All posts by cmsadmin

Picture Books to Help young children with sleep difficulties

Reading picture books to young children is an excellent way to help them practice managing difficult feelings. Because young children have a low tolerance for painful feelings and naturally work hard to place feelings outside themselves (think tantrums), books can help children see themselves from a little bit of a distance. This makes the feelings less painful and easier to bear. Toddlers and children learn to understand themselves better, feel comforted and understood, and their attachment is strengthened by reading about characters like them with their responsive parent.

Three books I like to recommend for parents of young children with sleep difficulties are: Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown which helps the younger child let go of their exciting day bit by bit, Don’t Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems which shows kids someone just like them who doesn’t want to end the day but whose sleepiness gets the best of them, and Close Your Eyes by Kate Banks which shows a young tiger cub who is afraid of the dark and the separation it brings who is comforted by his reassuring mother.

Three books I recommend to parents who wish to help their children recognize and learn to manage anger are When Sophie Gets Angry- Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang which shows a girl struggling with her jealous feelings of sibling rivalry, Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak which shows a young boy create a fantasy world which he controls after he experiences a parental limit, and Sometimes I’m Bombaloo by Rachel Vail which shows how when young Katy feels her rage she just does not feel like herself at all.

Separation anxiety can be talked about and young children can be reassured by reading Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown,  Owl Babies by Martin Waddell, and The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.

In therapy with parents, I help you discover the books that correspond to what your child is feeling. I will assist you in strengthening your bond, show you new ways to have fun with your child, and give you tools to assist your child in becoming more comfortable with  painful emotional or developmental experiences. 

Empathy: What it Means in psychotherapy

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about empathy. We recognize it when we feel it but we don’t always understand what it means. I think that Meryl Streep really got to the gist of it at the Golden Globes when she said “An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like”. 

Like actors, psychotherapists imagine another’s mind and consider what it feels like to take up residence there. Unlike actors, however, we don’t actually try to live there. This is empathy in psychotherapy. It gives me the ability to serve as your translator. As Nelson Mandela once said “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

In therapy I intend to learn your languages; the ones you speak in, feel in, think in, and act in. I hope this will help you feel less alone and give you the courage to find empathy for yourself and with this insight and understanding the ability to pursue change.

Psychotherapy: Some Definitions

In my work as a psychotherapist I use elements of psychodynamic psychotherapy, developmental psychology, and cognitive behavioral therapy to meet you where your needs will be best met. 

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy develops insight by looking at underlying and often disguised or hidden feelings and patterns thereby improving mood, relationships, and sense of well-being. Developmental psychology refers to understanding where a child may be struggling in his/her growing independence within the arenas of family, peers and school and seeks to improve functioning in these areas. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) aims to challenge how you think about and respond to both internal and external stimuli thereby helping to change the way you feel.

In psychotherapy, I will talk with you in the way in which I think you will feel most understood and reach with you for the aspect of your experience that is most relevant in the moment.