ZPR Host, Author, Therapist

Cathy Cassani Adams

Cathy is a self-awareness expert focused on parenting and the personal empowerment of women and young girls. She’s a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Parent Coach, Certified Elementary School Teacher, Certified Yoga Teacher, and she teaches in the Sociology Department at Dominican University and Elmhurst College.

She’s the author of The Self-Aware Parent (2009), The Self-Aware Parent Two (2011), and Living What You Want Your Kids to Learn: The Power of Self-Aware Parenting (2014) which won a Nautilus Award, National Indie Excellence Award, and an International Book Award.

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Cathy Adams

Contact Cathy

 

Feel free to call me or submit the form below to discuss your needs and how best I can provide support.

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Be the Change

Philosophy

Live What You Want Your Kids to Learn

Your children don’t want you to be perfect, they want you to be real. They desire a genuine connection combined with mutual respect for self and others. They want to be who they are and feel safe and affirmed in your presence. This sense of safety builds confidence, and this is what allows children to trust themselves and believe in what they can do.

Offering this sense of safety requires our self-awareness. Self-awareness isn’t something we achieve once and for all, but is a daily practice of noticing ourselves. We practice being aware of our feelings and behavior, which in turn allows us to take responsibility for our lives. Instead of focusing on what others do or say, which is completely out of our control, we make choices for ourselves, deciding how to respond and participate. This is freedom, and this is what Gandhi was inferring when he told us to “be the change” we are looking for.

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Your children don’t want you to be perfect, they want you to be real. They desire a genuine connection combined with mutual respect for self and others. They want to be who they are and feel safe and affirmed in your presence. This sense of safety builds confidence, and this is what allows children to trust themselves and believe in what they can do.

Offering this sense of safety requires our self-awareness. Self-awareness isn’t something we achieve once and for all, but is a daily practice of noticing ourselves. We practice being aware of our feelings and behavior, which in turn allows us to take responsibility for our lives. Instead of focusing on what others do or say, which is completely out of our control, we make choices for ourselves, deciding how to respond and participate. This is freedom, and this is what Gandhi was inferring when he told us to “be the change” we are looking for.

If we want our kids to know themselves and feel good about who they are, we have to demonstrate what this looks like. We have to stop believing that self-criticism and self-loathing are acceptable, and instead begin the practice of self-compassion and acceptance. Kids understand this at a very early age, as they share their feelings and trust their instincts. Sadly, we unconsciously steer them away from self-trust, focusing their attention on what society wants rather than allowing them to stay connected to their own internal guidance.

We use fear, guilt, shame, pain and other outdated modes of behavior modification, thinking we are parenting, when in reality we are devaluing and controlling our children. As we do so, we unconsciously foster the development of a fierce inner critic in them — a pattern of negative self-talk that becomes a life-long saboteur. This is what leads kids to suppress their feelings, live in fear and numb out with life-threatening substances and behaviors. When an individual’s internal life is damaged, it dictates how we show up in the world. In other words, our behavior is a result of what we’re feeling.

Self-awareness is essential, and it can be developed regardless of age. When I teach my college students, self-awareness is the core of the curriculum. How is someone expected to help and understand others professionally unless they first understand themselves?
Self-awareness is the foundational principle of Zen Parenting Radio, the podcast that my husband and I host. Attachment theory has taught us that the best predictor of a child’s well-being is a parent’s self-understanding. For this reason, self-awareness is the underlying objective of every episode. Yet, the message reaches beyond parents. We get emails from grandparents, young adults and students who hear the underlying meaning and apply it to their current lives and experiences.

Be U, a conscious-living curriculum we created for kids, parents, and professionals revolves around self-awareness. How can a young girl or boy accept themselves if they don’t know who they are? If they are always searching for what they don’t have — things that so often are dictated to them by the media and society — they miss the experience and wonder of their own individuality. Rather than feeling the joy of flowing with their internal compass, they embark on a search for happiness through external means.
Self-awareness isn’t just a parenting skill, but a life skill everyone benefits from. Due to the uniqueness of the parent-child relationship, parenting affords the ultimate opportunity to practice self-awareness. Our deep love for our children propels us to look into the mirror and take ownership of what we see.

This is a beautiful gift from our children. They are actually waking us up to our true nature, reminding us to go inside, see ourselves clearly and heal what needs to be healed. They are extraordinarily talented in pointing out what we need to learn, even though this often involves discomfort, disagreements and of course, extreme joy.
When we allow our children to be our teachers, they remind us of the value of seeing the world as they do, which involves living more simply, showing greater compassion and being more mindful. We get to repay them by demonstrating how an adult can possess and practice these skills. And so the cycle continues.

“Offering this sense of safety requires our self-awareness. Self-awareness isn’t something we achieve once and for all, but is a daily practice of noticing ourselves. “Cathy Cassani Adams

Striving to Support & Empower

Areas of Focus

Creating deeper relationships with ourselves and others

SELF-AWARENESS
PARENTING
COUPLEHOOD
FEMALE EMPOWERMENT
COMPASSION & CONNECTION
MINDFULNESS & MEDITATION
YOGA

“If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”Anna Quindlen

Self-awareness Expert

About Cathy

Cathy Cassani Adams, LCSW, CPC, CYT – Cathy is a self-awareness expert focused on parenting and the personal empowerment of women and young girls. She’s a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Parent Coach, Certified Elementary School Teacher, Certified Yoga Teacher, and she teaches in the Sociology Department at Dominican University and Elmhurst College. She’s the author of The Self-Aware Parent (2009), The Self-Aware Parent Two (2011), and Living What You Want Your Kids to Learn: The Power of Self-Aware Parenting (2014) which won a Nautilus Award, National Indie Excellence Award, and an International Book Award.

For six years she and her husband Todd have hosted Zen Parenting Radio, a top-ten kids and family podcast on iTunes, and they are the creators of the Zen Parenting Conference held in Chicago. Cathy is a sought-after parenting and female empowerment speaker, she created/facilitated a self-awareness program for preadolescent girls called Be U, and she was a Child and Family Therapist/Clinical Educator at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Cathy is a blogger for The Huffington Post and a former columnist for Chicago Parent Magazine. She’s a frequent guest on WGN Radio and her parent coaching has been the focus of a CBS News Report as well as a Fox News Special Report. She’s been featured several times in Parents Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Ebony Magazine, Crain’s Chicago Business, Today’s Chicago Woman, and West Suburban Magazine.

Certifications
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Certified Elementary School Teacher
  • Certified Parent Coach
  • Certified Yoga Instructor
Awards

 
Sessions, Workshops, Groups

Work with Cathy

Cathy offers in-person sessions for women interested in self-awareness and empowerment, and she offers supervision to therapists+coaches who want support with their practice. Cathy also facilitates a women’s circle and offers in-person and virtual workshops.

  • Connector.

    Sessions

    Women's self-awareness and support for coaches and therapists

  • Connector.

    Workshops

    Self-Awareness for women, marriage and parenting, How to Talk to Kids about Sex and Sexuality

  • Connector.

    Groups

    Keynotes/presentations, panel/discussion facilitation, Women’s Circle

Note: Sessions are one-time, occasional, or every-other month. Sessions are not a substitute for regular therapy. Referrals for regular therapy or coaching can be made during session. All sessions are in-person. If you are interested in a session, contact Cathy for her availability.

Sessions, Workshops, Groups

Work With Cathy


Feel free to call me or submit the form below to discuss your needs and how best I can provide support.

Join Us on Social

Invite Cathy

Speaking

Cathy has been offering keynotes, presentations, workshops, breakout sessions, classes, and other speaking engagements for more than 15 years. She is known for her enthusiasm, humor, compassion, and her ability to feel and understand an audience. Topics include:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Parenting
  • Mindfulness
  • Q&A
Invite Cathy
Cathy Adams

Invite Cathy to Speak


Feel free to call me or submit the form below to discuss your speaking engagement needs!

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Self-Awarness

Cathy's Books

Musings

BLOGS & WRITINGS




“If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly in those moments.”Anne Morrow Lindbergh


Books I love & Recommend

Cathy's Library

Cathy’s Favorites

ZPR Podcasts

All Favorites ()
Cathy's Favorities ()
Todd's Favorites ()

Lessons From My Dad- Podcast #380

June 6, 2017

Cathy’s dad recently passed away so Cathy and Todd share how he lived and what he taught them. Most importantly why culture literacy leads to a bigger heart and mind, why willingness is the key to a deep and meaningful life, and why we...

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Listen, Allow, Support, Repeat

June 26, 2015

Cathy and Todd share a letter from a listener whose son discovers himself through dance, and how this discovery leads to self-aware parenting. It's an inspirational and emotional story about how to create a connected relationship with...

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Curse It, Nurse It, Rehearse It

April 21, 2015

When you are struggling, do you curse it, nurse it , and rehearse it? Or do you disperse it and reverse it? Todd and Cathy discuss all of these possibilities, and which choices lead to greater contentment. They also discuss Lionel...

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Outliving Cancer with Tears, Wit, and Grace

March 23, 2014

In this compelling interview, our friend Katie Weiss shares her breast cancer experience, starting with the fact that she was diagnosed at 35. Due to her age she is told her lump is probably nothing, but she walks us through the...

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