I Had To Find A Way To Stop The Worry and Anxiety.
I was constantly told when I was younger that I always seemed to find something to worry about. Then a miracle changed my life.
Hi, my name is Howie Abraham. I remember the day my son was born. I don't remember joy, just stress from wondering how I was going to support a child. I was not enjoying one of the greatest moments of my life—I was even on the phone with clients while in the birthing room. My mind was on the future, filled with negative scenarios and “what-if” thinking. I appeared happy, but inside I was a wreck.
As the next year and a half came and went, I noticed my son wasn’t hitting typical milestones. My wife and I soon learned that he has autism. I bounced between coping and denial, but eventually I realized that his diagnosis was real and here to stay.
I have always had the attitude that we can improve ourselves, so I immersed myself in self-empowerment material. I committed myself to doing anything possible for my son. But after some time went by, I realized that I wasn’t enjoying him—I was still immersed in worry. I had to find a solution to stop the worry and stress, and nothing I tried helped.
I decided to try something new and keep track of my worries. Even after only a few days, I realized that most of them never happened. And when a worry did manifest, it almost always cleared up, and I noted that I was stronger for the experience. What I now call The WorryChest gave me a means to consciously separate myself from negative mental patterns.
After a brief amount of time I learned to accept my life’s most difficult challenge— to embrace my son for who he is rather than who he isn’t. It didn’t take me long to view my son’s situation as a wonderful experience, not as a problem as I had been. I had succeeded in changing the software in my brain and was enjoying life again!
I knew early on that I wanted to help as many people as I could with what I had discovered, and starting with children seemed logical to me. After some time I met Dr. Jen Altman. As a clinical psychologist who works with children, she LOVED what I came up with and immediately suggested ways to improve it.
My dream was finally coming true - to help children live a life with less worry and more happiness.
Thanks for taking a moment to read my story. I wish you and your family a life free of worry and full of smiles.
Dr. Jen Altman is a NY and NJ licensed clinical psychologist with over 20 years of experience. She started her career in school psychology, working with children in elementary through high school. In her private practice, Dr. Altman works with children, teens and adults dealing with a variety of issues related to anxiety, depression, learning differences (both gifted and disabled), motivation, social skills, and family conflict. Working collaboratively, Dr. Altman helps people develop insight, problem-solve, find their voice, and make a shift towards more successful functioning and greater satisfaction. She has also presented on a wide variety of topics from helping teachers recognize signs of significant emotional distress in the classroom, to helping parents raise resilient children, to coping with the stressors brought on by the pandemic. The idea of the WorryChest was so appealing – to provide a simple, fun, structured way to talk to children about their feelings. As a mom of 2 amazing children, Dr. Altman felt like she’d been honing these skills in her own home for over a decade! She is so excited to share these strategies with other parents, counselors, and educators, to help more children feel safe, calm, and content.