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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 book, Unlocking the Secrets of Self-Esteem.

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

  • Transitioning to the New School Year Starts NOW
    28 Aug 2017

    It’s the last week of August. Summer vacation and summer routines end. The school year routine begins. Even if the kids have been in daycare or camps or recreation programs, […]

  • What to Do about New School Year Anxieties
    17 Aug 2017

    Here it comes! School is reopening in a week or two. Are you and your children ready? Transitions are hard for most people but particularly for young people. It’s normal […]

  • Second Thoughts about Going to College
    12 Aug 2017

    It’s mid-August and your teen announces having second thoughts about going to college. Maybe college isn’t such a good idea. Maybe it isn’t a good idea this year. Are those second […]

  • The What and How of True Intimacy
    04 Jun 2017

    Intimacy. People often confuse it with sex. But people can be sexual without being intimate. One night stands, friends with benefits, or sex without love are examples of purely physical […]

  • Treatment for Gambling Addiction
    20 Apr 2017

    Gambling is a billion dollar industry that is growing by the year. Yes, most people can enjoy an occasional visit to a casino, participate in an office betting pool or […]

  • Getting Ready for the Teen Years
    15 Apr 2017

    Believe it or not, there are many cultures in the world where there is no adolescence as we Americans know it. Kids don’t separate from the adult world and break […]

  • The 6 Signs of Gambling Addiction
    12 Apr 2017

    This is Jim For the past 40 years, Jim and a group of his buddies have gone to the track almost every Saturday. While Sundays are reserved for family time, […]

  • When Your Child’s Music Lessons Become ‘Torture’
    23 Mar 2017

    Ted talks bitterly about being made to play the clarinet as a kid. For three years during his teens, his parents required him to spend an hour after dinner every […]

  • Yes, You Can Reduce Your Stress
    21 Mar 2017

    Have you ever wondered why you can handle stress so much better than one of your friends? Or maybe you are in awe of a friend who seems to roll […]

  • Yes, You Can Reduce Your Stress
    18 Mar 2017

    Have you ever wondered why you can handle stress so much better than one of your friends? Or maybe you are in awe of a friend who seems to roll […]

  • 5 Benefits of Wintertime Family Time
    06 Feb 2017

    Poet T.S. Elliot may have said that April is the cruelest month but I have to disagree. At least where I live in New England, February is the worst. It […]

  • Christmas is Over: Celebrate the Rest of the Year
    01 Jan 2017

    So many weeks and days of preparation and then Christmas is over. Oh, maybe you were able to stretch it out over a few days with parties and visits to […]

  • Buying Toys for Kids? Get Beyond the Gender Stereotypes
    25 Nov 2016

    It’s so discouraging. While out shopping for a  gift for a three year old, I was confronted by how little has changed over the last 50 years. Women’s roles may […]

  • Maintaining Sobriety When Home for the Holidays
    12 Nov 2016

    The family expects it of you. You’ve ruined Christmas dinner for the past three years. Despite your protests each year that “this year it will be different,” it wasn’t. You […]

  • Your Aspie Child & Sports
    02 Nov 2016

    If you are a parent of a kid with Asperger’s (an Aspie), you know how painful participation in sports can be for them — and for you. One exasperated dad […]

  • While Trump Leered, the Other Men Laughed
    16 Oct 2016

    Presidential candidate Donald Trump on the stump has sneered at and objectified women to shouts of approval from much of the crowd. On a hot microphone during a bus tour […]

  • 7 Reasons to Smile
    13 Oct 2016

    “Now, when you are in New York, walk purposefully. Keep your head down and don’t smile at anyone.” It was kindly meant advice. A friend was coaching me about how […]

  • When Your Parents Won’t Accept Your Divorce
    06 Oct 2016

    James is struggling. “My parents are being impossible!” he said. “It’s hard enough to go through separating from my wife without my folks giving me a hard time about it. […]

  • 6 Reasons to Spread the Love
    02 Oct 2016

    Cause nothing ever gonna make this world better If we don’t start believin’, That love really really really is the answer, . . . Spread the love ~ Kenny Chesney […]

  • Making Room for the Kids When Parents Live Apart
    15 Sep 2016

    About three-quarters of a million children witness their parents’ divorce each year. Three-fourths of them live primarily with their mothers, with dads granted what is unfortunately called “visitation.” For divorced […]

  • The New School Year and the Divorced Parent
    10 Sep 2016

    It’s September. For kids, it’s the month of new teachers, new subjects, even, for some, a new school. For divorced parents, it often means the start of new confusion about […]

  • 10 New School Year Resolutions
    24 Aug 2016

    Happy New School Year! I’ve been either in school, teaching school, sending kids to school or consulting with schools for over 65 years. The result? I see September 1 as […]

  • 8 Ways to Ensure Remarriage Success
    17 Aug 2016

    A Pew Research study that draws on the 2013 U.S. Census shows that 4 in 10 new marriages include one partner who has been married before. More than 40 million […]

  • 6 Reasons to Let Your Kids Do Dangerous Things
    15 Aug 2016

    I recently heard an NPR interview with Gever Tully, the founder of the Tinkering School. He advocates letting kids do dangerous things! Oh, he’s not telling us to let our […]

  • 10 Ways to Increase Marital Intimacy
    13 Aug 2016

    The couple sitting in front of me could barely look at each other. Therapy, she told me, was her last-ditch effort to get through to her husband. She couldn’t get […]

  • A Good Marriage is a Safe Marriage
    07 Aug 2016

    A healthy marriage is one in which both members of the couple feel safe. It is only when there is a foundation of safety that the individuals as well as […]

  • Staying Involved as a Non-Custodial Parent
    10 Jul 2016

    It is often difficult for non-custodial parents to have regular, meaningful contact with their kids following the divorce. It is so difficult that there are many non-custodial parents who gradually […]

  • 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 […]

  • Parenting Well Through the Teen Years
    17 May 2016

    Any parent who has shepherded a child through early adolescence knows this scene: My 12-year-old had a meltdown over the weekend. Tearfully, she crawled into my lap. “Everything is changing […]

  • Understanding Anxiety Disorders: Part One
    17 May 2016

    Anxiety is a normal feeling of uneasiness, concern and apprehension that, when carried to an extreme, can become worry or outright terror. Some amount of anxiety and worrying is a […]

  • School Phobia: ‘I’m Not Stupid, I’m Scared’
    17 May 2016

    The most important thing to understand about phobias is that they are not rational. A child who is afraid of dogs isn’t going to be talked out of it, scolded […]

  • Survival of the Resilient: Skills for Handling Life’s Inevitable Disappointments
    17 May 2016

    Sometimes life can feel like the reality television show, Survivor. Especially if you are a teen or young adult, life can feel like a high stakes game where there is […]

  • Understanding Anxiety Disorders, Part 2
    17 May 2016

    Anxiety disorders come in many varieties. Descriptions of some of the most common disorders follow: Generalized Anxiety Disorder: GAD is characterized by persistent anxiety unrelated to a specific event. People […]

  • Preparing Children To Leave Home
    17 May 2016

    Leaving home. Every healthy child eventually does it. Every healthy parent wants it to happen. But the actual leaving (and being left) can be extraordinarily painful for everyone involved. Parents […]

  • Brain Injury: Prevention Is the Only Cure
    17 May 2016

    “Ah, Ma-a.” How many times have I heard that phrase? With a downswing of tone on the final “a,” it’s my kids’ exasperated reply to any of the dozens of […]

  • Graduation Day: A Primer for Badly Divorced Parents
    17 May 2016

    Graduation day has finally arrived, and families are coming together to wish their young people well as they mark an important milestone in their lives. For some families, hopefully most […]

  • Aging is a Time for Letting Go
    17 May 2016

    So much of young adult life is about acquiring. Throughout our twenties and thirties, most people look for a mate, a good job, financial security, a good car, a fit […]

  • When the New Baby Has Special Needs
    17 May 2016

    “It was the silence that told me,” reports one young mother. “We were in the delivery room in the final stage. My husband was holding me and I was pushing […]

  • Embracing the Challenge of Life with Epilepsy
    17 May 2016

    This article is not about epilepsy per se. It is instead about the challenges that people with epilepsy and their families successfully manage each and every day. For the record, […]

  • Organizing for Illness
    17 May 2016

    My grandmother once told me, “Getting older is not for sissies.” As the health of her friends declined, she found it sad and painful not to be able to help […]

  • Taking Charge of Your Own Healthcare
    17 May 2016

    It’s a common complaint. A new client comes to my office for help with pain management for recurrent and severe headaches. Although she has been diagnosed and treated for migraine, […]

  • The College Drop-off and the Long Drive Home
    17 May 2016

    As Oscar Hammerstein wrote in Showboat (1927), “Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly.” And kids gotta leave. Somewhere around a child’s 18th or 19th birthday, there is a monumental shift […]

  • Getting Along with Your College Roommate
    17 May 2016

    She was a nightmare! My first roommate and I could not have been more different had some sort of incompatibility test matched us. To her, the floor was a substitute […]

  • College Activities: Not-So-Incidental Learning
    17 May 2016

    So, you’re in college or off to college soon. Big question: Are you having fun yet? If the answer is “no,” what I say is this — get yourself out […]

  • Taking Care of the “Other Kids:” A Friendly Reminder for Parents of Disabled and Non-disabled Kids
    17 May 2016

    Lately — finally — stories about the challenges of being a sibling to a child with mental retardation or mental illness are emerging in the press. With that increased visibility […]

  • Caregiving Is a Two-Way Relationship
    17 May 2016

    Helpers and elders are, of course, male as well as female. But for purposes of clarity, I am using the feminine pronoun, since most people in caregiving relationships are female. […]