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Coaching kids toward a brighter future

Youth Eastside Services

Emma Stolz knows coaching. As a college athlete, she excelled under great guidance. As a counselor, she hopes to help her clients do the same.

A Woodinville native, it was her experience working with at-risk youth in Indianapolis that propelled her to become a Youth and Family Counselor.

“I saw the progress and success that can be made in a positive environment,” she says. “And it opened my eyes to the privilege that I grew up with.”

Stolz recently completed dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) training at YES. DBT is a widely used intervention for certain mental health issues, such as self-harm, because research shows that it’s effective in reducing thoughts and behaviors that negatively impact well-being.

Learn more about YES’ research-driven approach to counseling.

“What I like about DBT is that it’s so concrete,” Stolz says. “It provides real skills that can be coached and taught. Being a coach resonates with me.”

She also notes its flexibility: DBT can be used over the phone, in group or individual settings — and it gives providers a built-in network that they can call upon for questions.

Stolz’s team-oriented approach to counseling is paying off for her clients. She recently used DBT with a struggling teen who was experiencing depression and self-harm. Stolz coached the teen to complete a series of diary cards that allowed them to track their mood; any urges to harm themselves; any DBT skills, such as mindfulness, that they used to overcome those urges; and the outcome. The result? Her client felt empowered by deeply investigating what worked to alleviate their distress.

Stolz sets the stage for teaching DBT skills by reminding her clients that Pete Carroll uses mindfulness to help the Seahawks visualize success on the field.

“If the highest-paid athletes are doing what you’re doing, shouldn’t you give it a try?”

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