Debra Kessler, Psy.D.

Debra Kessler, Psy.D.
Debra Kessler, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the care of children and their families. Dr. Kessler was awarded her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University. While working as an RN in Pediatric Intensive Care, she pursued a Masters Degree in Pediatrics from UCLA to further her skills in caring for children. After a career in nursing that included bedside nursing, Kessler chose to focus her attention on addressing the emotional needs of children and their families by obtaining a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at California School of Professional Psychology. Her post-doctorate work was done with Child Development Institute treating autistic and developmentally challenged preschool and young children and at Reiss-Davis Child Study center addressing the needs of school children, adolescents and their families. She has contributed to Infant/Child Mental Health, Early Intervention, and Relationship-Based Therapies: A Neurorelational Framework for Interdisciplinary Practice (Lillas &Turnbull 2009). Dr. Kessler has an active practice in Montrose, California. In a family centered manner, she treats a range of developmental and emotional issues including adoption/attachment difficulties, bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, autism/Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, learning challenges, regulatory difficulties and other issues that interfere with children reaching their potential.

Blogs by Debra Kessler, Psy.D.

Why It Is So Important For Parents to Validate Their Children

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 »

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The mad monster made me do it!

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 »

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Negative Feelings, Essential Signals on the Road of Life: Supporting our Children on their Path

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 »

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What’s Up with Boredom?

In my office I have encountered clients who report “boredom” as an almost unbearable state.  My young clients find they are “bored” at school, doing chores, having to even engage in conversations.  It is a painful state they feel they need to escape from which often leads to distracted behavior in class, conflicts at home… Read more »

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Innovations and Conveniences: Ups and Downs of Parenting in the 21st Century

Life in the 21st century is full of innovations and conveniences.  The scope of these changes and their impact on our experiences are vast from the food we eat to how we do our daily tasks.  We can do many things faster, more efficiently and more conveniently.  Food is tastier and entertainment more accessible, stimulating… Read more »

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suggestions for parents in the digital age

6 Suggestions for Parents in the Digital Age

Technology – Taming the Tiger Technology is here to stay. Like a tiger, it is fiercely powerful, agile and needs to be handled with care.  Technology has become a staple in our lives, helping us with every thing from keeping track of appointments and paying bills to helping our kids with their homework through quick… Read more »

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If a tree falls in a forest, should I get out of the way?

 “If a tree fall in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” This age old question has provoked many to ponder the answer in scientific as well as philosophical terms.  Scientifically speaking, a falling tree would cause vibration, but without an ear to perceive it, there is… Read more »

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Sexting, Technology and Relationships

The New World Order: have we gone too far with technology?

It is a different world than the one in which most of us were raised in, in terms of technology and convenience.  Technology is here to stay to make our lives easier.  We don’t have to remember phone numbers, look at a map to get where we are going or worry about complaints of “are… Read more »

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“I don’t know”, “I don’t remember”, “I didn’t do it” – Opportunities to Teach Responsibility

What is a parent to do when they ask their child “What happened” and are met with “I don’t remember”,  “I didn’t do it” or “I don’t know?”  This can be very frustrating when we are trying to work out skirmishes between siblings and are confounded by such evasive responses.  These responses thwart our goals… Read more »

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It isn’t whether you win or lose, it is how you play the game, or is it? The law of unintended consequences

It seems today as if outcome or product is the priority.  From grades and test scores, following rules, being “good”, winning a soccer game to getting into the best college or job, the focus is on the end product.  While this seems to be a responsible pursuit for conscientious parents, this path may in fact… Read more »

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