8 07, 2015

An “Inside Out” (Disney/Pixar) Study Guide: Understanding Emotions

By |2020-10-11T07:06:26-07:00July 8th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Giveaways/Free Resources, Mental Wellness|Tags: , , , , |7 Comments

UPDATE: Activities, art therapy, and questions for helping children (K-8) understand emotions with “Inside Out” is now available (click here.)

Inside Out” by Disney/Pixar is in theaters now. As a therapist, I loved seeing emotions brought to life. I loved seeing concepts such as personality, memory and depression illustrated. I especially appreciated the message that all feelings have value. The movie inspired me to write up a list of questions for understanding emotions better. I was thinking primarily of the teens and young adults I see in therapy, but I think anyone can benefit from them. Please download a free printable copy of my Inside Out Study Guide: Understanding Emotions.*

Inside Out Study Guide for Teens: Understanding Emotions

Spoiler Alert: These questions […]

26 05, 2015

Press: Women Magazine

By |2019-11-18T14:30:39-08:00May 26th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Mental Wellness|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

AWoman’sHealth.com (Women Magazine) recently quoted my article on cell phone use in their look at three reasons to  step away from the phone by Maryann Hammers.

dangers of too much cell phone use


She writes:

You’ll get more out of life

When you’re gazing at your phone, you’re missing out on everything else. “[Your phone use] robs you of the beautiful trees, sunshine, and birds — key elements of mental health and well-being,” says Dr. Bobinet.

And your family members — especially children — miss you.

“I have seen parents who are so caught up on their phones that they do not notice their small child staring up at them, hungry for attention and affection,” says Dr. Bobinet.

Abigail Burd, LCSW, a San Diego psychotherapist, cites a “Still […]

12 05, 2015

Chula’s Mission: Helping Girls without Mothers

By |2019-11-18T14:30:39-08:00May 12th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Maternal Mental Health, Mental Wellness, Parenting|Tags: , , |2 Comments

My daughter and I had a unique opportunity this past Mother’s Day weekend. We received an invitation to attend a fundraiser called “Once Upon an Apron” for the non-profit Chula’s Mission. The mission of Chula’s Mission is mentoring and nurturing motherless girls. They provide free services to girls during the critical ages of 11- to 13-years-old. Services include cooking classes, grief counseling and mentoring. The idea of cooking classes really resonates with me, as cooking is part of my own personal self-care and a highlight of raising my daughters.

Chula's Mission San Diego

Scatena Daniels, a philanthropy-focused communications firm, extended the invitation, and was proud to sponsor the event, along with Brian Malarkey’s […]

21 03, 2015

March is National Social Work Month

By |2019-11-18T14:30:40-08:00March 21st, 2015|Categories: Blog, Mental Wellness|Tags: , , |3 Comments

The United States commemorates March as Social Work Month every year. It gives social workers the rarely used turn to toot our own horns. Social workers create meaningful positive social change, and improve the lives of individuals, families and communities. This year’s theme is “Social Work Paves the Way for Change.”

Social Work Month 2015


Although my private practice is almost entirely made up of psychotherapy and counseling clients (and supervision of newer therapists), I sometimes mentor people considering going into social work or other mental health professions. I thought I would provide some of the most frequently asked questions about social work here, in honor of social work month.

Q. “What is the difference between a social worker, a therapist, and a psychiatrist?”

A. A social worker is a type […]

20 02, 2015

Sharing, Mindful Kids through Sportscasting

By |2019-11-18T14:30:41-08:00February 20th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Mental Wellness, Parenting|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

sharing mindful kids sportscasting

I took my youngest (now 16 months) to a playdate at a park the other day, which she doesn’t get to do nearly as much as my first baby did. She loved playing with other babies and toddlers and I got to chat with other moms. Sharing toys is always a topic with little ones, and one mom introduced me to the idea of “sportscasting” what is happening versus stepping in and making a child share. She said it comes from “RIE parenting,” an approach I immediately researched upon coming home.

Sportscasting describes what is happening without assigning blame. We don’t tell the child what to do, but let him or her try things out. This experimenting is how a child […]

12 02, 2015

You Are Beautiful Just the Way You Are

By |2019-11-18T14:30:41-08:00February 12th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Mental Wellness|Tags: , , |1 Comment

You are Beautiful

As I started my January/February Newsletter, I began by compiling my best tips for achieving goals and change in the New Year. Sure, I believe it is good advice. But, somehow, it didn’t quite feel right. I kept procrastinating writing, feeling unmotivated. Then it hit me… People may come to me for therapy seeking to change themselves. But most of the time the person I see is just fabulous. And we work on her seeing it, too.

I had a sweet friend named Kelly who I used to hang out with 14-15 years ago. We would make plans to go out and I would say, “Oh, I’m going to change and be ready by 7…” and he would always say, sincerely, “Don’t change, Abby. […]

19 01, 2015

How to Make SMART Goals (and How They Differ From Resolutions)

By |2019-11-18T14:30:41-08:00January 19th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Mental Wellness|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

Has anyone broken a New Year’s Resolution yet? I shared recently why I believe New Year’s Resolutions don’t work. I also promised to write about SMART goals. What are SMART goals? Like self-care GRAPES, SMART is an acronym.

SMART goals (acronym)

S = Specific

How many people choose broad goals that aren’t specific at all? If you are serious about manifesting change, take the time to picture what specifically it would look like. The more detail the better. Are your goals straightforward? Specifics help us focus our efforts and clearly define what we are going to do. WHAT are you going to do? WHY is […]

9 01, 2015

3 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

By |2019-11-18T14:30:41-08:00January 9th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Mental Wellness|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Every year we make New Year’s Resolutions. And every year most of them are never met. Why is it that New Year’s Resolutions don’t work? I made one myself a month ago… and it’s easier said than done.

3 Reasons Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work

1. We have just barely survived the holidays and need a little rest.

The holidays can be stressful and/or a lot of work. There is a lot of intensity, and most of us crave some quiet and peace instead of ambitious self improvement. Personally, I think the dead of winter is better suited to hibernation, to laying low, resting, and enjoying downtime. Perhaps the spring is a […]

2 01, 2015

Envision the Year You Want – and my free gifts for you

By |2019-11-18T14:30:42-08:00January 2nd, 2015|Categories: Blog, Giveaways/Free Resources, Mental Wellness|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

 make a vision board for 2015

My Gifts To You: 

1. Free Yoga

To start 2015 off right, I am offering a free yoga class to anyone who books a session with me. I have partnered with several yoga studios around San Diego and North County. Classes available include prenatal, mom and baby, and adult-only classes. Schedule a session with me for individual or couple’s therapy before the end of January and simply ask me for a gift certificate! Although I specialize in women’s mental health, my psychotherapy services cover many different topics. Just ask me! With thanks to the participating studios, including Nature’s Whisper in Hillcrest, Babies in Bloom in Vista, and Sharp Mary Birch in Kearney Mesa.

2. 2015 Vision Boards

20 09, 2014

A Mother’s Unprocessed Childhood Experiences Can Decrease Her Ability to Respond Appropriately to Her Baby’s Cries

By |2019-11-18T14:30:58-08:00September 20th, 2014|Categories: Blog, Maternal Mental Health, Mental Wellness|Tags: , , |2 Comments

A study released last week¹ in Child Development provides new evidence that a mom’s ability to respond appropriately to her baby’s cries depends on her level of depression and her own childhood experiences.

crying baby

Image source 

The healthiest way to respond to an upset baby (quickly, consistently and warmly) was associated with mothers with healthier emotional development. Mothers who are depressed or who have problems regulating their emotions are more likely to focus on themselves and their own stress, rather than on the needs of the baby.¹

My two cents: New moms don’t want to focus on themselves, especially in something like therapy. This new study indicates yet another reason why taking a little time to be selfish and stay healthy is BEST FOR BABY. What keeps you healthy and balanced? […]

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