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Teen Daughters Need Moms Instead of Friends

April 8th, 2014
“I’ve tried so hard to be her friend. Why is she doing this to me?” Ginger, the mom I’m talking to, is upset and mystified. Fourteen-year-old Jessy has been acting up. She talks back to her mom. She doesn’t do all ...

Retelling the Stories of Our Lives: Everyday Narrative Therapy to Draw Inspiration

BOOK REVIEW.
This book began as a project between author David Denborough and the creator of narrative therapy, the late Michael White. Denborough worked alongside White for 15 years, then carried the book to fruition following White’s death in 2008. He has written an excellent work that provides guidance in how to both tell and change your ...

Transforming Struggles with Kids into Parenting that Works

Transforming Struggles with Kids into Parenting that Works Kyle, a happy, active, strong-minded 5-year-old, was busy playing after dinner when he was supposed to be clearing the table. His dad called him repeatedly, trying to get his attention to come help. Kyle, seeming oblivious, did not ...

Why and How to Teach Grandma to Access the Internet

Why and How to Teach Grandma to Access the InternetThe Internet offers promising new ways to end isolation and loneliness among the senior citizens we love. This is no small thing. Relationships, after all, are at the core of mental and even physical health. The 2004 Australian ...

Treating Schizophrenia Successfully

Treating Schizophrenia Successfully Schizophrenia is a complex and often chronic illness that requires long-term treatment. Medication is the bedrock of managing schizophrenia, said Peter Buckley, MD, a psychiatrist and expert in schizophrenia, and dean of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. But a comprehensive ...

How to Manage a Critical Mom

How to Manage a Critical MomCasey’s mother is coming to visit next weekend. She doesn’t feel she can say no. After all, her mom and dad often have been very helpful. They paid for the two kids’ camps last summer. They are generous at birthdays. But ...

Parental Guilt Over Kids’ Perceived Failures, Part 2

Parental Anxiety Over Kids' Perceived Failures, Part 2Children’s struggles or failures -- real, perceived or anticipated -- can activate strong reactions of disappointment, shame and guilt in parents. Typically, this is most relevant in families with high-achieving parents whose children are inherently less driven and have ...

The Department of Lost & Found

BOOK REVIEW.
Allison Winn Scotch’s The Department Of Lost And Found is a captivating read that depicts a young woman battling breast cancer. However, Scotch’s words are inspirational. She relays the message that once we take life into our own hands and hone in on our most authentic selves, we can grasp what’s important and ...

Boys Need Help with Self-Esteem, Too

Boys Need Help with Self-Esteem, TooI’ve been writing an advice column for years. Lately, I’ve been receiving more and more letters from boys who feel bad about themselves, who are depressed that the only friends they have are online, and who feel directionless. Some aren’t doing ...

Parental Anxiety Over Kids’ Perceived Failures, Part 1

v Sometimes when kids don’t succeed fully, it reverberates with parents’ own dread of failure, leading to personalized reactions, or overreactions, and a cascade of negative cycles between parents and children. Certain families with children who are not high achievers, or who have impediments, are more vulnerable. ...

OCD, Lying, Hyper-responsibility & Honesty

OCD, Lying, Hyper-responsibility & HonestyMy son Dan was an honest child; an unusually upfront, truthful boy, who as far as I know, never lied to me. Teachers and relatives would comment on his honesty as well, saying things such as, “If we want to know what ...

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderMichelle was terrorized for much of her childhood. Her father was an inconsistent presence and her mother expressed outright disdain for her. Often when Michelle went to her mother for comfort, she was accused of exaggerating or being a "crybaby" and sent away. Starting at age 4 until she was out of the house at 16, Michelle was molested by several family members -- including her brother, her uncle and a couple of cousins. As she grew up, different men in the neighborhood also sexually assaulted her. At 19, she began dating Carl, who initially was very affectionate. However, he then began to be suspicious of different friends of hers and concerned about how she spent her time. This escalated into more and more controlling behavior and occasionally he was physically violent.

9 Tips for Destressing Getting the Kids to Bed

9 Tips for Destressing Getting the Kids to BedOne of the sweet pleasures of parenting can be the nightly ritual of tucking a child into bed. It can also be a waking nightmare. It’s up to us. And, yes, it’s important. Children who feel loved, cared ...

Understanding & Coping with the Christmas Blues

Understanding & Coping with the Christmas BluesThe stress of the holidays triggers sadness and depression for many people. This time of year is especially difficult because there’s an expectation of feeling merry and generous. People compare their emotions to what they assume others are experiencing or ...

Fathers Reconnecting with Abandoned Kids

Fathers Reconnecting with Abandoned KidsJesse came to therapy with an important project in mind. Mine was not the first office he’d been to. He’d already been in a rehab program where he kicked a 10-year drug habit that had ruined his health, his marriage and his ...

Making Happy Changes in Your Holidays

Making Happy Changes in Your HolidaysThe holiday season has started and I’m often reminded of an elderly friend of mine. Whenever someone said “Have a happy holiday!” she always replied, “No, make it one.” She was right, of course. Happy holidays don’t just happen. Holidays are ...

Helping Your Anxious Child Become More Assertive

Helping Your Anxious Child Become More AssertiveThe other day, I heard a grandfather talk about a phone call he received from his daughter. She told him how his elementary school-aged grandson had been teased and bullied at his local church when he wore glasses for the ...

Want to Derail Your Relationship? Listen to this Common Advice

Common Advice That Can Derail Your Relationship When you're tying the knot, friends and family may share a few nuggets of advice for living happily ever after. They also may be quick to share their input when you're going through a difficult time in your marriage. ...

OCD & the Holiday Season

OCD & the Holiday SeasonWith the holiday season fast approaching, many of us are firmly entrenched in the excitement, anticipation, and busyness of this time of year. Maybe we will visit friends or relatives. Perhaps a small army of loved ones will descend upon us in ...

Meet the Parents: Navigating the Holiday Dinner without the Stress

Meet the Parents: Navigating Holiday Dinner without the StressWith holidays approaching, my son-in-law reminisced about the first time he came for a holiday meal. He and my daughter had only been dating for awhile. They each weren’t sure if they had met “The One” but were ...

Book Review: Beautiful Day

BOOK REVIEW.
I call it the wedding book, but really it’s a book about marriage. I hit every point on the possible spectrum of marriages, from the best marriages to the worst marriages, from the worst divorce to the best divorce. -- Elin Hilderbrand Anyone who knows me knows I pine for Elin Hilderbrand’s novels, which are set ...

Family-to-Family Visits When the Kids Don’t Get Along

Family-to-Family Visits When the Kids Don't Get AlongWhen children are very young, the best toy you can give them is another child – almost any other child. Little kids are trusting. They assume that the other child will be their friend. Their response to being introduced ...

OCD & The Perception of Being Selfish

OCD & The Perception of Being SelfishSoon after my son Dan was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), he and I were out with some friends and decided to get a bite to eat. We were all casually chatting about various restaurant choices when Dan suddenly insisted ...
 
 
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