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Some Quick Parenting Lessons for the Duchess of Cambridge

8.29.13

[View original article published in Psych Central here] I imagine that even Kate Middleton (the Duchess of Cambridge in England’s monarchy) will experience her son, Prince George, throwing temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his way or is asked to do something he doesn’t want to do. The prince, despite his royal heritage and training in comportment, might even be bossy with other children his age. Do you sometimes feel like you’ve tried everything, and aren’t sure if your child will ever attain self-control? Being a parent is challenging; when you have a strong-willed child it can be a source of serious stress and conflict. Here are some suggestions to help: Awareness. It’s been said that before you can change a behavior, you must first be

7 Ways to Help Your Anxious Child

8.27.13

When children are afraid about the unknown (new school, new grade, new house, etc), how do you handle it?  Do you reassure them and say, “it’ll be okay, don’t worry about it” or do you try to help them process their thoughts and feelings?  Our children need to know we understand how they feel.  Don’t try to fix the worry or dismiss it; instead, validate their feelings and empathize with them.  Here are additional ideas to help you with this process. 1.  Read: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to get your child thinking about caterpillars and butterflies. 2.   Invite your child to draw a caterpillar, a cocoon, and a butterfly. 3.  The other day I was helping one of my young clients with her fears.  I decided to use my caterpillar/butterfly puppe

Got anxiety? Don’t relax!

8.6.13

As Sophia came into my office she said, “I don’t know what’s going on, but in the past few days I’ve been feeling miserable. My arms and legs are tense, my fingers and toes are numb, my stomach is in constant pain, and I feel like two walls are crushing my head on each side. My face feels like a dripping faucet of sweat and my heart is ready to jump out of my body anytime.” As I spoke with her, it was evident she was experiencing a severe anxiety episode that was lasting too long. She said she didn’t understand why it was happening; she denied having negative thoughts and was having a difficult time speaking. I had previously taught her some basic Mindfulness exercises and suggested we do them right then. We began with deep breathing as she

Improve Your Mood in a Hurry

6.6.13

[View original article, published in PsychCentral, here] One week not long ago, I found myself busier than normal and unable to do my daily workouts. I didn’t worry because I knew I would get back to my routine the following week. But something “strange” happened to me. The last time I ran on my treadmill had been Friday; five days later, I was not my typical self. You could ask my husband! Nothing that he said or did was “good enough.” Something had come over me. One day a stranger at the grocery store said, “You look exhausted.” I wasn’t sure how to respond. I seemed to unload all my frustrations on my loved ones. Before getting home I would do some positive self-talk: “Count your blessings. You have a wonderful husband. There is no reaso

Mindset Family Therapy

The Power of Vulnerability and OCD….

5.27.13

Brené Brown’s presentation resonates with me in many ways. As I hear her words while wearing my OCD therapist hat, I believe individuals struggling with OCD could benefit greatly from her perspective. These are some of the points I’d like to emphasize: 1. She talks about the shame people experience because they believe they may not “be good enough.”  They fear that if others see their true selves, they won’t be worthy of connection. –In my practice, I help my clients who may be experiencing this shame and fear.  They have often formed negative core beliefs. I help them identify them and work through them so their treatment can be successful. 2. In her research she found that “whole-hearted people” have a strong sense of courage to be imperf

What’s On Your Plate? 10 Stress Management Strategies

3.19.13

[Original article published here.] Do you wish there were more hours in the day to get through your to-do list? Have you had a friend ask, “Are you okay?” If so, were you surprised because you hadn’t even noticed what you were feeling lately? Career, home, and other activities can get overwhelming. When it’s time to take something off your plate, how do you handle it? Recognize your body signals. The time comes when our stressed-out brain can’t take it anymore and our body begins to suffer the consequences. Our neck and back begin to ache. Our sleeping becomes disturbed and our appetite changes. We often get sick and begin to experience pains we didn’t know were possible.Are you able to recognize your body signals when your plate is gettin

How Do I Know If I Need Therapy?

3.16.13

If a physical pain is not debilitating, we tolerate it for a few days because we believe it will go away. There are times we talk to friends and family members to find solutions to our ailments.  Sometimes we are lucky and the pain goes away on its own.  There are times, however, when the pain becomes unbearable and we end up in the ER having surgery 30 minutes within arrival.  Then after a few weeks of recovery, we go back to being ourselves. What do you do with emotional and mental challenges?  Do you treat them the same way? It’s wise to be informed and learn what may be happening with your emotions and thoughts.  In this day and age, it’s easy to enter keywords online and come up with enough answers.  This can be helpful but it can also

When you love too much…

2.15.13

The Science Daily recently reported on a study conducted at the University of Mary Washington.  The research showed that children whose parents were overly involved in their lives when they were young were more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and less satisfaction as they got older.  When children are micromanaged, they are unable to handle stressors because they feel less confident in their abilities. Make adjustments The study showed that many parents are unable to adapt their parenting styles.  They continue to hover over their children as if they were still young.  They are overly involved and this inhibits their children’s emotional and social development. College students in the study disclosed that even though their paren

What Can You Do to Increase Your Sense of Well-Being?

1.20.13

We, human beings, are always looking for experiences, activities, and ideas to increase our sense of well-being.  The Science Daily recently reported on several studies indicating that when we sleep more, give away money, and spend money in experiences –not material things– our sense of well-being will increase. Here is a summary: Sleep: People who experience gratitude are happier and healthier.  However, if people wish to feel more gratitude towards others, more sleep is needed.  Gratitude is a prosocial behavior that enhances our psychosocial well-being.  Unfortunately, many of us “pride” ourselves in getting by with little sleep.  There is plenty of research that confirms getting enough sleep strengthens our physical and our psychologica

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