While it is true life has been disrupted, how do we make sense of it for our kids? Their routines are changed; relationships are now managed with social distancing and pods. We told them tech has its place and now it is where they are getting their schooling. Social unrest is challenging the questions of… Read more »Learn More
Debra Kessler, Psy.D.
Blogs by Debra Kessler, Psy.D.
Long ago when my daughter was young, we noticed moments when her personality seemed to shift on a dime. She would flip from cooperative to irritable at a speed that left us bewildered. As we tried to make sense of it we became aware that this was occurring between meals and often when we went… Read more »Learn More
In the time of COVID-19, life has changed. Many of us feel simultaneously overwhelmed and bored. I commonly hear how tired folks are when in fact, their lives are being lived in a smaller footprint. Time drags on and melts away as days all blend together, going fast and slow at the same time. It… Read more »Learn More
In the past, staying at home was a privilege, a day off, a stay-cation or just an opportunity to relax. However, we are now in a truly strange time. It is mandatory that we stay home and it doesn’t take long for the novelty to wear off. Kids who have complained about getting up in… Read more »Learn More
For a sapling to emerge as a stable and sturdy tree, it establishes a deep root system and a thick trunk. From there, growth takes time and support. It must withstand environmental stressors, competition for water, nutrients, winds and other adversities. In the forest, a canopy provided by the more mature trees shelter the small… Read more »Learn More
When we enter the world, we transition from an insulated environment to one that is full of challenges. We must learn how to navigate around both expected and unexpected events. It is a journey that is easier for some and more difficult for others. As adults, it can be easy to overlook the process our… Read more »Learn More
How often have you asked yourself, “Why am I acting this way?” It is not uncommon to notice that, as we look around at others in the same circumstance that we respond differently; whether it is our response to our child’s backtalk, meltdown or lying. We can understand and accept that we may not have… Read more »Learn More
Validation is a way of letting someone know we understand him or her. Being understood is an essential ingredient to feeling connected and supported. When someone important to us understands us, their hearing us helps us to tune into ourselves and accept our emotions as real and meaningful. This ultimately supports the growth of self-compassion… Read more »Learn More
When we are little, our needs get expressed through our strong emotions. A baby doesn’t have the capacity to get food when hungry, a blanket when cold or a change of a wet diaper. Instead, they fuss! They muster the voice of the “mad monster” to get the attention they need, whaling and whimpering. This… Read more »Learn More
While bearing our own suffering is bad enough, watching our children struggle can be almost unbearable! It’s natural to want to avoid things that are uncomfortable and unpleasant, and especially to protect our children from experiencing them. And clearly, suffering for extended periods of time is unacceptable. But the truth is, life is not without… Read more »Learn More