Looking for ways to stay balanced and at your best? Abigail Burd, LCSW, San Diego Psychotherapist blogs here to help new parents, educators and helping professionals help themselves and others.

18 12, 2017

How a Motivational Interviewing Approach to Therapy Can Help You

By | 2017-12-18T11:03:30+00:00 December 18th, 2017|Categories: Addiction, Blog, Child and Adolescent Therapy, Mental Wellness, Supervision|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Hi all! In this dispatch from the Evolution of Psychotherapy, I spent the morning hearing from the founder of Motivational Interviewing, one of my go-to approaches since 2002. I wrote this post to introduce potential clients to a great way to get unstuck and move forward. Blog readers might recognize MI from this post on Value Sort Cards.

It is human nature to try to fix others. We love to point out what they need. Bill Miller, the founder of Motivational Interviewing (MI), calls this a “righting reflex.” We naturally want to make things right.

The problem is that most people come to therapy ambivalent. That means feeling conflicted about something, seeing both the good and bad about it, or feeling stuck. Raise your hand if you already know rationally some change you should […]

14 12, 2017

Sue Johnson, EFT and Dance: Why Couples Therapy is a Tango

By | 2017-12-14T21:56:39+00:00 December 14th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Couples/Marriage Therapy|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Hi all! Another dispatch from the Evolution of Psychotherapy. This time, Sue Johnson shares how attachment science can shape corrective emotional experiences in couples therapy.

When she is not training 3,000 people each year in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Sue Johnson is dancing. Specifically, she dances the Argentine tango ten hours a week.

tango couples therapy

Not surprisingly, she sees relationships — the connection, the conflict, and the disconnect – as a dance.

The NY Times once compared couples therapy to “piloting a helicopter in a hurricane.” The dirty little secret of many therapists is that they do not like doing couples therapy. They are scared it will inevitably end in fighting. Sue disagrees. Couples therapy is more a safe, comfortable Air Canada flight. There may be some turbulence, but […]

13 12, 2017

Helping Couples Recover From Infidelity

By | 2017-12-14T21:03:21+00:00 December 13th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Couples/Marriage Therapy|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Hello everyone! I’m at the Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference this week. I’ll be sharing some of the best things I’ve learned here. In this post: Infidelity. If you are a therapist or therapy student, I hope you will pick up a few skills. If you are a prospective therapy client in San Diego, email me or call if you are curious about talking more about infidelity one on one or as a couple.

“When staying together after an affair makes you a warrior not a doormat…”

Infidelity Therapy San Diego

First, I heard from Michele Weiner-Davis, LCSW, about recovering from infidelity. You may know her from the “Sex Starved Marriage” book and this TED talk.

She is also known for “

8 12, 2017

When Holiday Stress Gets You Down, Turn It Around

By | 2017-12-08T10:56:46+00:00 December 8th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Mental Wellness|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Sometimes the most wonderful time of the year is anything but. Today, writer Jennifer Scott shares a guest post on how to get through holiday stress and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Ah, the holidays. That delightful time of year when we all put aside our differences and peace on Earth prevails. Or not. While the time between New Year’s day and Halloween is fairly uneventful, we’re expected to put on a happy face from the stroke of midnight on the 305th day of the year until the week after Santa’s annual appearance. But when you have a mental health condition, such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD, that’s not always possible.

when holiday stress gets you down

Here are a few tips on how to keep holiday stress at bay:

Stop […]

28 11, 2017

How to Use Pixar’s Coco to Teach about Death [Cinematherapy Guide]

By | 2017-11-28T21:34:21+00:00 November 28th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Grief/Loss|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

“The word death is not pronounced in New York, in Paris, in London, because it burns the lips. The Mexican, in contrast, is familiar with death… jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it. It is one of his favorite toys and his most steadfast love.” -Octavio Paz

Disney Pixar Coco Cinematherapy Guide

About Coco

Disney/Pixar’s latest movie, “Coco” delivers a beautiful animated tale, centered around the Mexican holiday, the Day of the Dead (El Dia de los Muertos). I’ve tried not to include any spoilers or reveal too much about the plot.

If you have seen my “Inside Out” Study Guides for teaching teens and children about emotions, you will know I am a fan of cinematherapy. In my psychotherapy practice in San Diego, […]

5 11, 2017

My Concern with Wine Mom Memes

By | 2017-11-05T20:43:25+00:00 November 5th, 2017|Categories: Addiction, Blog, Maternal Mental Health, Mental Wellness, Parenting|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

There’s something about the “wine mom” memes and Pinterest posts that have always made me uncomfortable. As an addiction specialist and a postpartum specialist, I have been curious about the intersection for some time.

wine mom memes

In fact, a recent op-ed on CNN looks at the coinciding rise of the “wine mom” in popular culture and a rise in high-risk and problem drinking. And a recently published study in JAMA Psychiatry tracks a rise of 83.7% in problem drinking in women between 2002 and 2013. That’s a lot!

For more explanation, I recommend having a read here.

As I say this, I will fully admit that sharing a glass of wine with a baby group after my first was born brought me a lot […]

11 09, 2017

[Giveaway] Carry Baby Close to Your Heart

By | 2017-09-11T22:39:58+00:00 September 11th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Giveaways/Free Resources, Maternal Mental Health|0 Comments

Win a new Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier

Ergobaby Omni 360 forward facing baby carrier

New babies take just about everything out of parents. They need to be cared for around the clock. Then how do you manage to do everything else you need to do? I always recommend babywearing. A good baby carrier is much more comfortable than holding baby in your arms, and frees up your hands. I’m teaming up with Ergobaby, Baby Birds Farm and Cocina, and Alysha Rainwaters Photography to raffle off a new Ergobaby Omni 360.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hop over to Baby Birds Farm for a full review of this new carrier, which converts from newborn to […]

16 06, 2017

Mothering the Mother [Video] with Maternal Mental Health Expert Abigail Burd

By | 2017-06-24T15:13:59+00:00 June 16th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Giveaways/Free Resources, Maternal Mental Health, Mental Wellness, Parenting|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Today I am excited to share for free the in-depth video “Mothering the Mother” I recorded as part of the More than Milestones video summit. You can watch it on YouTube or below.

Many thanks to Wendi of Move Play Grow for asking me to be a part of the online summit and for letting me share the video for free here. If you are interested in purchasing the entire series, featuring 25 experts, please check out the More than Milestones page here.

And curious about the offer at the end for the video of two free meditation tracks? It’s true! I am giving away two mp3 files of “An Introduction to Mindfulness” and “An Introduction to Abdominal Breathing” to […]

2 06, 2017

Noisey (Vice) “Asked a Smart Person” (Me) about Sad Music

By | 2017-06-02T16:33:51+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Categories: Blog, Child and Adolescent Therapy, Mental Wellness, Students|Tags: , , |0 Comments

I love talking to journalists and reporters about mental health. For one, it helps get the word out that YOU ARE NOT ALONE and likely, YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE FEELING THE WAY YOU DO.

Most recently, Sammy Maine from Noisey, which is the music side of Vice media, asked me to weigh in for her article “Why Exactly Are We So Obsessed with Songs about Heartbreak?

Noisy: Why are we so obsessed with songs about heartbreak?

Fun topic, no?

Sad music, like break up songs, works on many levels. Research shows that it can help with emotion regulation. One way that we think it works is that by hearing about someone else that is sad, you can feel the catharsis of experiencing the sadness, but externalize […]

26 05, 2017

Living a Life Consistent with Your Values (What ARE My Values Again?)

By | 2017-06-27T21:17:05+00:00 May 26th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Giveaways/Free Resources, Mental Wellness|Tags: , , |0 Comments

I just finished recording an episode of the Messy Middle Podcast with Maring Higa. Update: the podcast is up now –> find it here.

Our conversation got me thinking about values. She asked questions like how do you manage social comparison? How do you find self-worth? How do you find your course while in transition? For many of these questions, I thought the Values Card Sort exercise could be helpful.

Values Based Life

Another update! Maringa illustrated this beautiful depiction as an answer to our conversation and this post!

The “Personal Values Card Sort” was created by Miller, one of the founders of Motivational Interviewing, along with his colleagues (W.R. Miller, J. C’de Baca, D.B. Matthews, P.L. Wilbourne, University of New Mexico, […]