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Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are

4.23.14

 A TED talk about “Faking it until you become it!” Amy Cuddy talks about the research that has been done regarding non-verbal cues and interactions we have with others.  She also talks about how our nonverbal expressions, thoughts, feelings and physiology affect us. We know that our minds can change our bodies and she decided to find out if our bodies can change our minds.  Her research confirmed that indeed our bodies can change our minds and our lives in meaningful ways!  She tells about her own personal story when she was 19 years old after a car accident.  This TED talk is very powerful and I usually recommend clients to view it. If you experience social anxiety and doubts about yourself, this talk may greatly benefit you. E

Six Ways to Help Your Perfectionist Child Find Balance

4.1.14

[View original article published in Psych Central here] Four-year-old Max would crumple his paper when his drawing wasn’t perfect. He would start over, and often grow angry and eventually give up. His parents noticed his rigidity, but hoped he would grow out of it. When he was seven, the demands on himself and others were still troubling him and his family. His parents were frustrated. Are your children inflexible? Do they set high standards that overwhelm them? Do they complain of not having friends and feeling isolated? Do they procrastinate often? Do they go from one extreme to the other with certain behaviors, such as being studious and responsible academically to not caring at all? Do they beat themselves up and feel like a failure whe

How to make your parenting vision a reality

1.26.14

[Published by MomClick Utah and The Daily Herald here.] “A company without a vision cannot succeed. And a vision without a plan is the recipe for failure.” — Kevin Harrington, ABC’s “Shark Tank” judge Our lives are loaded with plans: business plans, retirement plans, health insurance plans, workout plans and vacation plans. But what about having a parenting plan? Parenting is just like any other undertaking in life. To increase our chances of a successful outcome, we usually need to know where we are going, and how we are going to get there. I would like to suggest a three-part parenting plan that will hopefully provide you with some ideas to implement in your family. For best results, the three parts of

Passionate parenting begins with a vision

1.16.14

[Published by MomClick Utah and The Daily Herald here.] Imagine for a moment that when you were recently taking down your Christmas tree, you found one last present. It was hidden behind the tree. Your children see their names on the present and are excited! The gift is from you to them. You have purposely saved it for last because it is the greatest gift they will ever receive from you. What is it? What could it possibly be? What would be the best present that you could ever give to your children? What gift could you give them that would have the longest-lasting impact on their lives? The answer: Being a good parent. My next few articles will address research-based “best practices” in parenting. Let’s begin by addressing

How to help your anxious child be more assertive

11.30.13

[Published by MomClick Utah and The Daily Herald here] The other day, I heard a grandfather talk about a phone call he received from his daughter. She told him how his elementary school grandson had been teased and bullied at his local church when he wore glasses for the first time. Frequently we hear nationwide news about bullying-related youth suicides. Quite often, many of my clients suffering from anxiety mention that at some time in their middle school or high school years they were bullied. Do kids who get bullied become anxious, or are anxious kids more likely to get bullied? The truth is, it can be both. Children who are bullied will experience trauma and thus will develop anxiety and may need professional help to overcome that neg

Mindset Family Therapy

Anxiety: Why Humans Experience Anxiety

11.15.13

Below is a funny little video I found about Mindfulness.  When I show it to my clients, they just smile because they know the “science guy” is talking about them.  Some of us think and worry too much about the future.  Some of us indeed can start a “fight-or-flight” response just sitting in our living room.  It is a good idea to plan and prepare for the future; however, it’s not a good idea to worry about things we cannot control. Check it out:

Be yourself!

11.4.13

I love this quote.  I found it recently by reading Brené Brown’s “The Gift of Imperfection.”  She quotes E.E. Cummings and she talks about the need to be authentic and how we need to embrace who we are.  She says: Choosing authenticity means: Cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable; Exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle; and Nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough. She goes on by saying:  “Authenticity demands Wholehearted living and loving—even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the

OCD & Perfectionism

10.18.13

[View original article published in Psych Central here] Patty was feeling frustrated and depressed. No matter what she tried, she felt she was stuck. As a young child, she remembers she would come unglued if anyone walked in her room and messed up her belongings. She would arrange and rearrange things until they felt just right. When going to school, she remembered asking her mom if her hair looked perfect. Her mom would say, “You look beautiful!” Patty didn’t believe her. She would ask her mom to fix it better, or she would try to do it herself until it felt right. She wanted to be the best at everything she tried, but when things didn’t go as she expected, sadness and depression ensued. Her all-or-nothing thinking was getting in the way

Mindset Family Therapy

If you have a mental illness, don’t be embarrassed!

10.11.13

October 10th was designated as Mental Health Day.  Every day is a mental health day for me when I see my clients try to make their life better despite their suffering. If you suffer with a mental health illness, don’t hesitate to share your struggles.  You may be surprised that your friend, boss, best friend’s daughter or spouse may also be experiencing emotional and mental pain.  Successful men and women with a mental illness can be an example to society and can contribute to the idea that a mental disorder does not define the person. Society needs to understand that a person can be “normal” and still have mental health challenges. I love Kevin Breel’s Ted talk.  He is right on with his message. Let’s stop intolerance and

How to Make Stress Your Friend

9.23.13

I recently discovered a talk given by Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist.  Her topic was stress.  I felt validated as I have been telling my clients who experience stress to make it their friend.  I usually teach them skills to change their attitude towards stress or anxiety.  It is their attitude that will make the difference. McGonigal reports that for the past 10 years she has been teaching that stress makes people sick.  However, she changed her approach towards stress after reading a study.  She discovered that indeed, stress is harmful, but only when people believe it’s harmful.  Below are the most relevant points in her talk. 1.  If we believe that the physiological sensations and feelings we experience when we are stressed are h

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