Ritual

Ritual doesn’t have to be religious, weird, or woo-woo. Think of ritual as a way to give your brain sensory (sight, touch, sound, smell, etc) symbols of a shift you want to make. Maybe it’s a big ritual like a moonlight burial of the mementos from a relationship it’s time to let go of, or…

Childhood Emotional Neglect and Chronic Shame

Kids who grow up in families where emotional needs are not validated and met often develop a deep sense of internal shame for having needs at all. Over time, in order to cope, many of these kids become adults with little or no capacity to experience their emotions  (a symptom associated with alexithymia). Hilary Jacobs…

Unsolicited Information on Everyone’s Least Favorite Form of Communication

A sketchnote highlighting some interesting research on the psychology behind the behavior colloquially referred to as “dick pics.” Somewhat surprisingly, this research on a group of about 1,000 men, found that most senders of this type of unwanted-imagery believe that the behavior is “flirting,” and that 82% of senders indicated that the hoped the images…

How to Choose a Therapist – Illustrated

When you’re new to therapy and aren’t really sure what therapy is supposed to feel like, it can be really confusing to try and figure out if a first session or initial consult went well. Asking questions about experience, training, specialities, and method can be helpful, but research indicates that these things matter less than…

Family Therapy / Parenting Sketch notes

There’s a ton of pressure on parents and caregivers to meet every need. Sometimes shame around not being able to do so prevents families from reaching out for the support they need. But here’s the thing- parents aren’t meant to meet every need. You can’t soften every blow or soothe every disappointment- but you can…

Body Trust and Food Security – Doodle Series

Intuitive Eating is an approach to eating that can help heal the relationship between food and our bodies and end the diet/weight-cycling cycle. When our brains know food is available and our bodies (re)learn how to feel and respond to the hunger, fullness, and appetite cues we all once knew as infants, we are actually…

Honor the Story your Body is Telling

What is your body saying? All of us get handed stories. From our earliest moments, stories are told to us and about us. As we grow up, these stories often get swallowed whole. The narratives of our family, culture, and other systems become tangled up with our identity. Many of us sense deep down a…

Jung Sketchnotes: Dreams, Puella Archetype, and The Shadow

On Jung’s “The Shadow” Lots of us work hard to avoid having to stop and look too closely at what one of the fathers of modern psychology, Carl Jung, called our “shadow side.” Even in modern psychology, if people use the term “shadow side” it’s usually negative- but Jung’s work actually teaches that when we…

Research Backed Ways to Use Art to Improve the Effectiveness of Studying

      We know that using different parts of our brain to study (like writing, listening/reciting, and using play to create mnemonics) helps boost retention, but new research shows that visualizing and doodling a word or concept works even better than classic forms of studying! -and it doesn’t matter if you are “an artist”-…

Normal Trauma Response vs PTSD: Interpreting the Research for Survivors

When brains experience trauma, they struggle to cope with it. It’s normal- and part of the healing process- to have flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive thoughts immediately following a traumatic experience. Knowing this and normalizing this matters! Recent research found that kids who believed their response to trauma was bad, wrong, or a sign something was…

Creating a Crisis Plan

The best time to do good crisis work is when you (or your client, or your family member, etc) aren’t currently in crisis. Take some time out during the good times to intentionally plan, create support networks, brainstorm, and build skills so when crisis comes, you don’t have to figure it out from scratch. A…

Gottman’s 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Illustrated Handout

  Dr. John Gottman spent 40 years researching marital stability and theorized these “4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” but it only took me a few hours to turn them into angry ponies. While Gottman’s research centers on couples, I think these are applicable to many types of relationships – especially in how parents and their…

Emotions Exist in the Body

When the answer to “what am I feeling?” is “I don’t know,” change the question to “what do I notice about my body right now?” Lots of us learned to numb or muffle emotion- and some of us got so good at it that knowing what we feel can be really, really hard. Although our…