Anger

Fatherhood: Optional

“We have a personality clash,” my father would flippantly remark before storming off. This was his throwaway line.

I stood there dumbfounded. A sensitive teenager, the words wounded. There was a cold dismissiveness in his voice.

“What have I ever done to you?” I wondered.

The answer: Nothing. But that doesn’t stop the lingering hurt. In 1997, 2007, and, yes, 2017.
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Children and Teens

‘Help Me Figure Myself Out’: The Paved Road to the Adolescent Mind

“What do I do? I don’t know what to do with him anymore!” This is one of the many scenarios of a frantic parent knocking on the therapist’s door. Teenage years are tough, let’s not kid ourselves. We have been there, we remember.

In my practice I’ve consulted numerous parents on teens’ presenting problems such as: indifference, apathy, resistance, verbal/physical aggressiveness, destructive behavior, mood swings and a complete emotional shutdown expressed by their teenage sons and daughters.
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Children and Teens

Mindfulness and the New ABC of Managing Difficult Feelings — for Kids

I did an experiment with my children tonight and a new favorite practice was born.

Let me explain how it came about.

I have been working with a short, soothing practice with my adult clients that is easy to remember and do "in the moment" as we go through our busy days. (I would love you to try it and post your feedback here. It takes between 2 minutes -- and however long is helpful for you. The more you do it, the more it will become your automatic "go to” practice with difficult emotions.)
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Anorexia

Body-Positive Women Do These 10 Things Every Day!

We have all been there: ten minutes before a party, throwing every dress on the floor trying to find the magical one that doesn’t make our backside too large or our stomach too prominent. Yeah, so we bought a dress for this occasion just last week, but suddenly, it doesn’t fit right.

And it’s not because our bodies have changed! Rather, it’s because our mindset has changed.
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Children and Teens

Keep Mental Health in Mind When Weighing College Acceptance

With admissions decisions rolling out this month to many eager college applicants, this is a good time to step back and consider some of some of the shifting dynamics that parents and students rarely think about in advance. Going off to college is, without a doubt, a life-changing experience. But like all major life changes, it can be just as overwhelming as it is exciting. Adjusting to a completely new environment with different social norms and without the support of family and childhood friends -- on top of new academic pressures -- can have a significant impact on students’ wellbeing.
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Children and Teens

PODCAST: Teen Creates Peer Support Network for Teens, Run by Teens

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe and Vincent conclude a 3-part series about the Palo Alto suicides and some of the things that came about after and, at least partially, as a result of them. Returning this episode is Sammy Kotmel, joined by Nadia Ghaffari, founder of TeenzTalk a teen-run peer support website with users all over the world. Listen as she shares how and why this site was created and hear about its success stories.

Hands artwork by Kaan Tarhan.

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Children and Teens

What Is More Important: Will or Skill?

“Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” - Muhammad Ali
Recently, I was in conversation with the mother of a 20-something daughter who was finding it challenging to help her fly the nest and take responsibility for her own independence. The young woman has a part time job but doesn’t make enough money to enable her to move out. Rather than seeking additional employment, she spends much of her off time sequestered in her room on her phone, watching videos or talking with friends. Not much of an in-person social life.
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Children and Teens

PODCAST: Hospital After-School Program Teaches Life Skills for Youth with Mental Illness

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe and Vincent continue a 3-part series about the Palo Alto suicides and some of the things that came about after and, at least partially, as a result of them. Returning this episode is Sammy Kotmel, joined by Michael Fitzgerald, Executive Director of Behavioral Health Services at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California. Sammy is one of many school students to go through the hospital's ASPIRE program, which helps children, teens and young adults with anxiety, depression or other symptoms related to a mental health condition.

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