Jennifer Shannon is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety. She has worked with children, teens and adults since 1985. Originally trained as a psychodynamic or “talk” therapist, she noted that while her clients felt better, she still sought more lasting and permanent change for them. Then she attended a UC Berkeley course taught by her first mentor, Michael Tompkins Ph.D. on evidence based treatment.
What this means is treatment that has been found by scientific studies to be the most effective for specific mental health problems. Consistently Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, or CBT was found to be the most effective treatment for the most common disorders such as anxiety and depression. Jennifer began to avidly study CBT going to workshops, reading books and consulting with masters in the field, including Michael Tompkins, PhD, Christine Padesky, Ph.D. and Jacqueline Persons, Ph.D. Practicing CBT has been the most rewarding work Jennifer has ever done professionally.
Currently she works with adults, children and teens specializing in Anxiety Disorders, including Social Anxiety or extreme shyness, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Separation Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Phobias, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and some types of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. She also treats insomnia and depression.
Don’t Feed The Monkey Mind
Reviewed by Tina Arnoldi @ Psych Central
Comparing our thought process to that of a monkey may feel a little insulting at first. We like to think that we can easily keep our thoughts under control, but the truth is that the comparison to a monkey is actually incredibly relevant.
Monkeys, as seen in a zoo or as depicted in movies, are portrayed as constantly chattering; a noise that represents what often goes on in our minds. In Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind, Jennifer Shannon offers an approach to anxious thoughts that invite us to be more accepting of our anxiety, rather than working to make it go away.
Instead of getting into the core causes of anxiety and going into the past to determine why we experience anxiety, Shannon encourages readers to instead focus on the response to what’s happening. It’s a very different approach.
Anxiety can truly be debilitating and so the desire to make it “go away” sounds appealing, but too much emphasis on getting rid of anxiety can keep people from moving forward in life. Trying to tame the monkey mind can result in a cycle of anxiety that leads one to dwelling on decisions already made, rehashing old concerns or becoming upset about things that can’t be changed. The goal of Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind is to teach people how to think and act in situations where the monkey mind is taking over. More…
Read the new Health & Wellness feature article on the Today Show Website
written by Joan Raymond with contributor Jennifer Shannon!
The Dog Story: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Explained
In the Press & Media…
Jennifer Shannon, LMFT, cofounder of the Santa Rosa Center for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, has topped Amazon’s sales for books targeting teenage mental health and depression. The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens and its companion workbook, The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens (New Harbinger Press) are written to help teens overcome the fear and worry that can keep them from feeling confident and independent.
“Teens who suffer from anxiety often think of themselves as weak, stupid or any of many other negative labels,” Shannon writes. “You may think you are the only one who feels things this way and that everyone else is normal. The thing is, normal doesn’t exist. Everyone feels anxiety, and in a surprising variety of situations.”
Based in cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy, Survival Guide is designed to help teens develop practical strategies for overcoming the primitive part of the brain where anxious thoughts arise, and arm them to handle even the toughest situations that would previously leave them paralyzed.
Don’t Let Terrorism Hijack Your Brain
by Jennifer Shannon, LMFT
I, too, experience horror, heartbreak, and anxiety when I read about mass shootings and other acts of terrorism, whether in Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, or Orlando.
But what is of special interest to me is how we respond. As a psychotherapist, I specialize in the treatment of anxiety, from panic attacks and OCD, to general worry and stress. What all types of anxiety have in common is a fear of the unknown—that something bad could happen in the future. This might be the fear of having a panic attack while standing in line at the grocery store or worry that a small mole might be cancer.
Underlying this fear is the idea that what you don’t know might kill you. Terrorism and mass shootings activate this fear of the unknown, that carnage could happen anywhere at any time, in places that we have always assumed were safe. (Read More…)