18 Aug Soul Support for Teens and Families
Accepting that each person has their own story and experiences that are traumatic to our inter-core, our souls, whether identified or unknown to us, may play a role in most of our lives at one time or another— even as children and teens. As an educator today, this is critical to understand, and fulfilling various needs of the student and family as we discuss health and wellness.
When consulting for college or coaching, the fundamentals of health and wellness are the same. It is the foundation of one’s toolbox, and without support and attention to the soul, mind, and gut, we face additional risks and hardships. With the help of many educators like me, teens suffering from mental health disorders learn how to listen to their stories and access support in school on their journey through some soul-healing times.
When students have experienced childhood trauma, this may impact their academic performance and social-emotional regulation. Other patterns may merge, becoming more apparent that the individual needs care for immediate treatment and intervention to heal and face with support the disorders that affect one’s decision-making, mood dysregulation, and relationships and to feel a sense of belonging. In some significant cases, the lack of support or attention to mental health risks becomes considerable. It requires professional medical care as teens and young adults become more statistically to be more at risk for addiction, self-harm, and suicidal ideology.
In my professional journey, in 2020, I was introduced to the Recovery Management Agency – the world’s first agency to heal and support one’s internal soul from various additions to heal from within at the root, with a personalized Soulbriety Plan as a lifestyle. The Founder and Director, Dr. Elisa Hallerman, a soul-centered practitioner and author of Soulbriety, sat down to have lunch with me in Beverly Hills over the summer, as we wanted to reconnect. I wanted to share how much I valued her book as a learning professional and hoped to talk about Emily.
Emily is a character in Dr. Hallerman’s book, which she addresses as a high-achieving student preparing to take her MCATs for October. Yet, it’s late summer, and Emily was in physical condition, mental ability, or state of being and wellness to make healthy, productive steps forward. Her health was considered deadly by her medical professionals. With her hair ash gray, falling out in chunks, and weighing under 100 pounds, she and her parents were still focused on her graduate school and educational goals while facing some of her darkest times again.
I could not help but identify with Emily, as I have done for many students and clients. Dr. Hallerman shared so intimately about the family journey in a crisis. Her memoir continues to explain the family unit in that “…Loved one’s scan everything the patient says or does for evidence that there’s hope —- any hint that they are trying to overcome the addiction, or that they are having a good day or even just a good hour. They then lock their hearts onto that moment, holding on to it for dear life, using it as evidence that everything will be fine.”
It is most common for parents and high-achieving students to repeatedly have concerns about the time and length of intervention and treatment “getting in the way” of their college timeline or college choices. Many prioritize monitoring academic achievement and educational goals despite the alarming signs of mental health impacting everyday life. The achievement to success is a pressure cooker and is consistently elevated when concerning behaviors and patterns that may increase one’s risks and, without support, collide. When mental health is not seen as being “broken” but as a time to heal the “soul” first, we can look at the crisis differently in how it affects a family, not just the patient. As Dr. Hallerman points out, the family system is the “…culprit here, not Emily; the family system, as a whole, is suffering from trauma lying beneath the surface.”
In Emily’s story, I could relive so many students, clients, and families that I have supported over my two decades as an educator, consultant, and coach. Not one case is the same, but the approach to supporting students and their families who have endured significant trauma should be, with love, empathy, and compassion to harness a space that is accepting and nonjudgmental to listen to their stories actively, with intention and purpose.
I was realizing why I chose the Life Coach profession after dedicating my life as an educator to empower and support others. As I experience supporting the Student’s Journey and partnering with professionals, such as world-renowned teams like RMA in Los Angeles, it is an honor to serve students and families with purpose and meaning on their journey. The joy of connecting to empower them with a plan for their health and well-being at the center is talking to the soul, inward, before we can manage outward goals and expectations for success.