Is Your Child Being Bullied? 12 Signs for Parents to Look For

The new school year has begun! For some kids, starting school is a welcome way to end summer's boredom. Others have no desire to get back to the learning and structure of school. But there are some kids for whom the idea of going back to school brings fear because they are being bullied.

The first step in helping a child who is being bullied is to understand what some of the signs are. Once you notice one...


Put Your Camera Away! 6 Things to Consider Before You Take Any More Pictures

I have a love/hate relationship with cameras. Life can be beautiful and amazing and we want to remember it. Taking a picture is one of those ways. But holding a phone in front of your face and looking through a viewfinder means seeing things differently, and often not in a good way.

The basic premise of photography means that there is always a distance between the photographer and the subject. Taking a picture of a child playing in...


The Importance of Family History on Mental Health

When I do an intake session with a new client, one thing we always cover is family history. Family history relates any relatives who have a mental illness, what a client's relationship with his or her mom, dad, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, the environment one grows up in, and much more. Family history is significant for many reasons.

Learned behaviors. As children, people are exposed to a variety of interactions between family members. For better...


8 Important Truths About Grief

My father died a month ago, after a short and painful descent into dementia.

While I expected his death, what surprised me was the path of grief that the loss of my father took me on. I found myself consulting colleagues, friends, and even Google in an attempt to identify if what I was experiencing was normal.

What I discovered is that there is no normal in grief. Each grieving person has his or her individual journey to take....


7 Unique Ways to Say “I Love You” This Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day is widely acknowledged as a day to celebrate love, but actually has quite tragic and macabre origins regarding ritual sacrifice and more. It is far too complicated to go into here, but for a very interesting read, head over to NPR's article about it.

As it stands now,Valentine's Day is a time for people to show their love to each other. Many people have complained that it has become too commercial; with school children passing out...


Surviving the Narcissist at the Holiday Dinner Table

We all know a narcissist or two. You might even have one in your family. People with narcissistic tendencies can make the holidays difficult.

This guest blog post by psychotherapist Joely Tweel can help you understand ways to make these family gatherings easier with 6 techniques. And while they might not make your holiday experience perfect, they will definitely make it survivable. 

Joseph Campbell wrote, “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” Many...


10 Therapist Approved Apps for Mental Wellness

Over the past few years, smartphones have become ubiquitous in our society. As a therapist, one of the ways that I've seen and helped clients utilize their phones is to use the myriad of apps available. There are many mental health apps out there. I've sorted through them and come up with a list of my top 10, in no particular order.

Simply Being Meditation has been studied scientifically for years, and there...


Talking with Your Child About Violence, Terrorism, and Disasters

Recently, I've had to explain events to my 10-year-old daughter that I struggled to comprehend myself: terrifying violence, natural disasters, and terrorism.

Only a few days ago in Las Vegas, a man killed more than 50 people and wounded 500-plus more. It wasn't in a war or a natural disaster. This was a man who did something horrendous and terrifying, something we don't have many answers for.

In September, I had conversations with my daughter about the volunteer...


My Mom is an Addict: A Guest Post by Anonymous

My mom is an addict.

If you saw my mom standing in line at the pharmacy, you wouldn’t take a second look. She is a 70-year-old woman with a scar on the back of her neck from one of her surgeries. If you look closer, she also has a scar on her knee and a scar on her shoulder from other surgeries. Unless she’s wearing a bikini, you wouldn’t see the scars on her stomach from...


Top 5 Unhealthy Ways of Thinking (and What to Do Instead)

When people struggle with anxiety or a high state of emotion, there are common unhealthy patterns of thinking that are destructive.

Black-and-white thinking. This is also called all-or-nothing thinking. For example, Alex gets into a fight with his mother-in-law and fumes, "she never listens to a word I'm saying!" There have been plenty of times that his mother-in-law has listened to him but in the moment he is unable to see that. His emotions are flooding...