How to Work with Your Child’s Temperament Instead of Against It

Every child has their own unique temperament. Even if you have multiple children, you might notice that they’ve all had specific quirks and character traits, seemingly from the minute they were born!

Although you’ll have a large influence on your child’s behavior, you can’t change their temperament. Over time, you may notice their temperament shifting, but it isn’t something that you can control as a parent. Some parents find this hard to accept, especially when their child does not have an “easy” temperament.

However, learning to work with your child’s temperament rather than against it can be a powerful change that benefits your whole household. Here’s how to embrace your child’s temperament.

Understand Your Child’s Temperament

First, it’s important to assess your child’s true temperament. Some children have what’s commonly called an “easy” or “flexible” temperament, which means their moods are generally stable and they can quickly adapt to changes in their routines.

Other children might have an “active” or “difficult” temperament, which indicates that they typically dislike routine changes and can be very sensitive to overwhelming stimuli. If they don’t like something, they can be very vocal about it!

Finally, some children have a “slow-to-warm” temperament. While they might be fussy at first when presented with routine changes or unfamiliar circumstances, they can adapt with time.

Accept Your Child as They Are

Accepting your child as they truly are is the key to working with their temperament. You may have moments when you wish your active child could be a little more laidback, or deal with stimuli without becoming easily overwhelmed. Or you might try to push your slow-to-warm child to adjust to new circumstances before they’re truly ready.

But this will only cause conflict between you and your child. You can’t force your child into an “easy temperament” box. Instead, you need to meet them where they are.

Plan Suitable Activities

When it comes to planning activities for your family, you’ll need to keep your child’s temperament in mind. For example, if your child has a flexible temperament, family road trips or even international vacations might be fun for everyone. But if your child is active or slow-to-warm, you might want to stick to exploring locally for now and discover what’s in your own backyard!

Be Mindful of Stimulation

Sometimes, your child might enjoy an activity, but the circumstances can drastically affect their happiness. For instance, maybe your child likes to go to the beach, but when it’s the height of summer and the beaches are packed, they might seem stressed and aggravated by the excess stimulation.

You could save beach days for times when there won’t be so many crowds. You might be surprised by how many activities your active or slow-to-warm child enjoys when the environment is right!

Don’t “Punish” Your Child Based on Their Temperament

Finally, remember that your child will naturally learn, grow, and step outside of their comfort zone as time goes on. But you cannot push them to change their natural temperament. If you’re in a situation where your child is very clearly distressed and overstimulated, forcing them to remain in that situation will not necessarily help them build resilience.

Instead, it might increase their anxiety and make them feel more reluctant to try new things in the future. Likewise, even a flexible child will benefit from routines, structure, and predictable schedules — they can’t always adapt on the fly.

Need more help supporting your child? Don’t hesitate to to learn more about how child therapy can help!

You’ve Graduated College…What Now?

Graduation! It’s a time filled with excitement, anticipation, relief, and let’s be honest…a bit of anxiety about what the future holds. You are now facing the “real world” full of high expectations and uncertainty about life and career paths.

Some may even experience post-graduate depression. These emotions can feel extremely isolating, but remember you are not alone. Let’s talk about how to move forward once you receive that diploma.

Set Realistic Expectations

You have been dreaming of graduation since the first semester of college. However, it may not be exactly how you pictured it. College does not necessarily prepare you for the challenges of applying for and finding jobs, losing close friends, finding housing, and changing your entire routine.

This transition can cause some panic, but remember that this is a normal part of entering the work force. Start setting small, manageable goals and celebrate every achievement along the way!

Stay Connected

In college, you are constantly surrounded by your close friends. After graduation, you may start to realize that many of your friends are moving away to follow their own personal career path, or perhaps they become busy and cannot spend as much time with you.

It can feel lonely not having your friends around all the time, which is why it is important to stay in contact with them. Set some time during the week to go grab dinner or have a movie night. Make plans with them for the weekend.

Don’t forget about your distant friends either! Set aside time to call or FaceTime them or make a plan to go visit. Having a support network can provide comfort and reassurance for the challenging adjustment into the work force.

Set Goals and Take Action

While it’s natural to feel uneasy about your career path at first, setting goals can help provide a sense of direction and purpose. Start with overall dream goals, such as where you want to end up working, living, and what you want to do with your life. Once you have the large picture, start breaking down steps to get there. Setting small goals helps with maintaining motivation and gives you a sense of pride for completing them.

The follow-through is just as important as identifying your goals. Take action and try to work on something productive each week.


Take time to reflect and appreciate all of the hard work and effort you put in to reach this point in your life. Graduating college was not an easy task, and life will only present more challenges along the way. Make sure to celebrate every milestone like getting your first job, receiving your first paycheck, renting or buying your first place, and just being out on your own.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

When it comes to post-graduate depression, the first step towards healing is simply to acknowledge that these feelings are present. Feeling sad, lonely, and uncertain are all normal and valid emotions of graduation. It’s okay to miss having lots of close friends, going to classes, socializing, and having fun.

Work through these emotions and be grateful for the experiences. You are allowed to grieve the ending of this phase of life. Reach out to support systems and reminisce about the memories together.

Focus on Self-Care

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle after college is going to help with feelings of depression and anxiety. Explore cooking meals, developing an exercise routine, engaging in pleasurable activities after work, and building social networks. Work does not need to consume every hour of every day. Be sure to carve out time to care for yourself daily.

Seek Professional Help

The transition out of college can be quite the challenge. It may be beneficial to seek help from a mental health professional. Counselors can help support you through this adjustment period and help you manage and work towards personal and professional goals. Reach out and schedule a session today!


Fear of Failure: Could You Be Unknowingly Instilling This in Your Children?

No one wants to fail. No one likes to fail. But beyond what we may believe, failure is a part of life. For some, however, this fear of failure is so intense that it can cause severe psychological harm. So much so, that it is possible to pass this fear onto children. Without even realizing it, parents can pass down their deepest insecurities. How do you know? Can it be stopped?

Identifying Fear of Failure

Children are like sponges; they absorb behaviors from their caregivers and hold onto them. Before you can recognize if you are projecting your fears, you must first learn to identify them.

The fear of failure has a few signs:

  • Anxiety
  • Helplessness
  • Feeling out of control
  • Indecisiveness
  • Powerlessness
  • Avoidance

People who are afraid to fail often struggle with making decisions, regulating emotions, and being able to set and achieve goals. A lot of times, this fear is rooted with low self-esteem and undermining their skill set. People may not even try something new due to their feelings of inadequacy.

Fear of Failure in Children

While you want your child to develop a healthy view of failure, it is possible that they learn to fear it. How can you tell? Here a few signs that your child is afraid to fail.

Reaction to Mistakes

Everybody makes mistakes! This is a well known phrase by now, and hopefully this is one of the first lessons you teach your kids. Sometimes, however, children make a mistake that causes an intense reaction from parents. If this happens often, it is possible that they start to fear messing up. They may start to learn that making mistakes is not okay because it causes an extreme reaction from caregivers. It may even cause them to never want try anything new.

Punishing Failure

As a parent, you need to discipline your child. But there is a line and it can be difficult to find where that line is. You want to be fair but not cruel. Bad behaviors have consequences, but these consequences do not have to necessarily be punishments. For example, if your child is getting bad grades, your first instinct might be to ground them or take something away. This could unintentionally be teaching your kids that failing is a bad thing. Instead of rushing right to a punishment, try finding solutions like hiring a tutor or helping them study.

Being Pushy

Another way kids can fear failing is if they feel they are pushed into a hobby or activity they don’t want to do. If a parent played baseball when they were younger, they might want to encourage their kid to try it as well. It’s possible that the child doesn’t necessarily like the sport, but they are afraid of their parent being upset with them for wanting to quit. Their parents’ disappointment can be similar to failing in their eyes.

How to Help

You can absolutely help your child with this fear! It’s never too late to start teaching them to embrace making mistakes. The main point is that mistakes are made to help us learn. Failure is just another opportunity for us to try again. We learn, we grow, and we persevere. We are going to succeed more once we learn to accept when we fail.

It may also be beneficial to seek personal help from a mental health professional. You must get your own fears under control if you want any hope for helping your children. Therapy can help you overcome this fear while also helping you to teach your children how to manage. Family therapy can be a wonderful resource to learn and grow together. Reach out and schedule a session today!

Tips for Keeping Calm During Your Child’s Tantrum


Screaming, crying, yelling, pouting — all signs of a storm brewing within your child. As parents, we can see the signs of a tantrum beginning and an immediate sense of dread washes over us. Our brains start thinking, “This is an emergency! I need to fix this right away!” We can feel our stress levels beginning to rise until we are almost as upset as our children.

During these times, it is important to be aware of yourself and your mindset and then try to stay calm. While easier said than done, here are five tips for keeping clam during tantrums.

1. Prepare Your Mind

While we want to try our best to prevent tantrums, it’s impossible to avoid all of them. Once you recognize the signs that an outburst is starting, you can brace yourself. Trust in yourself that you can handle their large emotions. Remember, it is not about you.

Children experience intense emotions that they don’t know how to manage. While they may project these difficult feelings onto you, it is more them trying to understand how they are feeling rather than them being upset towards you. Tell yourself it will end soon, then the parenting can begin.

2. These Are Your Child’s Emotions, Not Yours

Children do not have the skills to communicate emotions at a young age. They feel things intensely and don’t know another way to release this tension. Just because they are experiencing an emotional response does not mean that you have to. Ground yourself by practicing mindfulness, take deep breathes, and even walk away for a few minutes. Talk your emotions through with a partner, friend, or family member and identify your emotions in the process. Understanding how these tantrums make you feel can help you regulate them in the moment.

3. Don’t Take Tantrums Personally

Crying and screaming are a normal part of child development. It’s the only way they know how to express themselves during this time period. It’s not about you, it’s about them trying to communicate a need. Instead of feeding into the tantrum, try to understand what they are communicating.

Demonstrate communication skills by presenting them with options about how they may be feeling. Help them identify the emotion and what caused them to feel that way. Remind yourself that they are still babies and cannot vocalize needs effectively. You did nothing wrong and it is not your fault.

4. Minimize Words

At the peak of the tantrum, children are going to be unable to pay attention to what you’re saying. Give them space and allow them to work through the entirety of their emotions. You can try to get them to calm down by breathing with them, letting them know it’s okay and you are right here, and even soothing them by hugging or holding them.

Once you notice them relax, take this opportunity to educate and understand the reason behind the tantrum. Present other options for them to release emotions other than yelling and crying.

5. Form a Connection

Change your mindset to take a more positive spin on tantrums. This is not a result of poor parenting or a bad behaved kid. This is an opportunity for you to connect with your child and normalize their emotions. Allowing them a safe space to express their feelings will build a bond between you, and they will feel comfortable going to you for help with other difficult emotions. Telling them that you love them and are here for them will help future tantrums, and could possibly even decrease the frequency of them.

If you feel you are struggling with personal emotions during your child’s tantrum, seeking help from a mental health professional may also be beneficial. Learn coping skills and techniques to help keep your emotions in check so you may better support your children. Schedule a session today!

EMDR Therapy: How Does It Work?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) is a psychotherapy method shown to help people recover from trauma symptoms. When we think of therapy, the image that probably comes to mind is sitting in a counselor’s office and talking about how you feel. EMDR is framed a bit differently. Mental health professionals who are efficient with EMDR help heal the brain naturally from trauma.

How Does EMDR Work?

EMDR’s goal is to help the individual understand and heal from distressing experiences. The method involves moving the eyes in a specific pattern while processing traumatic thoughts. Depending on the severity of the trauma, an individual will participate in 6-12 sessions. There are 8 phases in total that occur during these sessions.

  1. History and Gathering Information: This phase consists of your mental health provider gathering information about you and your past to see if you are a right fit for the EMDR process. As the client, you will identify what events impact your life, as well as goals you would like to achieve in therapy.
  2. Preparation: Understanding expectations and education about EMDR will be important before you begin. Your health care provider will want to explain the process to you before you agree to participate.
  3. Assessment: In order to complete the process, you will want to identify a specific memory or event that you wish to overcome. You will analyze your personal thought processes and emotions.
  4. Desensitization and Reprocessing: During this phase, therapists will have you describe specific feelings when remembering the traumatic experience. You will identify how this situation affects daily functioning and other new thoughts you begin to experience.
  5. Installation: This is the implementation of a positive belief. The negative thoughts and emotions will be reframed and the therapist will encourage that you focus on this newfound belief.
  6. Body Scan: This stage will focus on physical symptoms of the body when processing trauma. Professionals will focus on tension, eye movements, and involuntary agitation. They will teach skills to help you relax.
  7. Stabilization: Coping skills will be taught during this phase and the counselor will encourage the use of them in between sessions in order to reach stability.
  8. Reevaluation: Once you have achieved your treatment goals, progress will be evaluated by the mental health professional. They will explain what to expect with your future, and how to seek additional treatment if need be.


Our minds are collections of thoughts, memories, beliefs, and experiences that make us who we are. The cells connect to one another in order to store memories. When a disturbing event takes place, these networks do not work properly. Trauma is difficult for your brain to heal, so instead of processing in a healthy way, it will try to push away and repress the memory. EMDR focuses on reprocessing, which is teaching your brain a healthy way to understand the event. When remembering the trauma, symptoms will not feel as severe and will be more manageable.

What Does EMDR Treat?

The most common use for EMDR is to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but other disorders it treats may include:

  • Anxiety Disorders (generalized anxiety disorders, social anxiety, and phobias)
  • Depression Disorders (persistent depressive and major depressive disorder)
  • Dissociative Disorders (amnesia and derealization disorder)
  • Eating Disorders (anorexia and bulimia)
  • Gender Dysphoria
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Personality Disorders (borderline and antisocial personality disorder).

It is important to conduct research before engaging with EMDR treatment. You’ll want to understand the process of EMDR and even research professionally trained therapists in your area. Do some self-reflection and decide if you are ready to process and heal from past trauma. If you feel EMDR is right for you, reach out and schedule a consultation today with one of out EMDR trained Therapists!

What Is CBT?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a therapeutic intervention used by mental health professionals that is proved to be effective with the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and eating disorders. CBT places an emphasis on clients helping themselves through analyzing thinking processes and identifying patterns in behavior. The focus of the technique is moving forward from the past and finding ways to cope with the challenges of life.

Core Principles

The development of CBT is based on 3 core principles:

  1. Core Beliefs: individuals are a direct result of their childhood experiences. They shape the way people view themselves, their environment, their beliefs, and their thoughts of the future.
  2. Assumptions: people tend to make assumptions based on their ways of thinking. These are usually negative perceptions of reality due to irrational thought patterns.
  3. Automatic Negative Thoughts: these are thoughts that automatically turn negative in our minds because of the way we perceive information. Thoughts will trigger unpleasant or negative emotions in which we may act on.

CBT is also the understanding of the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When a situation happens, our brains automatically have thoughts about the event. These thoughts will then trigger either a positive or negative emotion. Emotions are then what causes our behaviors and how we act.

CBT Strategies

When engaging with cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, you will notice certain areas of focus. These may include:

  • Recognizing irrational thinking and learning to reframe thought processes
  • Understanding the motivation to your behaviors
  • Learning problem-solving skills
  • Gaining confidence in personal skills and abilities
  • Facing your fears
  • Talking through problematic situations
  • Learning effective coping skills to calm and relax the mind

While these are some common examples of CBT, the focus of CBT practices depends on the client’s needs. A collaboration with a mental health professional can help develop an effective treatment plan based around personal goals.

Why Use CBT?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a useful tool because it can quickly help people identify and cope with life stresses and challenges. It follows a specific structure, and generally only needs a few sessions to complete. The focus is on identifying and expressing emotions, communication, learning coping skills, and managing physical and mental symptoms of different disorders. In some cases, CBT is most effective when it is paired with other treatments such as prescription medications.

Therapists and psychologists use CBT to treat a wide variety of issues, such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Personality Disorders
  • Phobias
  • Eating Disorders
  • Substance Use Disorders

This technique is also used to treat non-psychological conditions:

  • Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic Pain
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Lastly, CBT can be useful for many different life changes as well:

  • Relationship issues
  • Divorce
  • Struggles at work
  • Grief and loss
  • Stress management

How to Know If CBT Is Right for You?

First and foremost, it’s important to know that cognitive behavioral therapy is centered around skill-based dialogue, or talking. It involves help from a professional who provides a nonjudgmental, safe, and welcoming environment that encourages vulnerability. Together, you will create and work towards a treatment goal.

At the start of therapy, build trust with your therapist by disclosing the challenges, symptoms, and stresses you’ve been experiencing. Depending on the situation, your therapist will then ask questions about your past, potential fears or phobias, troubling behaviors, and irrational thoughts. You will then identify patterns connecting your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and discover what you need in order to overcome these issues.

CBT may cause some emotional distress and uncomfortable feelings; but remember that this is all part of the healing process. If you notice yourself struggling with your mental health, and you feel that CBT and talk therapy may benefit you, reach out to a local therapist today!