The Healing Power of Horses

The mental health field is not unlike a lot of professions today — there is always more to know, so an expert's efforts are best spent learning and growing in specializations about which they're passionate. For me, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is a combination of two of MY great loves — horses and helping people.

The goal of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, or EAP, is to provide an experience through structured and natural interaction with horses that not only helps clients learn about themselves and life, but enhances relationship skills and promotes healing from trauma.

The Brain Benefits of Gratitude

Several studies have validated the practice of gratitude as a positive brain-changer. The research confirms that the daily practice of gratitude is good for our bodies, our minds, and our relationships. It can keep us from getting stuck in negative emotions, create a growth mind set, and build resilience during times of struggle. In one study, for example, the brain scans of individuals who practiced only eight weeks of gratitude had a stronger brain structure for social cognition and empathy. It also showed a strengthening in the circuits that process reward. What this says to me is that gratitude creates a virtuous circle of connection to ourselves, our world, and the people in it.  Here are our top five reasons to get your gratitude on.

Taking In The Good

Taking In The Good
“If the mind is like a garden, the 'soil' of your brain is just as fertile for weeds as flowers .... plant seeds of inner strength by repeatedly taking in the good. " Rick Hansen, PhD

I recently bought my first digital camera. A very generous friend, who also happens to be a professional photographer, is helping me out. I'm a typical iPhone point-and-click guy, so we started with the basics. Eventually, we moved beyond the automatic setting and experimented with changes in aperture and shutter speed. I love to learn, and this made me happy .... though most of my photos ended up in the trash bin. But digital photography = unlimited do-overs.

Four Steps to Raising Nice Kids

How many times this past holiday season did you had to say that statement to one or several of your children? Be honest. A new year is a great time to practice kindness within your family system. Not sure how to actually do that? Do not fear. Harvard just released a study sharing several ways to raise nicer kinds (and who doesn’t want that, right?!):

What To Do When Your Kids Are Making You Grey

As a therapist who specializes in children and family therapy, I hear questions from parents on a daily basis about how to effectively calm a child when they are having a tantrum. Well, before I share all my therapy secrets …here is a little science behind what is happening to your child’s brain when they are experiencing a big emotion and displaying a tantrum ...

Can You Be Mindful With a Full Mind?!

As a current graduate student working towards becoming a licensed mental health counselor, I hear a lot from my professors and colleagues about self care. It is important in any job or lifestyle to set aside time for you and your needs. Making sure to eat well, spend time with family and friends, exercise and relax. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But wait a minute, that last word, relax… um… when do I have time for that? Between two jobs, class time, homework, going to the gym, running errands, grocery shopping, and playing with the dog, I barely have enough hours in the day to squeeze in time with my boyfriend, friends and family. I’m sure you can relate to this feeling. Whether it be kids, long hours at work, volunteering, or being involved in the the community, it’s more common than not that the average adult does not have time to just relax.