I had been “seeing” Abby for about 7 months. We were getting to know each other as people often do in those early weeks and months of any relationship. This one being no different, except that it was occurring with in the boundaries of therapy.
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When anxiety is driving behaviour, it’s important to treat the behaviour as anxiety rather than bad behaviour. Any shame kids might feel for their behaviour will only drive their anxiety harder – they want to do the right thing and they don’t want to disappoint you.
This isn’t intended to give them a free pass. They still need to know where the limits are, and they still need to feel the edges of those limits, but it’s important to do this gently and by giving them the information and strategies they need to make better choices. They want to do the right thing, but as with all of us, sometimes this can take a little wisdom and a lot of practice.
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