About
Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.

Marie Hartwell-WalkerDr. Marie Hartwell-Walker is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. She writes regularly for Psych Central as well as Psych Central's Ask the Therapist feature. She is author of the insightful parenting e-book, Tending the Family Heart.

Check out her new book, Unlocking the Secrets of Self-Esteem in early 2015!

Articles by Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.:

  • Summer, Teens and Alcohol
    23 Jun 2016

    A teen I talked to recently was surprisingly candid about her summertime fun at the beach. “My friends and I have a special spot far from where families go and […]

  • What Only a Father Can Do
    15 Jun 2016

    If you believe the sitcoms of the 1950s and ’60s, all children at that time were raised in a family with a mom and a dad. The reality didn’t match […]

  • Parenting for Positive Identity
    05 Jun 2016

    Identity. It’s a complicated concept that defies easy definition. Yet it is at the heart of the lifelong question, “Who am I?” How we answer includes how much we value […]

  • Mental Health Month: Normal Teen Angst or Adolescent Mental Illness?
    20 May 2016

    May is Mental Health Month. Mental illness is not an adults-only issue. Almost half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24. Yet the stigma […]

  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder vs. Normal Narcissism
    17 May 2016

    In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a proud young man who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. He was so enchanted by his image that […]

  • The Poison P’s: How Bitterly Divorced Parents Put Kids in the Middle of Their Fight
    07 May 2016

    When a divorce has been amicable or parents can agree to get along for the sake of the children, the awkwardness that is inevitable when kids live in two homes […]

  • Mother’s Day for Other Mothers
    04 May 2016

    Ah, Mother’s Day. If you believe the card companies, it’s a day to honor mothers with saccharine sweetness. TV ads and online popups for florists and card companies, jewelry stores […]

  • Stop Toxic Fighting with Your Ex
    07 Apr 2016

    Tony and May were at each other within five minutes of sitting down in my office. Although divorced for four years, they are still seething. “He never shows up on […]

  • Frustrated with Your Therapy? Talk about It!
    30 Mar 2016

    As an advice columnist, I frequently receive letters from people who say they are writing to me because they’ve quit their therapy. They give many reasons: They don’t like the […]

  • When Relationship Conflict Turns into Fighting
    07 Mar 2016

    Conflict is inevitable as soon as we expand our world from me to we. Once two people decide to commit to each other; once they start to share responsibilities and […]

  • Making Love Last: Lessons from the Long Married
    14 Feb 2016

    Although the marriage rate has been trending down since the 1970s, the majority of Americans are married at some point in their lives. While only about 51% of the population […]

  • Alone Positively, not Positively Alone
    10 Feb 2016

    I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person. ~ Olivia Wilde Someday I’d really […]

  • February School Vacation Planning
    01 Feb 2016

    Here it comes: Another week-long vacation for the kids; another week of stress for working parents. Yes, I know. There are good reasons for school vacations. Those weeks off tend […]

  • Resisting SADness
    19 Jan 2016

    A friend of mine claims that February is actually the longest month of the year, having, she says, at least 126 days in it. It’s a joke to take the […]

  • The Importance of Momentary Mentors
    14 Jan 2016

    There have always been mentors — people who take a younger or less experienced person under their wing and provide encouragement, information and support. I’ve had several such mentors in […]

  • When and How to Find a Couples Therapist
    31 Dec 2015

    If you and your partner are having the same old arguments and can’t seem to get past them, couples therapy is in order. If you are feeling distant from your […]

  • New Year’s Resolutions: Good Intentions or Real Commitment?
    28 Dec 2015

    Now is the accepted time to make your annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. ~ Mark Twain The quotation is attributed to […]

  • Baby Baths Mean More than Getting Clean
    21 Dec 2015

    Sometimes a company’s marketing department gets it right. A commercial for a baby soap that is currently running on network TV does a better job demonstrating why parents should engage […]

  • Gift-giving: ‘Tis the Season to Be Sensitive
    23 Nov 2015

    The first Christmas after I was married, my new mother-in-law gave me a steam iron for Christmas. “Now you can do a better job ironing my son’s shirts,” she said. […]

  • The ‘Affair’ in Your Marriage Might Be Your Therapist
    17 Nov 2015

    Corinne is 26 years old and has been married to Ted for 5 years. She worries that her marriage isn’t what it should be. She thinks her husband is working […]

  • Recovering from an Affair
    30 Oct 2015

    Every couple has a stated or assumed contract that determines what is and is not okay when attracted to other people. Cheating is when one member of a couple unilaterally […]

  • Preparing Children for Halloween
    26 Oct 2015

    From ghoulies and ghosties And long-leggedy beasties And things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us! ~ Traditional prayer Here comes Halloween. If you’re a parent, chances […]

  • Creating Trust in a Relationship
    25 Oct 2015

    Trust is the glue of life. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships. ~ Stephen Covey “I never dreamed he would cheat on me.” A week ago, my new […]

  • Four Fundamentals for Raising Competent Kids
    06 Oct 2015

    My four adult kids joke that the reason we had a large family was to ensure that we had free labor around the house. They goodnaturedly complain that by the […]

  • How Many Friends Do You Need?
    29 Sep 2015

    Among the most poignant letters I receive as an advice columnist are those from lonely people. Here are some typical samples. The letters are real but I’ve changed names to […]

  • When a Loved One Becomes Disabled
    23 Sep 2015

    When my friend’s 25-year-old son suffered a head injury in a major car accident, death seemed like a certain outcome. Instead, he recovered. But medications caused him to gain 50 […]

  • Guidelines for Managing Kids’ Screen Time
    07 Sep 2015

    “I don’t know what to do about my kids’ use of screens.” The mother who was talking to me was clearly worried. When asked to be more specific, she replied, […]

  • Back to School, Back to Routines
    02 Sep 2015

    For many families, summertime means a relaxation of routines. Working parents may maintain the same rhythm as the rest of the year, but for many families, the holiday from school […]

  • 6 Essentials to Pack for Freshman Year
    17 Aug 2015

    When I went off to college in the mid 60s, I had one suitcase of clothes and toiletries, a box of bedding, a few pens and a couple of notebooks […]

  • 6 Tips for Working Hard without Working Crazy
    05 Jul 2015

    I worry about several young adults I know. They seem chronically overworked, stressed out and exhausted by the demands of their jobs. They work long hours, skip lunch, and take […]

  • Fathers Are Not Inferior Parents
    18 Jun 2015

    With more and more children in the U.S. being raised by single moms, it’s crucial that we validate those mothers in their ability to do it well. They can and […]

  • Myths and Facts about Autistic Children
    15 Jun 2015

    With increased awareness about autism, you’d think that there would be more understanding about it. Not so. When speaking with parents and educators, I’ve found that old myths die hard. […]

  • Autistic and Gifted: Supporting the Twice-Exceptional Child
    28 May 2015

    One of my favorite stories about one of my young clients is this: His fourth-grade teacher assigned the students to do a social studies report on the Transcontinental Railroad as […]

  • Reasons to Send Your Child to Overnight Camp
    05 May 2015

    The brochures are arriving in the mail. Flyers fall out of newspapers. Schools send home information. Ads pop up on the Web. The marketing for sleepaway camp is everywhere. Your […]

  • Working Parents’ Guide to Summer Child Care
    25 Apr 2015

    It’s been a harsh winter. Spring is taking its time getting here. It may seem like summer is forever away but it really is time to start planning. Summer vacation […]

  • What Every Parent Should Know about Autism
    21 Apr 2015

    April is Autism Awareness Month. Why should we all be aware? Because autism is now thought to affect 1 in 68 children in the United States. More than 3.5 million […]

  • Caring for Yourself When Caregiving
    19 Apr 2015

    The TV ads for a new dementia drug make it look so easy. “He’s been my everything, so now I’m his.” Everyone is smiling. The caregiver bestows a loving kiss. […]

  • The Benefits of Volunteering as a Family
    08 Apr 2015

    On Saturday mornings, Ramona and her husband Jay take their kids to the local animal shelter for a couple of hours. No, they aren’t crazy cat people who need to […]

  • What? You Don’t Meditate Yet?
    29 Mar 2015

    It seems you can’t pick up a popular magazine, go on Facebook, or look in a newspaper these days without seeing something about mindfulness and meditation. Courses in mindfulness are […]

  • Stressed to the Max
    26 Mar 2015

    Conversations with friends and colleagues these days often are peppered with concerns about stress. People are regularly talking about being stressed, recovering from stress or avoiding stress. It’s a word […]

  • Cooking Up a Family of Love
    01 Mar 2015

    I was recently taken to task by a reader who took exception to my suggestion: that a sullen teen be paid to watch younger children for a while on Thanksgiving. […]

  • Single Parenting Isn’t Second-Rate
    19 Feb 2015

    Miranda broke down in tears while talking to me. She’d suffered months of abuse by her husband following the birth of her son. He was going out all the time, […]

  • Counter the Psychology of Pessimism
    13 Feb 2015

    We all do it. We get a stellar performance review at work but there is one area our boss says “needs a little improvement.” What do we focus on? The […]

  • The Benefits of Play
    30 Jan 2015

    One of the most important gifts we can give our kids is time to play, both as a family and on their own. Finding time to play with kids can […]

  • Confrontations vs. Conversations
    23 Jan 2015

    A reader asks: “I think my wife is cheating on me. She comes home from her office hours later than usual. She checks her phone constantly. Should I confront her?” […]

  • Writing for Health
    14 Jan 2015

    I hate to admit it but it’s true: I’m terrible at keeping a journal. I probably have half a dozen notebooks lying around, each one with no more than 20 […]

  • Just One New Year’s Resolution
    02 Jan 2015

    It’s January again — the time when many of us feel expected to make promises to ourselves that we probably won’t keep. In fact, almost 60 percent of us don’t […]

  • When It’s the Other Parent’s Turn to Have the Kids on Christmas
    21 Dec 2014

    A dear friend of mine just couldn’t stand it when it was her ex’s turn to have their girls on Christmas. She’d spend the whole day on the couch, wrapped […]

  • How to Stay Mentally Healthy During the Holidays
    18 Dec 2014

    Do the holidays stress you out? You’re not alone. It’s a hectic time of year for many people, maybe even most people. Nothing about our usual daily life goes away. […]

  • 5 Habits of Happy Families
    14 Dec 2014

    When asked what they want most of their children, most parents reply that they just want them to be happy. It seems like a modest enough wish. But we all […]