25 07, 2015

4 Ways to Help Kids Understand Emotions with “Inside Out” (Disney/Pixar)

By |2019-11-18T14:30:38-08:00July 25th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Giveaways/Free Resources, Mental Wellness, Parenting|Tags: , , , , , , , |3 Comments

My recent “Inside Out” Study Guide for helping teens and adults understand emotions has been getting positive feedback on Pinterest. Today I’m sharing some ideas for helping younger kids and tweens (grades K-8) use the Disney/Pixar movie to better understand their feelings.

Helping Kids Understand Emotions with Inside Out

1. An emotion pie chart

To be honest, I can’t take full credit. One of my young clients* came up with this idea on his own. He had the brilliant idea of turning his face into a pie chart and using the five colored emotions from Disney/Pixar’s “Inside Out” to represent the mix of his feelings. He then drew a key identifying the significance of each color.

You can use this idea […]

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 […]

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 […]

31 10, 2014

Older First Time Moms at Increased Risk of Depression

By |2019-11-18T14:30:57-08:00October 31st, 2014|Categories: Blog, Maternal Mental Health|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

A recent study showed an increased risk of postpartum depression in women of advanced maternal age. Specifically, first time moms between the ages of 40-44 had statistically higher rates of depression than women ages 30-35.

older mom and baby from freedigitalphotos.net and hyena reality

The MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health reported on the article, which was published last month in a Canadian journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The researchers did not uncover WHY older mothers are at an increased risk for postpartum depression, but they did have two theories. One, they believe it is possible that first time moms over 40 may have more difficultly during pregnancy and a more difficult adjustment to motherhood. Another possibility is that older moms may feel less […]

15 10, 2014

Culture and Language in Therapy with New and Expecting Parents

By |2019-11-18T14:30:57-08:00October 15th, 2014|Categories: Blog, Maternal Mental Health, Postpartum Health Alliance|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |6 Comments

Recently I attended a lecture sponsored by the Postpartum Health Alliance on “Cultural Considerations when Working with Expecting and New Parents.” The lecturer happened to be an old friend of mine, Dr. Mariela Shibley, Psy.D. She shared with a group of maternal mental health practitioners, First Five home visitors, and other professionals interested in helping pregnant and postpartum women. As I focus on helping women of childbearing years in my psychotherapy private practice in San Diego, I always look forward to learning more and connecting with other practitioners at the PHA lectures. You can see more posts inspired by the PHA lectures here: Postpartum Couples and the

23 08, 2014

Some GRAPES a Day Keep the Psychiatrist Away: A Self-Care Checklist

By |2019-11-18T14:30:59-08:00August 23rd, 2014|Categories: Blog, Mental Wellness|Tags: , , , , |5 Comments

Everyone knows that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. The vitamins and fiber are great for our physical health. But what about our mental health? Is there something simple to keep the psychiatrist away? Why not try some “grapes”? I am not referring literally to the fruit, although grapes and grape products (ahem, wine) are delicious (in moderation, of course.) I am talking about the acronym “GRAPES”: Gentleness, Relaxation, Accomplishment, Pleasure, Exercise and Social. These elements help keep us happy and content and are ways to practice healthy coping skills. Use the acronym as a way to quickly remember activities to practice self care.

Grapes Self-Care Infographic

Let’s break down the elements of GRAPES. As we go through each one, try to brainstorm activities that are specific to […]

30 07, 2014

Save the Date: 9/14/14 Natural Family Fair

By |2019-11-18T14:31:00-08:00July 30th, 2014|Categories: Blog, Maternal Mental Health|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |1 Comment

I am honored to be accepted as a vendor at this year’s Natural Family Fair. I have enjoyed the Natural Baby Fair in years past, but this will be my first year having a table and representing my own therapy services. This year will be the best ever as Natural Baby Pros has teamed up with our family’s favorite band, Hullaballo, and Reproductive Wellness to present three events on one occasion.

natural family fair

I am looking forward to sharing with the Natural Family Fair attendees how I can help families trying to conceive, considering having a baby or adjusting to pregnancy. My mental health background gives me a solid expertise in helping adults overcome anxiety and depression and I specialize in the particular challenges […]

29 07, 2014

Postpartum Anxiety is More Common Than Postpartum Depression, But Rarely Screened

By |2019-11-18T14:31:00-08:00July 29th, 2014|Categories: Blog, Maternal Mental Health|Tags: , , , , , , |4 Comments

Most people have heard of postpartum depression. With good reason. It affects 1 in 7 new mothers. But what about postpartum anxiety? Most studies document that this “other postpartum” mental health concern is even more common than PPD, with as many as 1 in 5 new moms struggling with postpartum anxiety. 1 in 5!

postpartum anxiety is common but we can make it better photo credit: sunset girl via unsplash

 

When suddenly a parent for the first time, there is much to worry about. I remember watching my first baby as a newborn sleep at night, worrying she would stop breathing in the middle of the night. And then there is breastfeeding… is baby getting enough milk? Is she gaining enough weight? Does he […]

14 05, 2014

Helping Parents Overcome the Trauma of the NICU Experience

By |2014-10-15T09:56:19-07:00May 14th, 2014|Categories: Blog, Maternal Mental Health, Postpartum Health Alliance|Tags: , , , , , |2 Comments

Thanks to my association with the Postpartum Health Alliance, I recently attended a lecture by Dr. Krishelle Marc-Aurele, of UC San Diego/Rady Children’s Neonatology Division, on “Coping with the NICU experience.” Dr. Marc-Aurele is board certified in pediatrics, internal medicine, neonatalogy, and palliative medicine. She has been a Medical Director at San Diego Hospice and neonatal attending at UCSD. She is also a lovely human being who conveys a genuine caring for her patients, a deep understanding of very difficult times, and a sincere desire for families to overcome the trauma of the NICU experience.

overcome the trauma of the nicu experience

Her talk covered birth stress and birth trauma for parents who have had experiences in the neonatal intensive care unit. I was surprised to learn how prevalent birth trauma can be, which she states […]

17 03, 2014

Postpartum Health Alliance Member Provider

By |2019-11-18T14:31:01-08:00March 17th, 2014|Categories: Blog, Maternal Mental Health, Postpartum Health Alliance|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

I am proud to support the Postpartum Health Alliance. The PHA has supported women in San Diego since 1998 by focusing on Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Also known as “Maternal Mental Health,” Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs), which include Postpartum Depression, affect 1 in 8 pregnant and new mothers.

And I am very proud to have been approved as an official provider, or psychotherapist approved by the Postpartum Health Alliance. And I can now share that the PHA is very careful in screening therapists before recommending them to pregnant and new parents. The PHA provides support and referrals for treatment through their “warmline,” which is staffed by trained volunteers.  The warmline takes messages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can be reached at 619-254-0023.

Want to know if you may be at risk for postpartum depression or depression during pregnancy?