This week, Annette talks about the stress, challenges and hardships of caregivers and parents of those with special needs. Her guest to discuss this important topic is JK Whisenant.
JK provides counseling in a diversity-based practice to adults providing individual and couples therapy, small groups and psycho-education/training. JK treats parents and caretakers of special needs populations helping them navigate through the accompanying stress, depression and anxiety.
Annette and JK discuss just how critical it is for someone who is a caretaker or a parent of a person with special needs to make sure they take care of themselves, both mind and body. Often times, people do not take good care of themselves and the result can be devastating.
JK walks listeners through some of the signs of stress including no sleep, or, too much sleep or your eating habits are suffering. Thoughts can be out of control such as wanting to hurt others or hurt yourself. Anger and rage are part of the clear signs. And JK says that when you are afraid of your own feelings, that is a clear indication of too much stress. JK also states that if you are human, you need help.
JK says that you need to be careful of comparing your life in any way. That includes comparing yourself to others and comparing your special needs loved one to others with special needs.
JK talks about how to find a qualified therapist that can help guide those who take care of individuals with special needs and cautions listeners to go into a relationship with a therapist carefully. She has tips for making sure they understand special needs and how to make sure they comprehend parents and caretakers and how you deal with taking care of others with disabilities.
And JK talks about her tips for self-care including breathing, mind and body, connecting with other parents and finding the right groups to join for support.
If you as a parent or caretaker have felt stressed out and alone in any way, this is a must listen to podcast.
You can find JK on LinkedIn and Twitter.