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The Labyrinth of Life

When I was twenty I was dating someone who was sober and so I was attending Al-Anon meetings both to support him and because my (also sober) best friend was encouraging me to go. At that time in my life I had this idea that getting sober was an event with a before... read more

Teens, the Internet and Toxic Support

The internet has brought us a lot of nice things like kitten videos, the ability to watch only the funny parts of Saturday Night Live and really great gifs. But it’s also brought us a lot of ugliness, sometimes in the form of support groups that can actually... read more

My big move

As some of you know, I recently moved my office just across the street. I moved for several reasons but the biggest was that maintenance on my old building was becoming an issue for my clients and for me and I wanted to give the people who come to see me a better... read more

What is strengths based counseling?

In strengths based counseling when someone comes to a therapist’s office with a big huge problem, feeling like the sum of their big huge problem, we’re going to actively look for what they’re doing right.

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Kids and Gender Identity Exploration

Both in my office and in my real life (the one where I’m not wearing my therapist hat) I am meeting more and more kids and teens who identify as transgender, gender variant or gender queer. And I am also talking to more and more worried parents who are trying to... read more

All behavior makes sense

Here are two things that everyone everywhere needs to know about everyone else: People do the best they can with what they know; and all behavior makes sense when viewed in context.

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Parenting Tips: Loving Our Messy Kids

One of my children really liked to make messes when she was small. You take a kid who is curious, who is sensory seeking and who is creative and you get a lot of messes. (Many of you are nodding and sighing and wringing out a sponge ready to clean up your own child’s brand new mess.) This child of mine used to find new ways to use things in weird ways that cause messes. This is how I dealt with it.

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Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. 25% of all pregnancies end in a loss, which means that many, many of us have been through this difficult and painful experience. Although pregnancy loss is so common, living through it can leave us feeling... read more

Anxiety is a Dirty Rotten Liar

Anxiety loves to tell lies. Anxiety likes to stand behind you and reinterpret the world in a negative way. Someone tells you that they like your shirt? Anxiety whispers in your ear, “They just feel bad for you leaving the house looking like that.” Anxiety... read more

The adopted children, who were raised in French-speaking Quebec families, had no conscious memory of hearing Chinese.

But their brains responded to Chinese language sounds the same way as those of bilingual children raised in Chinese-speaking families.

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Adoptees and the lost language of their birth

from Adoptees ‘lost language’ from infancy triggers brain... read more

Getting into the praise mindset

When our kids are driving us crazy it’s easy to get locked into negativity. They’re being terrible, we’re trying to get them to quit being terrible, which often causes us to also act terribly and then we’re all being terrible with and at each... read more

What’s Under the Anger?

This is a nifty exercise to do with kids and I’ve had occasion to think about it lately so I thought I’d also write it up here. Many of the kids I see are struggling with angry behaviors and getting to what lies under the anger is part of our process... read more

Writer Dan Chaon on being adopted

Last year I read Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon and I made note of this on my Kindle then but am just now going through my stored notes. Here’s what he said about his own experience as an adopted person:  For the most part I am pro-adoption, but for better or... read more

Kids who self-injure tend to be particularly emotionally sensitive and vulnerable and suffer from what Dr. Hollander calls “emotional illiteracy.” They can’t name their feelings, let alone formulate a plan for managing and coping with them. Strategies that work with most kids, such as reassurance, minimizing the severity of difficulties, or offering to help them solve problems, can backfire with kids who self-injure.

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Advice on supporting teenagers who cut

From Why Teenagers Cut, and How to Help... read more

And now for something completely different

When my son was about two and half I no longer knew how to parent him. He went from toddling baby I knew and adored to a stomping, glaring preschooler I didn’t understand. My tried and true techniques quit working and more than once I carried his screaming self... read more

Somatic Symptoms of Child Anxiety

Last night for the Parenting Kids with Anxiety group we discussed the way anxiety can affect our kids’ bodies. Somatic symptoms are often mistaken for something else, which can get in the way of getting appropriate help. The most common somatic symptoms of child... read more

People who mock fat people are terrified of losing control of their temporarily acceptable lives. They fear dependency and loss of control, of being an object of pity instead of envy. To these human barracuda, being fat is the most visible symbol that you have “failed” at something — health, femininity, upward mobility. And they attack.

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Advice to shut down fat-shamers

From the Boston... read more

On feeling like too much

I’ve been thinking about how easy it is to get the message that whatever we are, we are not enough. Or we are way too much. I think about this as a parent because I sometimes become overwhelmed when my kids are especially needy (and aren’t they always... read more

Ask for what you want and need

So many of us have internalized the idea that if we want something or if we need something it is, by definition, unnecessary. If we want it, it must be superfluous, right? Or maybe we are trying to win points (with who? our partner? our kids? the universe?) for... read more
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