Parents: Daily Dose of Praise Goes a Long Way!

Children experience daily stress of doing well and working hard in school. Spring break is not only a good time to relax and de-stress, but also an opportunity for parents to reboot their child’s self-confidence and self-esteem, which often gets compromised in the face of stress and sometimes criticism throughout the school year. This can […]

Learning How To Soothe Ourselves

Self-soothing involves learning how to comfort ourselves when we are upset. While we, as social creatures, often turn to others for support when we are hurt, upset, angry, and/or scared, it also is important to be able to help ourselves become more calm and relaxed in response to upsetting events. Self-soothing skills typically start developing […]

The Gut-Brain Connection

The originator of the phrase “trust your gut” may have been onto something, after all. While we typically think of emotional states like anxiety, stress, and anger as originating exclusively from our minds or social environments, studies on humans and animals have indicated that they may also stem from a very unlikely source: The gut. […]

Understanding Confirmation Bias in the Age of “Fake News”

In these tense political times, an increasing number of people admit to getting much of their news from Facebook and Twitter. One of the problems with using these social media platforms as one’s primary news source relates to the danger of confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is a concept from psychological theory referring to our tendency […]

Letting Go of Rumination

Do you often find yourself thinking about a problem over and over? What about continuously replaying an unpleasant exchange in your mind and turning over every detail? If so, you might be prone to ruminating. Ruminating is the act of thinking about distressing issues or events at length. When ruminating, we dwell on problems and […]

Inspiration from 2016

Note: This is an adaptation of an article from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley As we begin 2017, many of us are reflecting on the year that has just ended. I think most of us can agree, it has been rough. Acts of terror and violence continue around […]

Changing Our Relationship to Stress

Stress is a normal response to events that make us feel threatened or upset our balance in some way. These events can occur outside of our bodies within our environments, or even within our bodies caused by illness, or depressive or anxiety symptoms. These ‘events’ can be thought of as ‘stressors’ and we all have […]

When You Judge Another, You Do Not Define Them, You Define Yourself

Recently, I was asked about what it means to remain nonjudgmental within the therapy room and whether it is truly possible not to judge others. The idea of maintaining a nonjudgmental attitude is most often associated with Carl Rogers who focused on each client as an individual and the idea that for people to truly […]

Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Goal-setting is an important function of personal development. Learning how to set goals effectively is what makes the difference between a wish (“I hope I get all A’s and B’s this semester!”) and a viable action-plan. Goals that are too vague or too lofty are likely to create feelings of failure and frustration rather than […]