When I decided to pursue psychology, I always knew I wanted to work with children. They provide a unique sense of natural resilience, curiosity, and open mindedness that often disappears at the dawn of adulthood. I can remember even in the earliest days of my practicum placements, trying to think outside the box in an effort to reach children and provide tools for coping, adjustment, and behavioral change. My goal had always been simple- provide empirically validated skills, but deliver it in a language that speaks to a child.
After over decade in private practice, I have a go- to toolbox which includes some of the most receptive strategies for anxiety, depression, and related conditions. Over the years, I have tune and retuned my delivery system. It dawned on me a few years ago that one of these tools could be fashioned into a story that could help parents and children understand how to “walk through” worry no matter what its form. I penned the story one night after a long day of seeing patients where I used that strategy no less than five times. I named the main character after my middle daughter, because at the time, she could find no book with her name in the title. “Bianca Finds Her Bounce” found its way on the front cover.
Writing a children’s book had been on my bucket list for a long time. But the greatest gratification of this journey is that I had another outside the box opportunity to show children that worry and anxiety does not have to win and that most times, the opposite of “Don’t worry about it” is the key to feeling better.
Shreya Hessler, Psy.D.
Class of 2003
Director, The MINDset Center