Guiding principles behind the SEST philosophy:

SEST approach uses methodologies from:
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Positive psychology
  • Narrative and poetry therapy
The motivation for the SEST approach

The stressors for kids have significantly changed in the digital age:

1. Socializing and communicating is predominantly online:

Kids spend an enormous amount of time online

Kids age 8-12 spend 6 hours online per day, with teenagers at about 9 hours per day

Kids spend a vast majority of this time socially isolated with headphones on

2. Online use has led to challenges for healthy emotional-social development:

How to communicate person-to-person is becoming increasingly difficult for kids

In-person interaction is increasingly stressful and problematic for kids, which is associated with increased isolation, loneliness, and anxiety

3. Children are increasingly struggling with emotional wellbeing at dramatic levels:

About 2.6 million children and teens suffer from anxiety, and this number increases annually

As a result of these new challenges, kids and their parents need new and better tools to cope:

  • Language is key to your child’s healthy social-emotional development by helping to tolerate uncomfortable emotions.
  • My research-based approach provides children with the same tools used in storytelling to help them learn to communicate more effectively.

The language-based psychological coping mechanisms your child will learn can help with:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety in social interaction
  • Improving academic performance
  • Increasing self-confidence, self-soothing, and coping skills
  • Improving parent-child empathy and communication
Meet the SEST Team

Dr. Gary Dick

Gary Dick, Ph.D., is the mental health collaborator of Story Emotion Social Therapy. He is a professor at the School of Social Work in University of Cincinnati and has done psychosocial therapy for over 40 years. He believes the stories told in therapy provide understanding into one's inner cognitive and emotional world.