Empowering girls and women for life.

13 Questions to Ask a Potential Therapist

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When you are considering therapy for your child or teen, you may wonder how to begin your search for a therapist. Get a recommendation:  Word of mouth is often an excellent way to obtain a recommendation. Pediatricians, school counselors, pastors, rabbis, and friends may be a source of information about local therapists. Some parents prefer…

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25 Weekly Groups for All Ages!

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Give your daughter – and yourself – the support needed to thrive! Dear friends and colleagues, I’m proud to lead our Child and Adolescent Group Therapy Program at the Institute. As you’re updating your schedules for 2019, we wanted to offer a helpful overview of our current group therapy options – in a concise format…

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Activities for Learning How to Compliment

Bullying Prevention: Creating a Positive School Climate And Developing Social Competence by Pamela Orpinas and Arthur M. Horne is a rich resource for practical and effective anti-bullying programming. It’s chock full of research, programming information, resources, and some activities to build skills. Here’s one of our favorite activities from the book. These activities are useful for…

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Alternatives to Relational Aggression (RA)

Girl Wars Questionnaire Back in the day, early research on aggression indicated that girls did not engage in aggressive behaviors. This statement often evokes a “ha!” or a “what?!” for those of us who work with youth. The problem with the first research on aggression was its focus on direct and physical aggression. Research today…

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Announcing FREE Monthly Group for Soon-to-be-Moms & New Moms

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Dear friends and colleagues, We know how beautiful, frustrating, exciting and exhausting it can be to begin the parenthood journey. Our compassionate therapists offer unique support and resources to assist women in gently finding their way through the many stages of starting or growing a family. And, starting in 2019, we will be offering a…

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Announcing our expanded Perinatal & Postpartum Program!

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Announcing our expanded Perinatal & Postpartum Program!   We know how beautiful, frustrating, exciting and exhausting it can be to begin the parenthood journey. Our compassionate therapists offer unique support and resources to assist women in gently finding their way through the many stages of starting or growing a family. Our expanded Perinatal and Postpartum…

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Art as a Way to Advance Higher Order Thinking Skills

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Art as a Way to Advance Higher Order Thinking Skills By Sushi Frausto, LMFT Participating in artistic processes builds skills that can lead to success in many areas of our lives.  Being creative requires our brain to use higher order thinking skills.  Higher order thinking refers to complex thinking that requires numerous cognitive processes to…

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Art as Language

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Art as Language: Enriching Communication Through Art By Sushi Frausto, LMFT To say art is a language is, in reality, a bit misleading.  Art is a process of communication that includes language but moves beyond the grammatical and linguistic limits of language.  Art is an overarching term often commonly used for all expressive and creative…

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BREAKING NEWS FROM SUPERFLEX ACADEMY!

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Space Invader is on the loose! Space Invader is an Unthinkable that is skilled at invading the brains of citizens everywhere. Be on the lookout for these signs of the Space Invader. The Space Invader will be seen moving into someone else’s personal space without noticing where their body is! Space Invader is known to make…

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Bullying Prevention Resources

Courtesy of Michael D. Yapko, PH. Here is a valuable list of website resources regarding bullying and how to make a difference. These resources will be of interest to parents, teachers and even young people. http://www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm/ Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center – The National Bullying Prevention month campaign was started by this organization in 2006….

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Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting

The other day as I was rushing through the morning to get my 4 year old prepared for a day at summer camp when I realized in a moment of frustration that I had been repeating the same request over and over again without any follow through from him… a frustrating situation indeed for me…

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Celebrating Cooperation and Working Together Through Music

Our children may spend a good amount of time talking about “when friends aren’t so friendly.” As parents, educators, and youth advocates, we are often distressed, even alarmed, by children’s conflicts, bullying, harassment. Does our capacity to celebrate cooperation, solidarity, and connection get lost in the shuffle? Lyn Mikel Brown, author of Girlfighting: Betrayal and Rejection…

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Cutting and Self-Harm Resources

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Check out our list of resources related to self-injury:   Kids and Self-Injury: What Parents Need to Know Source: Nationwide Children’s Hospital This article helps to answer questions related to what self-injury is, why people self-injure, its relation to suicidal behavior, signs to look for, how it’s treated and recovery.   Information For Parents: What You…

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Embracing Gratitude

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EMBRACING GRATITUDE Thanksgiving is the holiday most associated with gratitude, but you can engage in the practice of gratitude all year long! After all, gratitude has been associated with greater happiness, better health and sleep, improved self-esteem, lasting relationships, and more. So why isn’t gratitude a regular habit for so many of us? Sure, sometimes it’s…

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Expect the Unexpected

Tools for wonderful and challenging times Life is full of surprises – wonderful, awful, beautiful, challenging surprises.  As we wear our many hats –  parents, educators, human beings who work with and care about young people – how can we meet the unexpected with grace and courage?  And, how can we help the girls and…

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Expert Tips to Minimize Holiday Stress

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Dear friends and colleagues, I’ve often considered the holiday season a great paradox. On the one hand, it is a precious time to connect with loved ones, reflect on whatever gives meaning to our lives, and engage in acts of kindness. On the other hand, it can be enormously stressful with long lists of cool…

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Expressive Arts Therapy….What’s That?

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Sushi Frausto, M.A., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the Institute’s Child and Adolescent Specialty Practice (LMFT #101031) How much time does your child spend in imaginative, creative expression?  Given the current focus on screen time and structured activities, children’s engagement in imaginative, creative expression is on the decline.  Not a good thing – for…

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Five Tips for Internet Savvy Parenting

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Five Tips for Internet Savvy Parenting Melissa J Johnson, PhD and Vicki Chiang, PsyD   In a conversation about social media and kids, you may see us hold up our right hands – the index and middle fingers forming the shape of a V.  No, we’re not giving you the peace sign.  At least not…

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Friendship Stress? Friendship Tools!

The middle school girl friendship world gets a bad rap.  We hear about “drama,” mean girls, and exclusion.  Social media adds to friendship stress. What’s a girl to do?  What’s a parent to do?  We all want girls to enjoy positive friendships. In fact, research shows that girls grow through connection.  Relationships with peers and…

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Fun Art and Science Projects with Halloween Candy!

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Delight your Children with Art and Science Projects using Halloween Candy!   Halloween is here – a time of ghosts, goblins, and…..CANDY! Do you dread arguing with your children about candy limits? Well, I have great news. There are fun and creative activities you can do with candy – including projects to engage your kids in art…

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Get Assertive!

Our favorite definition of assertive is “educating others on how you want to be treated.” This is a vital skill for young women today – in friendship, in dating relationships, at work and in school.  Watch this 1 minute video with Dr. Melissa J. Johnson, psychologist, CEO and founder of the Institute on how you…

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Gratitude Journals

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GRATITUDE JOURNALS Grace M Goodman, Psy.D. Gratitude journals have been shown to increase happiness and decrease stress. To get the most benefit from gratitude journaling, follow these helpful guidelines: Journal once or twice per week. Evidence suggests that this is more beneficial than journaling daily. Pick one or two things that you are grateful for…

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Gratitude Paper Chains

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GRATITUDE PAPER CHAINS Create a Gratitude Chain with your family. Use colored paper and pre-write a gratitude prompt on each link. Then, tape the links together and hang the chain. Each day, remove one link – maybe during a family dinner – and everyone can answer that prompt. Some prompt ideas: Name a food, game, friend, trip,…

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Helping Kids to Confidently Ride the Waves of Big Feelings

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HELPING KIDS TO CONFIDENTLY RIDE THE WAVES OF BIG FEELINGS   By Jessica Fisher, Psy.D. Post-Doctoral Fellow / Dialectical Behavior Therapy Specialty Supervised by Vicki Chiang, Psy.D, PSY21136   How do I know if my child could use support?  Some kids are born into the world with big feelings! This is both a gift and…

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I Just Want to Know What She’s Up to! Making Successful Appointments with Your Daughter

It’s back-to-school time. And, things get busy fast! The desire of your heart is to maintain some quality time with your daughter but so many demands interfere. Plus, your daughter may seem disinterested in those “meaningful conversations.” Perhaps this scenario sounds familiar: You come home from work to find your daughter quietly watching TV. You…

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International Day of the Girl 2018

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October 11 is International Day of the Girl! October 12 is our celebration, viewing the film Beauty Bites Beast with the filmmaker Ellen Snortland! Join us!   What is your family, classroom or organization doing to celebrate the International Day of the Girl? Perhaps you’ll be joining us for our film night, mini self-defense training,…

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Moving Beyond Appearance

Sadly, we sometimes hear from girls as young as 6 years old about their fears of being fat.  As girls move toward the teen years, research shows a significant increase in what we refer to as body dissatisfaction. We hear from worried parents, “what can I do to help my daughter feel good about her…

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Newsletter | October 5, 2018

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TALKING ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT WITH CHILDREN AND TEENS The political events of the last few weeks have focused our national, neighborhood, and family conversations on sexual assault, abuse and harassment. Wherever you find yourself on the political spectrum, many report that this is an emotionally grueling time. It has been particularly triggering for those who have experienced…

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Pain Management Resources

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Check out this list of resources on pain management:   Support Organization: American Chronic Pain Association   Articles: Tips for Parenting a Child With Chronic Pain Managing Chronic Pain: How Psychologists Can Help with Pain Management   Websites: Growing Pains: For Teens Living with Pain Pain Management for Teens More Teen Pain Help – more…

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Postpartum Mental Health Myths Vs. Facts

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POSTPARTUM MENTAL HEALTH MYTHS VERSUS FACTS   Myth: Very few women experience baby blues. Fact: Approximately 70% – 80% of women will experience, at a minimum, the baby blues; about 20% will experience the more severe postpartum depression and its other subtypes.   Myth: Postpartum depression begins directly after birth. Fact: It is believed that…

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Postpartum Mental Health Resources

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POSTPARTUM MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES Postpartum Support International (PSI) Hotline in English and Spanish: 800-944-4773 postpartum.net   The National Women’s Health Information Center 800-944-9662 womenshealth.gov/mental-health   Maternal Mental Health Now A Los Angeles-based organization committed to education families and professionals about postpartum mental health maternalmentalhealthnow.org   Postpartum Progress An informational webpage and blog created by a…

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Reflections & Intentions

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Happy New Year! The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on the past 12 months and set our goals and intentions for the year ahead. Below is a list of 10 tips that will help you set and stick to your goals in 2019. There’s a sense of freshness and…

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Resources for Parents of Middle Schoolers

For the middle school student, survival includes navigating new social relationships, more academic demands, exciting after-school activities, new feelings and body changes, and lots more decisions. It’s a time when family relationships change & connection gets re-defined. Here are a few books and websites that may be helpful resources for your pre-teen & teen during…

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Resources on Self Defense

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RESOURCES ON SELF DEFENSE We’ve worked with two organizations over the years for self defense training. We’re providing information about both of them here to help you select the one to best meet your training needs. These courses will help you build awareness, assertiveness, and physical technique for self defense. IMPACT: Recommended by our friend…

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Respect Activities

Courtney Macavinta and Andrea Vander Pluym are the authors of Respect: A Girl’s Guide to Getting Respect & Dealing When Your Line Is Crossed. About the book: “Quotes and advice from teen girls, true stories, and facts keep it real. Activities, journaling exercises, ideas for what teens can say when they are upset or pressured, and…

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Science Behind Why Women May Not Report Sexual Assault

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THE SCIENCE BEHIND WHY WOMEN MAY NOT REPORT SEXUAL ASSAULT A Message from the President of APA, Dr. Jessica Henderson Daniel Traumatic memories stored differently in the brain, according to psychological research WASHINGTON — Following is a statement by Jessica Henderson Daniel, PhD, president of the American Psychological Association, regarding what the scientific research says…

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Social World of Girls: A Resource Guide

These are some resources for parents dealing with girls’ changing social world. Clicking on the books will take you to their ordering pages on Amazon.com. For Parents of Elementary School Children Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children by Michael Thompson, Ph.D. and Catherine O’Neill Grace. Good Friends Are Hard to Find: Help…

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Talking About Sexual Assault with Children and Teens

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TALKING ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT WITH CHILDREN AND TEENS The political events of the last few weeks have focused our national, neighborhood, and family conversations on sexual assault, abuse and harassment. Wherever you find yourself on the political spectrum, many report that this is an emotionally grueling time. It has been particularly triggering for those who have experienced…

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Trauma – Coping with Wildfires

National Association of School Psychologists: Tips for Parents and Teachers: Helping Children after a Wildfire American Psychological Association Help Center: Recovering From the Wildfires American Psychological Association Help Center: Tips for managing your distress related to the wildfires

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Understanding Pain and the Brain

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Understanding Pain and the Brain: Increase comfort with the help of these videos and resources for children and adults Video Resources on Pain Management: For children and teens, this illustrated video project was directed by colleague Dr. Jody Thomas. In her words, the video You Are The Boss Of Your Brain is “about how kids…

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What’s Missing from “Tiger Mother” Parenting

There is no escaping the attention author Amy Chua has received about her book “Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother”. I’ve been captivated by the discussion, both as a Chinese American woman and a psychologist who works with families and children. The intrigue is partly because of my clinical passions (parenting, culture and parent-child relationships)…

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