I saw a cute article about a 4-year old girl asking the police to check her new home for monsters.
The story reminded me of the 8-year-old in my practice who had an intense fear of having a house fire. There had been no such incident in her life anywhere which made her parents think that fire might represent “something” else, so, they brought her to me.
I like to start with the obvious. I asked mother to speak with the local battalion chief about doing a “safe home check” and share with him, confidentially, that their girl was struggling with this fear. The chief himself came to their home.
Parents reported to me that he was “for real” in his inspection and made recommendations. He also saw some sketchy electrical work that he didn’t like and told them to get it looked at. He critiqued their escape plan which I suggested they put together. He calmed her fears.
Sometimes, that’s all it takes. If they feel "heard" and their concerns are taken seriously, that might be all they need.
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