Children and Parents
Children and adolescents can be troubled in many different ways; if they are engaging in dangerous or upsetting behaviors, if they feel stressed out or anxious, or if they are not getting along well in school or with friends, then they can benefit from individual psychotherapy. My work with children follows the lead of the child, and is based on using what they bring to develop flexibility of thought, increased self awareness and empathy, and improved emotional regulation.
Parent who wish to refine their parenting to help a child who seems to be in trouble, or parents who are finding themselves overwhelmed, can benefit from parenting consultation. This can entail direct suggestions for ways to support the work I am doing with your child, or it can mean working on areas where you get stuck as a parent without my working with your child.
Mentalization-Based Therapy for Adolescents
I have recently been increasing my use of mentalization-based therapy (MBT) in my practice. The aims of all MBT are to improve a person’s ability to mentalize, especially in close relationships. Having improved mentalizing ability means: Experiencing a more stable...
Your Child’s Life Story
Over the past several months I have been working with Stanton Peele and Zach Rhoads on how to support child development away from addictions. I had the delightful experience of co-writing an appendix with them for their book, Outgrowing Addiction: With Common Sense...
Sometimes we have experiences that impact us, but we have difficulty putting words on it. In fact, some conceptualizations of trauma essentially speak to the lack of verablization as being a driving component of trauma's tendency to haunt us. In fact, there is a real...
Could caring for high-need babies be the reason for our big brains?
Piantadosi, S.T. and Kidd, C. (2016). Extraordinary intelligence and the care of infants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113 (25), 6874-6879. Dunsworth, H.M. (2016). Thank your intelligent mother for your big brain. Proceedings of the National...
It's exciting to have a vision of how things should be, or how they should look. It can be very frustrating when they don't work the way we imagine. Especially when it comes to the stuff we make. For kids, the gap between what they are capable of envisioning and what...
Quick answers to quick questions: Drug use
Q: Is it possible that my 11-year-old son could be using drugs? A: A succinct question deserves a succinct answer: Yes. For a little more detail: it’s actually a high-risk age range, because parents aren't looking. In that time right before they enter high school,...
Easing School Transitions
Q: Our daughter’s parochial school has closed! necessitating a huge change in school venues for her, something we’d not prepped her for. We are thinking public school, so as to make local friends (next parochial schools to consider 45 minutes away). Any advice you can...
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Resources for Families
Please note that I have included links to Amazon.com for convenience. These are not sponsored links; please feel free to locate these books at your library, local bookseller, or other online bookseller.
Books for Kids:
- In My Heart: A Book of Feelings, by Jo Witty. A nice entry into developing self-reflection
- The Body Book for Boys, by Rebecca Paley, Grace Norwich, and Jonathan Mar. A book about bodies and puberty for boys, no discussion of sex and sexuality. Note that the information on nutrition is a little outdated, and the section on bullying is not so helpful.
- The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls, by Valorie Schaefer. As with any book that addresses physical development, it is a good idea to read the book yourself before giving it to your child.
Books for parents:
- How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, and Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Both of these books are very quick reads, and give good, concrete strategies for developing your child’s capacity to self-regulate.
- Building Emotional Intelligence: Practices to Cultivate Inner Resilience in Children, by Linda Lantieri. If you are looking for some practices of mindfulness at home with your family, this book includes exercises and a CD of guided meditations.
- Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood, by William Pollack
Some useful websites:
For parents of infants:
- askdrsears.com for a wide array of information;
- Zero to Three based on the work of Dr. Tronick, information about infant brain development and infant behavior.
- La Leche League for breastfeeding and beyond
For emotional development:
- Attachment Parenting International like Ask Dr. Sears, dedicated to the concept of attachment parenting, and has information for all ages of children.
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has a page for parents and caregivers with basic information about parenting based on research. They have more tips available at another spot on their site, here.
For physical health:
- CDC Parent Portal: The Centers for Disease Control has a website for parents that addresses health concerns by age group from pregnancy through adolescence, and has information immunizations, developmental milestones and growth charts, and so forth.
- kidshealth.org: This website also has a wide array of information with separate sites for parents, kids, and teenagers.
For gifted kids:
- giftedlearningcenter.org: a local resource for kids who don’t thrive in the traditional school environment
- sengifted.org: Information for parents and families about the social and emotional needs of gifted children.
- hoagiesgifted.org: more information about and for gifted kids and their families