Play Therapy 101: A Brief Introduction

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Play is at the core of children’s lives. It is how children express themselves, connect with others, and make sense of the world. Play is so important for children’s development that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) describes it as “essential to the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical well-being of children beginning in early childhood.” Through play, children can share their fears, frustrations, wishes, and dreams with others, as they cannot yet directly verbalize their thoughts and feelings.

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Keeping Teens Mentally Healthy on Social Media

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Nowadays, the internet is an ever-constant presence in both parents' and children’s lives. Never before has technology allowed us to be so immersed in the lives of others around the world. Social media, online spaces where individuals can post, share, and respond to content (written, photo, video), has become a virtual meeting site where people can keep in touch with friends, stay abreast of current events, and build communities. What occurs on sites such as TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr can be just as important, if not more important, than what occurs in the non-virtual world.

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The Importance of Mentalization and Reflective Parenting

The Importance of Mentalization and Reflective Parenting

Mentalization is a term clinicians and researchers use to describe the process by which parents can reflect on their child’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations, and then communicate these feelings back to their child. It is a process we all engage in, and one that relies on our ability to use imagination, empathy, and communication to work effectively. It also requires the parent to reflect on their emotional states and own history to ensure that they can effectively sort out what their child is thinking and feeling, and what the parent is thinking and feeling.

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Identifying and Preventing Escalating Behaviors in Children (Part 2)

Identifying and Preventing Escalating Behaviors in Children

Please note that this is a continuation of the prior blog post titled: “Identifying and Preventing Escalating Behaviors in Children
In the first half of this blog post, we discussed ways to prevent an escalation of behavior and emotion in your child. However, due to the fact that no caregiver, child, or environment is perfect, there may be times when no amount of prevention or early intervention will be enough to stop an escalation in its tracks. This post will briefly review the final four stages of Colvin’s (2004) Escalation Cycle: 4) Acceleration, 5) Peak, 6) De-Escalation, and 7) Recovery.

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Identifying and Preventing Escalating Behaviors in Children

The Escalated Child Part One

Children often experience ‘big emotions,’ getting caught up in joy, sadness, anger, and fear in strong, often intense, ways. When overwhelmed by these feelings, our children ‘act out,’ and escalate emotionally and behaviorally. Although we should expect our children to act out at times as they learn to regulate their emotions and problem-solve, sometimes these escalations can lead to problems academically, socially, and personally. Every child experiences and expresses their emotions differently but the escalation pathway often follows similar patterns and is described in the Escalation Cycle, as shown below.

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