Good attachments take work, and one of the hardest parts of building and maintaining satisfying and supportive relationships is repairing after rupture (i.e. conflict). It’s so hard, and conflict is so often avoided, that many of us have never experienced really good repair – or the way that it can deepen and strengthen our connection and trust with another person. Rupture is inevitable. Repair, however, takes work.
Kids with caregivers who give them permission to feel big feelings and that give them support in managing those feelings are kids with tools who are able to become adults who can regulate emotions and find resiliency in the face of crisis.
Today, I’m releasing a simple visual illustrating how empathic, attuned parenting can disrupt one common cycle behind problem behaviors at home or in the classroom.
It’s a strange thing that commercial properties still designate areas for smoking and offices provide kitchens, but even though 70% of people have experienced trauma, if we find ourselves on the brink of bursting into tears at work or school, often a bathroom is the only place to retreat to. What if we carved out space- both physically and culturally- to take mental health breaks? In this post, I share step by step instructions for creating a mental health retreat in your home, workplace, or classroom to help people who are triggered or Very Upset to mindfully ground in order to reengage.
Everyone has a different “default” way of coping with anxiety – and many of us will experience a shift from one extreme of the spectrum to the other at least once during our lifetime. While our culture praises the “brave” approach and shames the avoidant, the extremes of both approaches are equally harmful ways of avoiding the discomfort of being present to the tension of the middle ground. In this middle space – where we feel our fear but choose to tolerate some discomfort in order to grow – we inhabit our bodies, we have self-compassion for ourselves, and let ourselves experience the emotions inherent in doing things that are really, really hard.
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Pre-teen, pre-adolescent, pre-pubescent, tween… Regardless of what term is used – we’ve all been there, most of us know one, and some of us are parenting (teaching, counseling, etc.) one. As the stepping stone from childhood to adolescence, this time frame can be a tough one to navigate for both tweens and for those attempting to engage and connect with tweens.
Connecting with preteens can be especially difficult. Not quite kids, and not quite adolescents, tweens deserve more credit than we tend to give them.
This download includes a worksheet on generalized anxiety. The 1-page black-and-white worksheet is designed to flip brains from “therapy homework” mode into “interactive activity book” mode, which may help folks develop awareness, mindfulness, and self-soothing skills with less of the stigma or avoidance that clinical resources sometimes prompt.
I believe that some resources used in Mental Health treatment are unnecessarily cold, clinical, or technical. These hard-to-relate-to resources may risk pushing people away instead of inviting them to engage in both a healing relationship with their therapist and with information that could help their recovery.
My printable resources like this DBT card are different. Consciously designed to integrate the fundamental concepts and package them in an approachable, non-clinical, non-threatening way, these DBT inspired worksheets can make diary cards, homework printables, and skills-practicing as easy and fun as activity books.
All of us have some resiliency to cope with challenges. When we encounter difficult experiences that take us past the range of our ability to tolerate, the ways we tend to respond fall into one of two categories: those of us who get agitated, and those of us who shut down.
Emotional regulation refers to our ability to stay present, engaged, and able to listen and learn despite challenges. My rainbow of emotional regulation is a social-emotional learning resource that can help teach this concept in the classroom, in counseling sessions, or at home.
Pop-culture “wellness” often pathologizes desire. We are promised that if we can ignore physical hunger, meet our own needs emotionally, and keep our sexual desire …
Sometimes, even if you really like your therapist, it can be really difficult to talk in therapy. Silence can be uncomfortable, but silence can tell us a lot about ourselves and our relationship with the person we are silent with. When you don’t know what to say, or feel at a loss for words, here’s an illustrated guide to 5 things you can do instead.
Although research on protest and despair has traditionally centered on the experiences of infants and young children, humans continue to respond to crisis with protest, despair, (and detachment) throughout our lives. Unlike infants, adults have years of experience that tells us that one method or the other does a better job of getting our needs met or protecting us from further harm, and over time that method becomes our patterned response.
It’s normal to feel upset, anxious, or extremely uncomfortable when we encounter difficult content. Having a strong reaction to information that is generally considered troubling …
Asking if someone is suicidal won’t give them ideas, but it may help them feel less alone. A 2014 meta-analysis (that’s a study that gathers …
The best time to do good crisis work is when you (or your client, child, partner, friend, etc) aren’t currently in crisis. Take some time …
Traditional DBT helps develop emotion regulation and impulse control for people who struggle in these areas, but Radically Open (RO) DBT is an adaptation of …