illustrated image showing two women

Intergenerational Trauma – Illustration and Questionnaire

If you aren’t naming and breaking the cycles that have entangled you, you are participating in them. This is true in most systems we are part of, but is especially true for families. Researchers call it “intergenerational trauma” and have demonstrated that the trauma of a parent is literally, genetically, passed to offspring. This Simple-Wikipedia…

an image showing three inset circles. The inner wheel is basic emotions- happy, sad, disgust, etc- the middle circle contains feeling words- despair, disappointment, awe, etc. The outer circle contains words that describe a sensation that someone might feel in their body if they were feeling the corresponding emotion.

Emotion Sensation Feeling Wheel Handout by Lindsay Braman

> JUMP TO DOWNLOAD <   The Emotion-Sensation Feeling Wheel   WHAT IS IT: It’s an adaptation of the “feelings wheel” that many therapists and educators use to help people learn to better recognize and name their emotions, adapted to include common body-based expressions of emotions. HOW THE EMOTION-SENSATION   WHEEL IS DIFFERENT: The two…

Therapy: Expectation vs Reality – A Graph

Even if you’ve never been to therapy or studied psychology, you’ve probably heard of “breakthroughs” in therapy. It’s a word that Hollywood loves – but doesn’t really exist in real life. In media depictions of psychotherapy– where therapy is often used as a gimmick to advance plot rather than a realistic representation- a breakthrough is shown…

A Flowchart for Getting to Sleep – A Playful take on Sleep Hygiene

A flowchart for getting to sleep. We all know how elusive sleep can be, but quality sleep is essential for physical and mental health. When sleep feels hard to come by, “sleep hygiene” the go-to remedy. While some sleep and insomnia related issues need specific treatments including medication or longer-term psychotherapy, psychoeducation about sleep hygiene…

Trigger-Tracker Worksheet for Mental Health Journaling and Self-Advocacy

  Dismantling mental health triggers often involves a little detective work. Although awareness of “being triggered” can be very obvious, for many people, figuring out specific triggers can be a puzzle. Solving the puzzle requires developing a capacity to seek to know ourselves better, then noticing and tracking backward chronologically to begin to locate exact…

Pyramid of Crisis Response & Planning – A Visual

  The nature of crisis is that it’s (1) overwhelming, and (2) inevitable. Whether you are a clinician in the helping professions or a person in relationship with other persons, crisis will show up eventually. When it does, we can all be a little more ready to handle potentially overwhelming experiences by planning how to…

Routine Matters – Even for Adults, and Especially during the Holidays

  Routine matters – especially in emotionally loaded seasons like the holidays. It’s widely understood that routine is important for children- but its value is often understated for adults. In fact, routine- an internal sense of what to expect and when it expect it- helps humans of all ages get grounded, self-soothe, and reduce anxiety.…

Parenting Children with Anxiety

  When kids are anxious, it’s human nature to want to soothe them. For kids with significant anxiety, however, we may need to monitor ourselves for over-accommodating behaviors.   It’s natural that parents with anxious kids want to soothe them. Watching someone we love struggle can be overwhelming- especially when, at first, it seems so…

Urge Surfing, Alternatives, and Harm Reduction

To follow my post earlier this week on developing (new) coping skills rather than attempting to just desert our old ones, here are a few examples of ways to practice new skills (like asking for support, distraction, or alternative behaviors) when there is a desire for self-harm. Instagram recently removed a different version of this…

Therapy is Hard

Therapy is hard work. It’s ok if a therapy session leaves you sad, shaken up, or exhausted. If, however, you find therapy sessions pushing you into a dark place where you feel like you need to use harmful things to cope, it’s time to re-evaluate. Let your therapist know how your counseling sessions impact you.…

Understanding The Help Rejecting Complainer Mindset

Most of us know one or two help rejecting complainers. It can be tempting to get frustrated, give up, or get “even,” but when we react out of frustration instead of responding with kindness, we actually reinforce the beliefs that support the behavior. Complaining is the only type of support-seeking some people know. Complaining engages…

Ways to Manage Food & Exercise that are Anti-Diet

  Numbers, timers, scales, and bell curves are not the measure of health- they are external authorities sold to us as measures of goodness, permission, and performance. Fear and disorientation are normal first responses to the idea that perhaps all these wellness apps and fitness trackers are deeply tied to patriarchal motives to co-opt bodies…

Small Changes in Self Care add up for Mental Health

  When all you can muster up the energy to do is sit on the couch in a blanket-burrito browsing internet memes, try sitting outside in a blanket-burrito browsing internet memes. It’s old news to most of us that activity (including things like exercise/movement, gardening, volunteering, and spending time with supportive people and communities) helps…

Scarcity and the Brain

Needs that are ignored or unable to be met due to lack of resources don’t go away- instead, they often become all-consuming until there’s no space for us to focus on tasks, plan, organize, parent, or take good care of ourselves. Whether self-imposed (like dieting or working your way into vocational burnout) or external (like…

Illustrated Embodied Grounding Exercise – Free Printable

  Get a free PDF copy of this art:   Social media can be a dark, divisive place sometimes. On the other end of the spectrum, depending on the accounts you choose to follow, it can be really easy to find yourself surrounded by toxic positivity. Toxic positivity is the sort of blind optimism that…

Red Flags for Early Stage Schizophrenia- an Infographic

  Schizophrenia is among the most debilitating mental health disorders- so much so that there is still a lot of stigma around the diagnosis. The problem is stigma is especially harmful when it comes to this diagnosis. Here’s why: about 75% of people with schizophrenia have months or years of subtle symptoms (called a predromal…