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Sierra Dator Therapist Anxiety Depression Youth Adults Family

Feeling overwhelmed by depression, anxiety, and/or changes in you or your loved one’s life?  Looking for support for yourself, your child or teen, or family?  Breathe a sigh of relief.  You may be in the right place.

I provide therapy for individuals, families, and groups specializing in treatment of depression, anxiety, and life transitions in my lovely office located in Petaluma, California.  Online therapy sessions are also an option for residents of California.  Overall my work centers around what my patients are wanting in their own lives and unearthing the resources within themselves to make it happen.

What makes me different than other therapists is simply who I am.  My sense of humor, compassion, skill set, and love for what I do and those I have the honor to treat is unique to me just as you are unique to you.  I believe the relationship is everything and together we create something unique to us.  Something that cannot be replicated no matter who walks in my door.

If you are looking for an experienced therapist, please feel free to give me a call to see how together we can sort through whatever is ailing you.

I offer daytime and evening appointments.   I can be reached at 707-478-4351 or send me an email at sierradator@gmail.com to see how I can help.

Why Your Girl Needs A Worry Free Toolkit Today!

“She is always asking the same questions over and over. Even though I answer her, she keeps asking again. I think she’s anxious, and I don’t know how to help her.”

“My daughter seems fine all day and then when she lays down to go to bed at night, she is flooded with worry about everything. It is interrupting her sleep. And then she worries about not getting enough sleep. It’s an endless cycle!”

“She is a really fun, outgoing kid in so many ways, however, when it comes to talking with kids her own age, she shuts down. I am worried she isn’t making friends.”

“I want my daughter to have the tools she needs to deal with things that worry her. I want her to feel like she can support herself and not have to rely solely on me.”

“Her tummy hurts all the time. We have gone to the doctor several times who said this is anxiety. Can you help her?”

“I tell her all the time what she can do to help herself, but she won’t do it. I have read books and listen to podcasts, but she won’t budge. We need help!”

I get tons of calls each week from parents looking for help for their girl just like the one’s described above. While I don’t want girls suffering, I do love these calls because I have the knowledge, training, and tools to help your child reduce their anxiety and improve their ability to cope.

Wise Girl Workshops Worry Free Toolkit is chalked full of activities and exercises to build an arsenal of tools to support your daughter when anxiety strikes. Not only that, your child will learn how to recognize when anxiety is starting to rear its ugly head.

One of the best parts this workshop also offers is for girls to feel and see they aren’t alone. Girls love to connect with one another about life’s challenges. It helps them feel relief and normal when someone has had a mutual experience. 

Please give your girl the gift of real help in managing her worry. Reserve her spot by sending an email here.

Summer 2019 Workshop Series

5th/6th grade July 15-18 Whole Girl Toolkit

7th/8th grade July 22-25 Worry Free ToolkitSubscribe

5th/6th grade July 29-August 1 Worry Free Toolkit
CURRENTLY FULL–WAITLIST

9th/10th grade August 5-8 Whole Girl/Worry Free Toolkit

Sign up at sierradator@gmail.com

More info at www.sierradator.com

Tina Parrish and Wise Girl Workshops

Tina Parrish, certified personal trainer, working hard to feel good.

Wise Girl Workshops is introducing Tina Parrish, a certified personal trainer, who is teaming up with Wise Girl Workshops to offer a fitness and body component to the several series of workshops this summer. Check out a little Q&A to get to know Tina and her work better and help you decide if Wise Girl Workshops is where your girl needs to be this summer!

How did you get into physical fitness instruction?

While I’ve always been active – I played both competitive and recreational sports in high school and college – I took movement for granted and didn’t think about making a career of it until my mid-thirties. I thought everyone moved like I did and that is wasn’t a special skill to have, so I didn’t listen to my inner voice.  It wasn’t until I started working in a community center as a swim instructor and was given an opportunity to teach water fitness that I witnessed a need for safe and effective movement, especially with older adults and those that were injured. I was also told I was good at it, and this pushed me to listen more to myself. 

What kind of clients do you work with?

I work with all ages and abilities, and think of everyone as a bio-individual who will respond to movement in a unique way. I use both the water and land to train; you don’t find a lot of on-land personal trainers who can unlock the power of water, and that’s one of my niches. I also like working with young girls/teens, and teaching them movement can help develop confidence and manage anxiety or other big feelings they are dealing with. 

How are you able to reach young girls/teens through movement? 

Remember my own vulnerability. Everyone who is asked to move is also being asked to if they are willing to be vulnerable, to do something they might not be good at, be embarrassed, or to even fail. Movement can actually push through a lot of these roadblocks and build something better inside and out. Young girls/teens need a positive outlet that is of their own creation, that isn’t hinged on a screen or the opinion of another. Something they can see has been there their whole life, and will be there tomorrow, giving them endless benefits. I aim to create “life-long movers” when I work with this population, getting them past the idea that fitness means competition or perfection, but rather movement is freedom, exploration, science and art. 

Dealing with teens, you might also be dealing with body image. Where you always happy with your body image? 

I’ve always been thin or what I technically know now is called ectomorphic, a body image term used for those who have difficultly gaining weight.  Although that sounds like the ideal problem to have, my struggle with body image feels just as real as anyone else’s. The desire for change can plague us all. The key is doing something about those feelings, and I find using movement makes myself and the clients I work with feel so much better about where health is headed. I think of losing weight or gaining muscle a side effect and not the main goal to feeling truly healthy, which also requires emotional and mental changes. 

What keeps you on the cutting edge of movement?

I never stop learning. That can be through ideas I pick up on social media, feedback from students, new certifications, or even great quotes. I tend to think I’m only as good as the last class I taught so I constantly push to make the next class better. Also, because exercise and medical science is always changing, I need to stay on top of concepts that could help one of my clients. Recent studies show positive effects of performing :20-second high-intensity intervals, so through this application I have been able to help one client control their blood sugar and another lower their blood pressure. What I learn can make a difference in someone’s life. 

What is currently exciting to you about the field of health and fitness?

Functional medicine excites me. Our current “sickcare” system is failing so many people, especially those with chronic metabolic or degenerative conditions like diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Our overworked doctors and medical professionals, to no fault of their own, received conventional care training where the solutions involve drugs and a “sad” diet (the Standard American Diet of high carbs, low fat). If I use more of an integrative health coach approach with my clients, which means looking at their sleep, gut health or diet, stress, exercise, and even collaborate with other providers they might be working with such as a nutritionist or physical therapist, I can better get to the root cause of their issues. This is the functional medicine approach, and it helps people lose weight, get off pills, and feel better than they have in years. I learn a lot from field leaders like Chris Kresser and Dr. Mark Hyman.

You can find out more about Tina and her services here.

#1 Reason Your Daughter Needs A Worry Free Toolkit

Woman with hands in lap in white sweater and dress

Is it because you have a history of anxiety in your family?  Maybe.

It is because your child’s mind runs wild when she lays down to go to sleep, and she cannot seem to shut off her brain?  Maybe.

Is it because your daughter perseverates on details like, “What if I don’t get invited, or I don’t get an A on this project?” and cannot let the thoughts go?  Maybe.

While those are all good reasons you might consider a Worry Free Toolkit Workshop for your daughter from Wise Girls Workshops, that is not the primary reason your daughter needs one.

THE #1 REASON YOUR DAUGHTER NEEDS A WORRY FREE TOOLKIT

Everyone deals with worry.

You might be thinking, “What?  That’s it?”

And I am saying, “Yup, that’s it!”

You see worry can become apart of our life for a moment in a time or in a way that lingers—-for minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or even years.

Either way, worry is a normal human emotion.  It shows up for everyone at times.  Who couldn’t benefit from learning tools to recognize the feeling for what it is, developing tools to help care for yourself, and having some time to practice those skills?

What a gift, right?!

There are some other benefits for developing a Worry Free Toolkit:

  • Your daughter will feel more in control of herself when worry takes hold and will know she can care for herself.
  • Through the Wise Girls Workshops experience, kids will see they aren’t alone in terms of worrying and see many of their peers have similar fears.  This fact provides relief!
  • She will stop asking you to reassure her about things over and over and over and over….
  • Your daughter can recognize it in others and provide helpful support.
  • She will learn how feelings constantly change and while worry might feel big in the moment, we never get stuck in one feeling forever.

This Worry Free Toolkit business is good stuff, right?  Developing tools to cope with worry isn’t just for those who have a serious problem with anxiety.  We all need tools.  We all deal with it.  Everyone can benefit.

Summer 2019 Wise Girl Workshops!

Looking for something outstanding and different from all the other camps floating around out there? Want your girl to have fun, simultaneously learning about how to thrive socially and emotionally? Look no further! Wise Girl Workshops promises to be a unique experience geared towards girls in 5th/6th and 7th/8th and 9th/10th grades that will truly make a difference in their summer and life.

I am being serious about the make a difference in their life part. I have had girls and parents tell me what an impact this camp has had. One parent told me, “This camp changed my daughter’s life for the better. I am serious. It changed her life.” I had one girl who I saw years later tell me how much this camp helped her in managing the anxiety she feels. Parents will tell me their kids are still using their “coping cards.” I am always to honored and motivated to do more when I hear comments about the major impact Wise Girl Workshops has.

Yes!!! More is happening during Wise Girl Workshops Summer 2019. This year the awesome Tina Parrish, a talented and experienced Certified Personal Trainer, is ready to work with your girl about how to use fitness to nurture the mind and body, cultivate and sustain a healthy body image, utilize it as a tool to manage worry and big feelings, and develop a plan that can support who your girl is as an individual.

Ready to sign your Wise Girl up? Look no further!

SIGN UP HERE!!!

Sign Up Here!!!

“Crazy” Teenager

Man with tennis shoes sitting high up looking down on land

“I feel like she’s crazy. I mean, I know she isn’t crazy. But it feels like she is crazy. Is she crazy?”

If you have ever said this in your mind, under your breath, or out loud, you are not alone. You are among the several millions of parents around the world raising this amazing, often misunderstood, and erratic creature…the teenager.

Teens do amazing things each day. From studying 6+hours a day to engaging in after school sports and clubs to volunteering to holding down a job to hanging out with friends, teens do it all. (Holy cow! That is a whole lot of being social in 1 day!)

Your teen may be able to handle a lot on the outside, but it is important to understand there is a whole lot more going on inside. What I am talking about is BRAIN DEVELOPMENT.

Look at the word in all capital letters again. Take it in.

BRAIN DEVELOPMENT.

That’s intense.

So intense those words are, it may look like your child is crazy. Rest assured, this crazy, intense time of life is just that, a crazy and intense time of brain development.

We don’t wake up one day and BAM, our brain is developed. This is a process that can take up until our late 20’s to complete. Different parts of the brain develop before others, so the part of the brain giving perspective, reasoning, and controlling impulses is one of the last to take shape. That’s a big deal because with limited perspective, reasoning, and impulse control, one can look pretty crazy!

Interested in learning about your teenager’s brain development so you can respond with more kindness, compassion, and sensitivity?

Check out:
“Maturation of the Adolescent Brain” by Mariam ArainMaliha HaqueLina JohalPuja MathurWynand NelAfsha RaisRanbir Sandhu, andSushil Sharma

The Mysterious Workings of the Adolescent Brain by Sarah Jayne Blakemore

Wise Girl Workshops Joins With Girl Scout Troop

This November, 24 girls in 6th-8th grades embarked on a 2 day Journey and Wise Girl Workshops headed to Windsor, CA to be a part of it!  An amazing group of Girl Scout Cadettes worked diligently to earn their Journey Badge.  What an honor it was to help them think more about friendships, bullying, and how to handle conflict. I was struck by how engaged each girl was and how they gave great thought to each of the questions they worked on in their small groups.

From this event, I got to thinking how busy young girls are in their own lives and the drive to produce and get better is all around them, even for girls in 6th-8th grade.  These kids are already thinking so hardcore about their future.

There is a pressing anxiety in the world.  Who has time to think about friendship, bullying, and how to handle conflict?  The message kids get when their isn’t time to talk about these important areas of their life?  Just shove your feelings inside and move on.  It’s not important. Just keep moving forward.

This workshop allowed girls to slow down and think about some of the most pressing issues of their developmental time.  Friendship is an essential part of growing up and helps set the stage for how we function in life with others.

Upon ending the workshop the girls shared a few words on how the time we spent together made them feel.  Girls said things like they felt informed and educated.  Girls said they were relieved to talk and hear from one another.  Some of my favorite feedback of the day?  “Better.”  So many girls felt “better” after talking together.   I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Wise Girl Workshops mission to to change the world one girl at a time.  Thanks Windsor, CA Girl Scout Troop #11302 for valuing girls and giving them the time they need to think and do what is truly important.

 

Parents, Ready To Make Some Changes?

Silhouette of family of 4 in sunset

One of my favorite parts of being a therapist is helping parents become better parents. I love talking about the challenges and finding solutions to what can seem like insurmountable problems.

Parents can feel afraid of therapy. What will Sierra think if I tell her what my child is doing? Will she judge me? Will she think I am crazy?

Let me just put it out there. I won’t judge you. I will think you are a parent who is trying to do your best. And no, I won’t think you are crazy.

Especially because we all come from some place, and that some place modeled for us how to be an adult and parent. Hopefully some of that modeling was stellar. However, because we are human, some of the modeling we received might not have been the healthiest and unfortunately this can impact how we parent. This way of modeling may have been passed down for generations.

Maybe you come from a family where no one ever talked about their feelings, or the only way one ever got heard was to get angry. Maybe your parents weren’t emotionally available for you, or they were super permissive leading you to be a wild child.

Whatever the way of parenting that got passed down, I believe we owe it to our children to do our best to do it better.

This is where I come in. A parent can have great success in shifting their child or teen’s behaviors by doing their own work in therapy. Yes that’s right. One way I help families work with their child is through working on themselves.

If you aren’t sure who could benefit in coming to therapy, then let’s talk. If you are ready to start your journey to becoming a better parent, email me here, and let’s get started!