What We Learn From “Inside Out 2”

4 of the new characters in Inside Out 2 are depicted: Embarrassment, Anxiety, Envy, and Ennui

Pixar just released “Inside Out 2,” a funny, touching, and sophisticated look at how our emotions and experiences shape us. In the sequel, we once again join main character Riley’s five primary emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. However, now Riley is 13 and heading to a hockey summer camp when the “puberty alarm” goes off. The group is then joined by some new feelings: Anxiety, Embarrassment, Envy, and Ennui (a mashup of boredom/disinterest/lethargy). We can learn a lot from “Inside Out 2” about ourselves, other people, and our kids. Here are a few of the biggest psychological takeaways. Warning, light spoilers ahead.

Continuing Education in Private Practice

A stack of books, with the top one open, is seen with a library bookshelf of books behind it

One of my favorite things to do in private practice, besides working with my lovely clients, is continuing education. Even though I’ve been in the field for over 20 years, I’m always striving to get better. My clients come to me with a range of concerns and treatment preferences, so keeping up with research and best practices is crucial. In this blog post, I’m sharing a few upcoming things I’m excited to be reading, learning, and attending. This blog is for therapists, students, or those interested in a look behind the scenes of counselor continuing education.

Helping Your Child Get a Better Night’s Sleep

A picture of colorful pillows on knit pink blanket on bed in cute kid's bedroom with posters on the wall

As a therapist, I understand the importance of a good night’s sleep on mental health. Problems falling asleep or staying asleep are common issues my clients share with me. Children and teens talk about having a hard time falling asleep because of overthinking, worrying, or difficulty relaxing. Parents share concerns about their child’s moods, school performance, or feelings of anxiety. We know that sleep is important to our overall health. By improving a child or teen’s sleep, we may also be improving their mood, concentration, and anxiety levels. Read on for some helpful tips on helping your child get a better night’s sleep.

8 Ideas to Help Your Child Feel Comfortable with Therapy

A person with light skin is holding a red heart in their hands against a wooden table

These days, a lot of children and teens are asking for therapy. This is usually easy for parents. You find a good therapist and get started. Other times parents might be concerned about their child’s mental health, behavior, or substance use and know that they need more help… but the child does not want to go. They might be angry, nervous, or embarrassed at having to see a therapist. Some children or teens may have had a negative experience with therapy or may not know what to expect. However, with a little bit of patience and understanding, you can help your child feel comfortable with therapy. Here are some of my favorite tips:

Tips for Talking with Your Teen (Part 1)

Two people hold hands outdoors; one person has pink nail polish and the other is wearing several colored bracelets

Recent research shared by the Pew Research Center is that two-thirds of parents in the U.S. believe that parenting today is harder than it was 20 years ago. The majority of parents surveyed reported they believed this was due to the increase in technology, primarily screens and social media. With busy and technology-filled modern lives, many parents ask me about how to connect with their teenagers. And so, here are some of my favorite tips for talking with your teen.

10 of My Favorite Books For Parents

Two adults stand with their backs turned to the camera in front of bookcases full of brightly colored books

As the days get shorter and cooler, it’s perfect weather to curl up with a new book. Enjoy some time for yourself to learn, grow, and reflect. Here’s a list of some of my favorite books for parents and families. 

Trauma

1. What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD and Oprah Winfrey

Dr. Perry and Oprah have a compelling back-and-forth in this page-turner about what it means to be resilient and heal from trauma. They are both captivating storytellers who break down the effects of trauma on children and adults. This book will change how you approach people who have experienced traumatic events.

Back-to-School Care for Parents & Caregivers

Three elementary school-aged children, two girls and a boy, are walking away, wearing jackets and brightly colored backpacks.

This time of year, there is so much to do for parents and caregivers! Trying to squeeze in those last bits of summer fun, shopping for school supplies and new clothes, signing up for fall sports, and getting kids back into the school routine. 

And who can forget about all the other school to-do’s: parent forms, Back-to-School Night, and keeping track of all the emails? It’s no wonder that many parents and caregivers report high levels of overwhelm during the back-to-school season.