Ellen W. Schrier, L.C.S.W.
Since starting our family we’ve lived in eight homes, three states and on two coasts. Life has been full! And although being a mom has been my primary focus during the parenting years, I’ve also clocked hundreds of face-to-face hours with families around the country since I became a clinical social worker and family therapist 34 years ago. Helping parents to understand and actively embrace their role has been the main theme of my clinical work.
Over the years, I’ve counseled single parents, foster parents, gay parents, straight parents, divorced parents, adoptive parents, multi-cultural parents, old parents, new parents, teen parents, court-ordered parents, enthusiastic parents and burned-out parents in settings as diverse as foster care and private practice. They have taught me well!
My own kids – now 32, 29 and 25 – have grown into warm, engaging young adults who approach their lives with curiosity and a sense of adventure. And 38 years later, my husband and I are still having fun and keeping our eyes open for whatever’s coming up next. So far, so good.
We have recently moved back to our home state of California after 15 years in New York. The kids are grown now and make me so proud. I miss those little guys (where did they go?) but absolutely love who they have grown into and relish the chance to keep the conversations going. Our family has grown again with the addition of a wonderful new daughter-in-law! We are thrilled. The opportunities for dialogue, teaching, guiding and laughing continues to expand. And we love it all.
Rachel Zahn, MD
I started my family and had three kids during medical school and pediatric training – crazy, huh?
Several years and thousands of families later, I left my practice when it became clear that there were plenty of great pediatricians out there, but only one mom for my own kids who were growing up fast. From the delivery room to the acne years and beyond, my young patients taught me the nuts and bolts of parenting. I give my own brood credit for the rest.
My husband and I help our kids thrive by providing plenty of guidance doled out with love and humor, along with the freedom to find their own paths. At 25, 23 and 18, they are voracious learners and life explorers. As our kids grew, I transitioned from practicing doctor to health writer, transforming intimidating medical jargon into clear, engaging text for patients and parents.
I also head up Angels Foster Family Network, a nonprofit agency that places vulnerable infants and toddlers in loving, committed homes, and I appear regularly as “Dr. Mama” on a local morning show, San Diego Living.
When I’m not ‘on call’, you’ll find me bodysurfing the awesome waves of San Diego and railing against Southern California’s love affair with plastic surgery.