treatment Center of Chicago offers CBT based treatment to children, adolescents and adults with a focus on anxiety and stress-related disorders, including OCD, PTSD, panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobias, separation anxiety disorder, compulsive skin picking, and trichotillomania.  Light on Anxiety Treatment Center of Chicago applies the principles of evidence based treatments while at the same time treating the whole person, with deep respect for the human spirit and the challenges we all face on our journey through life.

10 tips to move your child from fear and anxiety to bravery

Parenting an anxious child comes with the constant question: “How do I push my child and be comforting and supportive?” Unfortunately, there is not yet a perfect science to parenting or treating anxiety. But helping your child face the world with bravery over succumbing to the worry monster can be achieved with consistent and compassionate coaching. 

As a clinical psychologist, I am always looking for the best and most effective ways for parents to assist their child in developing heal...

Posted on January 03, 2018 at 12:35 PM by Debra Kissen

Parents, Heal Thyself

I have seen remarkable progress in increasing overall functioning, in children with developmental differences ( anxiety, ADHD, sensory integration disorder, autism spectrum disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, etc.) by targeting and enhancing emotional regulation skills in their parents.  In other words, by assisting parents in learning how to decrease their reactivity to their children's ineffective behaviors, these behaviors are no longer reinforced and instead parents emphasize atte...

Posted on February 06, 2013 at 6:00 AM by Debra Kissen

Limit Excess Giving: Give Kids the Basics & Have Them Earn More

In this age of excess, parents should consider a different approach - give children the basics and have them earn the rest.  

I have noticed a concerning trend in my clinical practice. When I ask parents to develop a list of potential rewards, for their children to earn, for engaging in the hard work of changing their behaviors, I often observe a stumped look.  

They state something along the lines of, "my child has everything he/she needs and wants so I'm not sure what rewards wou...

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Debra Kissen

Mindful Parenting- Where is your smart phone?

Heart breaking…funny...poignant...eye opening...so many words to describe the moment my perceptive 5 year old asked me, "What do you like better, your phone and ipad or me?”  In response, I immediately stopped what I was working on and stated, "Of course you! I actually don't even like me phone or ipad.  I just need to use them to get stuff done...but I love you with all my heart.”  To this she replied, "Then why do you play with them more than you play with me?”  You just can't make this ...

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 8:30 AM by Debra Kissen

Parenting Your Anxious Child

No one says it is easy to be a parent and it is all the more challenging to raise an anxious child.  I write these words from two vantage points.  I am a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of children with anxiety disorders and I am the parent of a highly anxious little girl.  

As with all individuals who struggle with anxiety, my daughter Alexandra is uncomfortable with the unknown.  Therefore, introducing her to any new activity is always a challenge.  For example...

Posted on August 02, 2012 at 7:19 AM by Debra Kissen