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You have the power to make it better.

I help parents translate their child’s behaviors, look for the positive, build healthy family relationships, and achieve lasting, meaningful connections. “Getting by” is no way to live, I want you to thrive.  
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Vanessa Elias in “Parents Question Middlebrook Dress Code: ‘What is the point of it?’”

vanessa elias

certified parent coach

founder, thrive with a guide, llc

Are you starting to be concerned about your child's behavior?
Or are you fully immersed in a challenging situation?
Maybe you're facing a crisis as you read this.
No matter where you are in your parenting journey, I have been there and I understand. I have amassed a wealth of knowledge that I want to share with you, from parenting children with behavioral and mental health challenges to selecting therapeutic programs.
The first step is opening up, then together we will find a better way forward, to improve your relationships and to change your life.
My name is Vanessa Elias and I am the founder of Thrive with a Guide, LLC. I am a certified parent coach and a mental health advocate, and I serve as a lead voice in my community connecting parents to professionals, resources, and thought leaders. I specialize in considering siblings when creating a personalized plan for parents. I am also a facilitator for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Child & Adolescent Network (NAMI-CAN) and have led parent support groups since 2015.
While my focus has been local, my message has resonated deeply and garnered national attention. 
To read my full bio, please click here.

To learn more about all of Vanessa's certifications and trainings, please click here.


one-on-one coaching

contributing writer

speaking engagements


What parents are saying

"When our son’s therapist recommended Vanessa, I was skeptical that she would say or do anything differently than the many therapists we had already spoken to over the past 10 plus years (in addition to the wilderness and therapeutic boarding school we tried). Boy was I wrong!  I’m so incredibly grateful that I gave Vanessa a chance to help me! She has a vast knowledgeable about DBT, and has given me specific advice and suggestions I had not gotten anywhere else."

~ Parent of children ages 18 and 20

"Vanessa has been an invaluable resource to me in navigating this process of how to best help my child and our family. She has real life, been there-done that experience and can empathize and offer helpful advice and insights."

~ Parent

"Vanessa is a wonderful and empathetic resource who will guide you on what can be a bewildering, isolating and at times, an overwhelming journey."

~ Parent

"Vanessa was there for our family at a critical time in my son's early teen years. In 7th grade my son went through severe anxiety that lasted several months. It happened suddenly and was not anything he had struggled with before that time. We were at a complete loss with how to handle it and felt helpless. Vanessa really understood the challenge we were facing, how hard it was and gave me practical steps to manage it and find the help we needed."

~ Parent

What mental health and other professionals are saying

"Vanessa is gifted at her capacity to engage families with her compassion, warmth, and knowledge. She is extremely qualified to educate families regarding resources within the community, as well as guide them through less traditional paths to gain adequate mental health treatment. Families are often desperate, helpless, and terrified when their child is not functioning well. Vanessa’s personal and professional experience are a unique and invaluable resource to families who are navigating these uncharted territories. She has my unqualified highest recommendation!"


~ Liz Courtney-Seidler, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Cognitive & Behavioral Therapies of Ridgefield, PLLC

"Vanessa is an important advocate for redefining what it means to be a good parent -- that we need to stop letting fear drive the bus, and that when parents step back, kids step up and we all win. Thanks to her smarts, practical ideas and compassion, I have also featured Vanessa many times in my own articles. She knows what it takes to raise resilient, confident children and is exactly the person I would want coaching parents!"

~ Lenore Skenazy is president of Let Grow, the non-profit making it easy, normal, and legal to give our kids some independence, and founder of the  Free Range Kids movement.

"Vanessa brings deep understanding of how a parent’s well-being directly affects a child’s well-being, the importance of connection in the parent-child relationship, and the unintended health consequences of our achievement culture. As a result, she helps families build both strong foundations and authentic, strong relationships that helps them to really thrive -- both in their personal lives and at school and/or work."

~ Dr. Suniya S. Luthar, Co-Founder and Chief Research Officer of Authentic Connections, and Professor Emerita at Columbia University’s Teachers College

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