Children and Teens

Steps to Successful Co-Parenting

Being a parent is a huge responsibility and often times one that is shared with a co-parent. A co-parent is the person (or people) who helps to raise your child in one way or another. This could be your spouse, an ex, your ex’s spouse, or even a friend or family member.  

In my experience as a clinician for children and adolescents, having adults that are able to co-parent in a respectful, collaborative, and accepting way is one of the most important factors in my clients’ ability to access his or her treatment.
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Family

6 Tips to a Joyous and Peaceful Interfaith Holiday Season

The holiday season is one of the most joyful times of the year; unfortunately, it can also be one of the most stressful times, and in an interfaith relationship, many conflicts may arise.

Consider that approximately 40% of Americans wed outside of their faith, and less than half of those couples discuss which faith they plan to follow. Because of the confusion and high stress levels, two weeks before Christmas and the month of January are the highest break up period for couples.
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Family

Family Matters Even More During the Holiday Season

“I love my family -- but from a distance,” I chuckle.

For many of us, the holidays can be emotionally harrowing. We confront our past -- strained relationships with siblings, an uneasy coexistence with our parents. As festive lights glimmer, we stew over petty grievances and simmering resentments.

Flying into Minneapolis for the Thanksgiving holiday, I was anxious about seeing my immediate family. Since my mother’s passing, my brothers and I have slowly drifted apart. Four years following her passing, there is a coolness -- even chilliness -- rivaling a Minneapolis winter. Greeting my siblings for the first time in a year, I questioned how, and whether, I could contain the bubbling emotions.
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Family

Eat, Pray, Relate!

Personally, I grew up with no encouragement to pray. I used to have a vague sense that prayer was for simple, naïve folks - that it was the “opiate for the masses.” So I do understand if you don’t relate to the concept.

But perhaps you do.

Because according to a Pew Research Center survey, 55% of Americans say they pray every day. Another 21% say they pray weekly or monthly. Even many who are not religiously affiliated say they pray daily.
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Caregivers

How to Stop Apologizing for Everything You Do

Do either of these situations sound familiar?

You start an email to your boss with, “I’m sorry to bother you, but…”


A colleague plops his papers down on the conference table, knocking your coffee over. “Sorry! Let me get this stuff out of your way,” you say as you begin cleaning up.

Maybe you’ve fallen into this over-apologizing trap or have found yourself saying “I’m sorry” for things that don’t merit an apology in the first place.
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Ethics & Morality

Expressing Gratitude Throughout the Year

Now that Thanksgiving is over, and everyone has expressed lots of gratitude to their family, friends, co-workers, over Facebook, and through other social media outlets, does this mean we are done with expressing gratitude? It shouldn’t mean that, but often it does.

Gratitude is a practice that should be expressed on a daily basis. Studies have shown that expressing gratitude can increase your level of happiness. Our brain often has a negativity bias, meaning...
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Anger

The Role of Make Believe Play in Adult Life

“You cannot change the past, but you can change how you feel about the past.”

We often hear how important it is for children to use their imaginations. But did you know adults can strategically use imagination and make believe play to manage their emotions and feel better? In fact the use of fantasy is one way trauma therapists heal psychological wounds.

Amazing scientific fact: The brain cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality.
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Family

Caring for Trauma Survivors and Caring for Yourself in the Process: Everyday Tips for Non-Professionals

Elise just told me about her past. I knew she had been through a lot, but not all that. She said her mom hit her and left bruises when she was a kid, her neighbor touched her where she didn't want to be touched, and I guess her brother was alcoholic. There was a lot of other stuff, too. It has gotten better in the last couple years so that is good. I have known their whole family for a long time and never knew any of that.

What do I do now? I want to help somehow, but is there anything to do? I don't know if I should tell someone. I feel sad.

We hope abuse and trauma never happen to ourselves or someone we love. When your sister, long-time friend, or neighbor tells you something you never expected, it can be confusing, upsetting, and scary.
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