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Understanding your Play Style – An Illustrated Guide to Play Types

Good play helps us rest in more satisfying ways, bond more deeply with friends and partners, work more productively, and grow resilience to burnout. So why are so many of us so bad at it? In this article, I share a visual summary of how adults play, according to Dr. Stuart Brown in his book PLAY. Want to learn your play style? Log in via Patreon to take the quiz.

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Understanding How Attunement & Containment Help Form Attachments

Attunement and Containment – along with Rupture and Repair – are key building blocks for relationships that support the formation of healthy attachments. In this article, we’ll dive a little deeper into understanding containment and attunement and how these puzzle pieces fit into the larger concept of forming healthy attachments to the people we care about.

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Bullet Journal Mood Tracker: A Mental Health Therapist’s Take

Although bullet journaling is about saving time and space, when it comes to a mood tracker, research suggests that slowing down may have benefits. In this article, learn how I used my training as a mental health therapist and my personal experience as a bullet journaler to reimagine a new mood tracker layout for 2021 and beyond- based on peer-reviewed research exploring the intersection of journaling and mental health.

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4 Bullet Journal Layouts to Support Mental Health

Bullet Journal blogs and hashtags are filled with mental health and self-care focused templates, but are these layouts actually effective for maximizing the mental health benefits of a bullet journal? In this article, I explore existing research on how journaling and expressive writing can benefit mental health and, from that research, outline three ways to maximize the mental health benefits of your bullet journaling practice. Along the way, I’ll show you a few of my worksheets and resources that are perfect for adding to a bullet journal.

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Illustration: Boundaries are Internal & External

External boundaries are where we bump up against each other (like setting boundaries around our time or how we allow others to treat us), while internal boundaries are where we bump up against ourselves in ways that bring dissonance between competing desires (like wanting to take on a new project but knowing we can’t don’t have the resources to complete it). In this illustration, I tease out some of the nuances between internal and external boundaries.

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Flow Chart: Resolving Kid’s Problem Behaviors Through Coping Skills

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. 

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Illustration: Rupture & Repair are Key to Attachment in Healthy Relationships

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.

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Building a Trauma-Informed Grounding Kit for your Classroom or Office

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.

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Spectrum of Anxiety Coping Visual Illustration

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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How to Connect with Tweens: 8 Tips for Authentic Engagement

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.⁠

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