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Upcoming adoption stuff

TONIGHT is the Ohio Birthparents Group’s All Adoption Open Meeting. This meeting is for anyone connected to adoption — birth family members, adoptive family members and adoptees. We love having extended family — brothers, sisters, grandparents, etc.... read more

On not joining the club

There’s a common theme for lots of people who come to counseling and that theme is one I like to call The Groucho Marx Syndrome. This is named after Marx’s (perhaps apocryphal) response to a club that invited him to join their ranks: I don’t want to belong... read more

Support Women (and have fun doing it)

The truth is, that while PPD and related illnesses are real and common, much of the work we do is addressing realistic expectations: it’s not all bliss; childbirth will likely not be a magical, bonding experience; being a mom is often hard, boring, frustrating – with moments of amazement, wonder, and the biggest love imaginable – but is mixed in with day to day stresses and regular life challenges.

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Good people are sometimes bad

Young children, bless their little hearts, think their parents are perfect. It takes them awhile to realize what messes we really are but at the beginning, they think we’re All Good and so when they do things that are Not So Good they sometimes think it means... read more

Sensory Perception Sensitivity

This is so amazingly interesting: About 20 percent of people are born with a personality trait called sensory perception sensitivity (SPS) that can manifest itself as the tendency to be inhibited, or even neuroticism. The trait can be seen in some children who are... read more

Needing context

There’s a lot I don’t know and knowing what I don’t know is a big piece of being a good counselor. One of the most important things I do know is that I can’t make sense of anything without context.

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Letting kids be

It’s hard not to be a help but well intentioned helping can often be a hindrance. If you are like me and often impatient with your child’s play, try sitting on your hands and watching next time.

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Upcoming Parenting Class

I’ve retooled my parenting classes and given them a brand new title: Parenting for Attunement. The class has the same great focus on helping every parent become the best parent they can be in the context of their own unique values and their own unique families... read more

Dual Relationships in Therapy

There’s this thing in counseling relationships where you can’t have two roles with a client. For example, I can’t be your therapist and your friend. Or I can’t have you as a client and use your house sitting services. Or I can’t be your... read more

All Life Center

After visiting their gorgeous grounds I recently joined the All Life Center with the intention of broadening my ability to refer clients to other appropriate clinicians and to learn from professionals with expertise in different modalities. The All Life Center has a... read more

When your reality is wrong

Awhile back I was talking to someone who was telling me about her exercise-induced asthma. She described the feeling of her chest tightening up and her breath cutting off when she ran without her inhaler and as I was listening I was thinking, “Hmmm, isn’t... read more

Empathetic parenthood

When I was teaching parenting classes in Portland nearly two decades ago I had one parent in the class who was there because she’d been mandated by child protective services. I don’t know the whole story but I knew that she didn’t want to be there.... read more

All Access

You know how Jane Brown famously said that internationally adoptive parents are a fifth best choice? (And I’ll assume that domestic transcultural adoptive parents are a fourth best choice.) The first, she believes, is for children to remain with their birthparents;... read more

Will my child’s counselor judge my parenting?

I know that for lots of people it’s scary to bring your child to a counselor. You’re already worried about your son or daughter and then you have to bring them to a stranger in the hopes they can help. It’s never fun coming to experts and saying,... read more

Instagram and Credit Cards

I went and got myself a smart phone so I can take credit cards in the office (thank you Square!) so I decided to try out this new-fangled Instagram the kids are doing. You can follow me here. The above is a picture of the sand tray after a play (versus a therapy... read more

Acceptance isn’t always happy

Do you ever get stuck explaining something to your child? Why he needs to put his dirty socks in the laundry. Why you can’t buy the cookies she wanted for her lunch this week. “I’m not making you put your socks away because I like bossing you around;... read more

Feelings are not behaviors

Sometimes people get afraid of feelings so we deny them or try to ignore them or explicitly tell our kids to shut those feelings away. But how children feel and how they behave are too different things. There’s being angry and then there’s yelling or... read more