Family Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

Part 1: Seduced by Risk and Danger: The Teenage Mindset

March 4th, 2015
The teenage years pose the highest risk of any age group for behaviors leading to fatal or permanent injuries. Accidents are the leading cause of death of youth between ages 12-24. The top dangers, according to CDC surveys are: regular alcohol ...

Well-Meaning Advice that Doesn’t Work

Well-Meaning Advice that Doesn’t WorkAs friends or family, we want to help our loved ones when they’re struggling with a mental illness or painful feelings. Our natural tendency might be to offer advice or a reassuring comment. It’s hard to see a loved one in distress, ...

OCD and Fear of Treatment

OCD and Fear of TreatmentI’ve previously written about recovery avoidance in those with obsessive-compulsive disorder. It can be heartbreaking for family and friends to know there is treatment for the illness, yet their loved ones refuse to commit themselves to it. I’ve talked about how important ...

Cooking Up a Family of Love

dinner family parents bigstI 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. That would give the adults some time to talk without interruption. In the ...

No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos & Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind

BOOK REVIEW.
Parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers, and anyone else in frequent contact with kids can all stand to learn more about how to stay calm. No-Drama Discipline offers example-backed tools to help us discipline children in a supportive and lasting way. This is not the first book that Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson have written together. Their earlier book was the ...

A Tribute to OCD Heroes

OCD vs. Eating DisordersI recently attended a family funeral at the Pacific View Memorial Park in Newport Beach, Calif., about 15 miles southeast of Disneyland and fewer than 10 miles from John Wayne Airport. The immaculately groomed cemetery, offering unimpeded views of the Pacific Ocean, is the ...

Single Parenting Isn’t Second-Rate

Single Parenting isn’t Second-RateMiranda 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, didn’t show any interest in their son and spent what time he ...

The Two Faces of Guilt

The Two Faces of GuiltWe all want positive changes in our lives, but often there is something blocking us. Some blocks are very personal, but there are others which are almost universal. One of these universal saboteurs I frequently come across in my therapy practice is ...

The Benefits of Play

PT Domestic Drama Prickly PéreOne 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 be a challenge if you are working, managing a household and meeting ...

Book Review: How to Deal with Adversity

BOOK REVIEW.
Although the title sounds very self-help,  a serious text in which Christopher Hamilton — philosopher, author, and senior lecturer in philosophy of religion at London’s King’s College — uses his scholarship to push the reader. His is not a simple recitation of how to act when faced with difficulties — not a “do this, then do this” type of read. Those books ...

Book Review: Unhinged

BOOK REVIEW.
Anna Berry’s Unhinged is an intense read -- a personal, in-depth account of the heartbreaking and grueling components of a life with mental illness. However, a pertinent takeaway message for readers is the optimistic road to recovery — one that doesn’t necessarily have to involve medication. Unhinged delves into Berry’s painful history with mental illness. The ...

Confrontations vs. Conversations

marriage_communication5A 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?" Another writes: "My husband is just home from Afghanistan. He has huge anger issues. In the last ...

What is Toxic Shame?

What is Toxic Shame?When shame becomes toxic, it can ruin our lives. Everyone experiences shame at one time another. It’s an emotion with physical symptoms like any other that come and go, but when it’s severe, it can be extremely painful. Strong feelings of shame stimulate the ...

Parents Who Have OCD

Parents Who Have OCDBecause my son Dan has obsessive-compulsive disorder, my articles often focus on a parent’s perspective. But what if you are the child, and your parent is the one struggling with the disorder? Of course, the issues children and their families face will differ depending ...

Why You Shouldn’t Undermine Your Partner’s Parenting

Why You Shouldn't Undermine Your Partner's ParentingWhile writing my upcoming book on divorce, I have reviewed a lot of research on the terrible effects of parental alienation (described there by Richard Warshak, author of Divorce Poison New and Updated Edition: How to Protect Your Family from ...

Just One New Year’s Resolution

Just One New Year's ResolutionIt’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 make resolutions. Of those who do, almost 80 percent break theirs within ...

Book Review: Nineteen Minutes

BOOK REVIEW.
“To the thousands of kids out there who are a little bit different, a little bit scared, a little bit unpopular: this one’s for you.” So writes Jodi Picoult in the acknowledgments section of Nineteen Minutes, a novel that thoroughly dissects a school shooting. In the book, Picoult surfaces empathy in unexpected places — empathy for the shooter and empathy ...

What is the Prescription for Raising Entitled Kids?

mother cellphone childseat bigstA 10-year-old girl stomped out of the bathroom when her mom told her she would need to clean the mess she had made after her shower. She told her mom, ”You’re the mom. It’s your job!” A 6-year-old boy went to the grocery store ...

When It’s the Other Parent’s Turn to Have the Kids on Christmas

When it’s the Other Parent’s Turn to Have the Kids on ChristmasA 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 in a blanket with the shades ...

No Longer Suffering in Silence

Defusing ShameMy name is Chiquitta. I was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. My parents came from Guyana, South America to Canada for a better life; acid attacks were occurring in their homeland. My father is 13 years older than my mother. My mother was a housewife and ...

How to Stay Mentally Healthy During the Holidays

How to Stay Mentally Healthy During the HolidaysDo 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. The holidays add a layer of activities and responsibilities, both ...

5 Habits of Happy Families

5 Habits of Happy FamiliesWhen 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 know that for some people, happiness is hard to find. One way to ...

Symptoms of OCD

Symptoms of OCDFor those who think they, or a loved one, might be suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, it is easy to do an online search and find a list of typical symptoms. In some cases, people’s obsessions and compulsions might be quite obvious and they will present ...