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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5824
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have a 20yr old son with anxiety disorder specific to

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I have a 20yr old son with anxiety disorder specific to education.When placed in a new work situation no anxiety exists... It is very specific to academic environments. We tried talk therapy on and off for years without any success or relief. He went off to college his freshman yr with dismal results ending with a therapy session that placed him in a psychiatric hold. He is currently on 40 mgs of prozac. He has visual issues that have been treated with vision therapy( He didn't learn to read until 5th grade.) He has an IQ 129. and definitely suffered some significant verbal abuse from teachers as a young child. When being treated by therapists they tend to enjoy their time with him because he really is this funny delightful young man, and he is very open to downloading his life with humor and great story telling skills... but it doesn't translate into good therapeutic advice or instruction. He continues to flounder academically and continuous to blame the academic system or teachers for his failings instead of his lack of composure. We have tried all sorts of organization skill technique to no avail and are now desperate to find any other options. Would cognitive behavior therapy be helpful?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

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

Cognative Behavioral therapy would definitely appeal to your son's high intelligence since it is based on changing your thinking patterns through therapeutic intervention. It would be worth a try with a therapist that also understands learning and development problems. Ask his doctor for a referral or you can also search on line for an appropriate therapist at

My guess would be that your son has some learning disabilities related to his early learning problems that have nothing to do with his high IQ. He also may have emotional immaturity because of his early learning problems.

Has he seen a learning specialist recently? He may need evaluated for treatment regarding this problem from someone who can evaluate and understand how your son learns. I would try this step before considering the CBT therapy.

Please let me know if I can be of any more help.

I hope this helps you,

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What do you define as learning specialist? He had neuropsychology testing for the second time just before college. In elementary school they classified him as a visual spacial learner. Throughout his k-12 grade no accommodations were made available because he wasn't failing. After completing his freshman year at RIT with a 1.7 gpa from a 3.5gpa in highschool(which include home tutors and very long hours) the lack of skill development we tried to implement in our home has proven to have been pointless. After removing him from RIT and currently attending community college and living at home, he received a 3.1gpa the 1st semester,but the holes in his learning continue to plague him from class to class. And doesn't diminish the extreme anxiety that comes when he fails. What service would the learning specialists provide. I have only had therapists and psychiatrist only recommend talk therapy and meds no skill work. I feel like I have wasted 14 years of this kids life with therapies that don't work why would this be different. I don't mean to come across combative but I don't want to introduce another therapy to my son that doesn't change his reality.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

An educational psychologist (learning specialist) is someone who has a background in learning disability. Although talk based therapy can help your son with the emotions related to his learning difficulties, it does not address the conflict between his ability to learn (how he learns) and his high IQ. What the educational psychologist can do is help him learn to work with both his anxiety about learning, his ability to learn and the process in which he learns.

Here is a link to help you understand what educational psychologists do:

Here are two links to help you find an educational psychologist in your area:


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