How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC Your Own ...

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5467
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
54658078
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 11 year old daughter has acute fear issues

Resolved Question:

My 11 year old daughter has acute fear issues and repeat night terrors and I believe it is all my fault. I am a rape survivor...a brutal rape that rendered me badly injured...infertile and an emotional mess. I was young when the assault occurred (16) but had various health problems from it. My daughter is an invitro child.(the only way I could conceive) She has picked up on my daily fears and has a difficult time due to it. Chronic thumb sucking..nervous behavior..terrors.. She sleeps with me even though I am married (he is a FedEx pilot and is away often) Help....


 


My biggest fear is she is becoming a child who lives life cautiously...fearfully.  It doesnt help matters that I am a trauma nurse who has worked in an ER and on a flight team for many years so I already approach life with all that baggage..I want my child to have a normal childhood and not have such fears..especially of men.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

 

No matter how you conduct your life, your child is going to develop some fears. It is a fact of life. And that is ok. But you are the survivor of a trauma, which is going to affect your child more intensely. Much like anyone who survives a trauma whether it is a car accident, abuse or war, the family is affected by what happened.

 

It is understandable that you want to minimize the effect on your child. And help her to learn that while it is ok to be afraid of some things, being fearful all the time is not what you want.

 

Children react to trauma according to their personalities, which includes their coping mechanisms. Expose 3 children to a traumatic situation, and you will get 3 different reactions. They may have some of the same symptoms, but the overall effect will be different. Your daughter may just tend to lean more towards being anxious. That is why she may be more affected than another child might.

 

Some of the things you can do to help her overcome her fear and learn better coping mechanisms take some work but they are very possible.

 

The first step is to reassure your daughter. This will need to be consistent, but especially when she overhears something about your situation or is exposed otherwise. Tell her that you are handling it and that the doctors or others involved are good at what they do and can help. She needs to know that the adults in her world are caring and can handle the situation.

 

The second step is to make sure your daughter knows that this is your issue and not about what can happen to her. Though bad assaults do happen, for the most part they are rare. What happened to you was bad but it does not happen to every teenage girl.

 

The third step is to give her some power. Encourage her to take proactive steps in being strong with her skills and being assertive. For example, let her take karate or some other sport that helps her feel strong. Let her see other survivors of trauma that have overcome and made good lives for themselves. You can do this through personal meetings, books and movies.

 

The fourth is to let her express herself. Let her talk about her deepest fears and reassure her that she is normal in her feelings. Keep the lines of communication open so she feels free to talk about her feelings anytime.

 

Keep her in therapy. She needs to have a therapist help her through finding new ways to replace or eliminate her learned behaviors with thumb sucking and feeling nervous. She needs to replace these behaviors with healthier and more productive behaviors. If you need to find a new therapist, try asking her doctor for a referral.

 

With time, your daughter should be able to grow out of most of her fears. As her brain continues to develop, she will mature and realize through reasoning that some of her fears are not based in fact and she will be able to cope better.

 

I hope this has helped you,

Kate

 

 

 

If you found your answer helpful, please click ACCEPT. I am not paid for my work unless you accept. Thank you!

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5467
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education