Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, MFA, MSW, LMSW, Psychotherapist; Specialist in Food Allergy Management, Speaking At Mylan Specialty / EpiPen Event (© Noel Malcolm 2013)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Interview: Food Allergy Counseling Client in South Florida, Working with Sloane Miller

Every day, I receive emails asking me how I work as a psychotherapist and
specialist in food allergy management. To answer this, I interviewed some current clients and asked them three simple questions:

What brought you to counseling with Sloane Miller, LMSW?
What did you hope to happen or change?
What changed for you/how are things different after working with Sloane Miller, LMSW?

***

From a South Florida Mom of Two:

What brought you to counseling with me, Sloane Miller, LMSW? 

I am a mother of two small children with food allergies (7 & 9).  My son is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts and my daughter is allergic to milk and egg. Although we have been aware of their allergies for years, managing them has always been a source of stress, worry, guilt and concern. I initially contacted Sloane regarding her concierge services because my daughter and I were planning a trip to New York to visit the American Girl Store, but before Sloane and I were able to meet to plan our trip, my daughter experienced her second bout with anaphylaxis.  She was hospitalized for two days and the aftermath of the experience left our family reeling. My son was fearful and experienced stress and behavioral issues after seeing his sister sick, my daughter no longer trusted her father because he was the person who accidently gave her the wrong ice cream, I was overwhelmed after having to give my daughter the epi pen and watch her struggle and my husband felt an enormous amount of guilt regarding his mistake. I knew right away that we were not equipped to handle this on our own.

What did you hope to happen or change? 

There were several issues and topics we were looking to change.
  • Support to educate my husband and family members around the seriousness of food allergies in a way that would be well received.
  • Helping the kids manage their stress without adding additional stress
  • Helping my husband and I partner as advocates for the kids, our communication had broken down completely.
  • Improved relationships with their doctors, teachers and other support people

What changed for you/how are things different after working with me?

The biggest change for me personally was my ability to properly manage risk. After my daughter’s reaction I was paralyzed and everything around me seemed like an overwhelming risk. I was afraid to leave her alone, afraid to send her to school, afraid to try new foods, afraid to do anything. Sloane worked with me to ensure that I was armed with education, training and tools to properly assess risks. She also empowered me to understand that it was ok to say no if I was uncomfortable; to know my limits.

For my husband and our parenting, Sloane helped us both become advocates for the kids. Often in food allergy homes one parent is the quarterback and the other parent follows their lead. But in life and death situations everyone needs to be equipped to “call the play”. Sloane helped us partner together and rebuild the trust that was lost.

Lastly, Sloane gave us tools to help the kids express their fears and concerns without judgment. She enabled us to speak to them in their language and allowed them to uncover feelings or emotions they weren’t able to communicate through exercises like drawing and storytelling.

Thank you, South Florida Mom of Two!


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