• Parenting with Psychology: ABA Behavior Modification

    Personally, I hate the term behavior modification. But it has an important place in ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). Anyone who has worked with, known, or been in contact with a child with an autism spectrum disorder knows behaviors are inevitable. These are highly sensitive, highly rigid individuals, which makes even the slightest deviation tantrum-worthy. The goal of ABA behavior modification isn’t to try to control the children or their behaviors. It’s to understand why the child is behaving that way so they can be taught how to ask for what they want and express their needs in a more socially acceptable way. It helps give them tools they can take…

  • Parenting with Psychology: Therapeutic Alliance and Ruptures

    In psychodynamic therapy, the therapeutic alliance is what allows the psychologist and client get the therapeutic work done. What is the therapeutic alliance? Another term for it is working alliance and yet another is rapport. It’s the relationship the therapist and client have formed that enables the client to accept what the therapist has to offer and be able to enact change in their life. When it has been established, the client knows the therapist is there for them and trusts them. An alliance has been established where the goal is to help get the client to wherever they want to be in order to live their best possible life.…

  • Parenting with Psychology: Erik Erikson’s Stages of Development

    I spent a lot of time in psychology classes. I guess that’s what happens when you decide you want to be a psychology major and then get a higher degree in it. Though my focus was on clinical psychology with the goal of working with people with psychiatric disorders, I was more interested in children than adults. Developmental psychology was everywhere in my education. Erikson, Freud, Piaget, Vygotsky… My favorite is Erik Erikson. He aligned with Freud, but departed from him when it came to human development. According to Erikson, we progress through 8 stages throughout our lives. Each stage spans a certain amount of time and involves a crisis…

  • Book Review: The Psychology of Zelda edited by Dr. Anthony Bean

    Title: The Psychology of Zelda: Linking Our World to the Legend of Zelda Series Editor: Dr. Anthony Bean Publisher: Smart Pop Publication date: February 19, 2019 Genre: Nonfiction Summary: I’m not a gamer and have never actually played a Zelda game. So, why on Earth did I request this book from NetGalley? Growing up, I watched my younger brother and sister play Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Majora’s Mask. Later on, I watched videos of someone playing Skyward Sword so I could tell my husband what to do next. Since then, we’ve accumulated Link costumes for my husband and son, my husband’s Master Sword and Hylian shield, and at least a couple of Link…

  • Preschool is for Playing

    A version of this was previously posted on my other blog, Not the Typical Mom. I had something else planned for today, but, since my 4 year old starts his playschool program tomorrow, this is all that’s on my mind right now. Okay, my 4 year old isn’t exactly going to preschool, but he’ll be out of my care for a little over 5.5 hours each week. Which really isn’t a lot, but is more than he’s ever been away from mom and dad. To say I’m scared and nervous is an understatement! But I know it’ll be good for him, so I’m trying to stay upbeat about it so…

  • 3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge – Day 2 (3rd time)

    Thank you so much to Stephen T of Armageddon Cafe for the nomination! Check out his amazing blog, and pick up a free copy of his book! You can’t spoil a baby. -Dr. Jules Abrams Even though I’m more of a behaviorist, the psychology graduate program I attended was heavily psychoanalytic. This quote comes from my first psychoanalytic professor, an elderly man who still had a bit of a sense of humor and showed glimmers of an interesting personality. Dr. Abrams said this in class one day, not as part of a lecture, but just in terms of caring for a baby. Since my husband and I were already planning…

  • What You Can Do About the Stigma Around Mental Health

    Note: I am not a mental health professional in practice, but psychology was the focus of my college major, I have a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, and have worked in the mental health field. By now, the world knows designer Kate Spade committed suicide and battled depression, Dutch Queen Maxima’s sister battled mental health issues and committed suicude, and Anthony Bourdain’s death followed not long after. Many articles and blog posts have been dedicated to these tragedies and the number for the suicide hotlines have probably gone around the world. But it won’t stop suicide. It might help some, but it will never help everyone. Why? The stigma. The…

  • To Bear: A Commentary on Mass Shootings in the United States Part 2

    Please note I am not a licensed professional. I do, however, have a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, have done intelligence testing with college students and therapy with adults, and have been more generally in the field for going on 13 years. But I am NOT licensed for any clinical work, though maybe one day… My husband wrote recently about gun control and, as psychology is not his field, he asked me to write a bit about it and mental illness. I’ll be honest, I am a pacifist and advocate for no guns. I have also not been following the movement the Parkland students have begun as closely as he…

  • Motherhood: Hearing his cries

    There’s one question that haunts me every single day. Am I hearing, really hearing, my son’s cries? I guess there’s no way of hiding it. I was a psychology student, in a primarily psychodynamic program (think along the lines of Freud, but modernized). As such, I ended up taking some psychodynamically focused classes, one of which focused on children. There are these case studies that revolve around in my mind all the time. They haunted me while I took the class this past spring. I kept trying to focus on what I would do with a child client, but, as an expecting mother the whole semester, I always found myself…