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How to Break Into an Adult Clique: Studio 5


The word “clique” often has a negative connotation and may bring up feelings of exclusive peers in Junior High, but adult cliques exist as well. It may not be a pleasant word, but the truth is that like-minded individuals often form social groups to discuss shared values, lifestyles, and interests. These groups can be intimidating, especially if you are looking from the outside in and would like to be a part of them. Here are some strategies to break into an adult clique:

1.  Don’t Take It Personally

If you feel like you’re not in the loop with a certain group or you haven’t been invited to participate, try not to take it personally (though this is easier said than done). Remember that people often organize themselves based on commonalities (working at the same company, playing tennis, homeschooling their children, etc.), and if you don’t feel involved, it’s likely not that someone is trying to intentionally exclude you. And perhaps members of a certain clique don’t necessarily feel like they need to expand their circle, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t.
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How To Stay Connected To Your College-Age Child: Studio 5

Staying Connected to College-Age Kids

Although your college age child may be grown up and no longer living at home, it’s still possible to maintain that emotional connection you’ve likely been working on for years. But with the new distance and living situation, parents and young adults alike sometimes have a difficult time navigating this transition in their relationship. How can you two be close when things have changed so much? Here are some strategies to stay connected with your college age son or daughter:

1) No Such Thing as “Normal,” Only What Works

Every family culture is unique in how each member is differentiated, or separate but simultaneously connected. Some like to talk and be together very often, while others are more comfortable being independent. So when it comes to communication between parents and their adult children, there is no real standard of how much you should be talking or emailing; just do what’s best for the relationship. Read more

How to Reduce Mom Guilt: Studio 5

Moms have a lot to do, and we often take pride in accomplishing tasks and checking items off of our to-do lists. But when we don’t achieve what we set out to, unfortunately we can beat ourselves up (this happens particularly during changes and chapter endings, such as summer winding down and kids heading back to school). It seem to be human nature to focus on what we didn’t get done, but focusing on our shortcomings (perceived or real) can lead to great unhappiness and emotional distress. Here are 5 ways to resolve mom guilt: Read more

End the Mommy Wars: Studio 5

We’ve all heard the term “mommy wars.” Originating in the 1980s, it refers to the negative cultural experience of mothers being pitted against each other based on their different lifestyle choices. While there are many aspects of motherhood that could be included under the umbrella concept of mommy wars (breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, etc.), the most significant dichotomy is that of working moms versus stay-at-home moms. But this framing is no longer relevant, as it doesn’t reflect the creativity and real lives of so many women who have a variety of experiences. Here are some steps to change the way we think about motherhood and end the mommy wars for good!

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“Bringing Partnership Home” Article Published in Peer-Review Journal

As part of my dissertation study I created a model of family transformation to help families move from a dominator systems based on ranking and domination, to a partnership organization that values cooperation, caring, connection, collaboration, celebration of all contributions, compassion, conscious language usage, and creativity. Based on Riane Eisler’s Cultural Transformation Theory, my Partnership Model of Family Organization offers a path for families to shift to a more nurturing and supportive system.

Bringing Partnership Home: A Model of Family Transformation

Free Access: Read and download the full article here

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7 Keys to Creating An Amicable Divorce: Guest Post

My friend and trusted colleague Michelle Farris, LMFT offers the guest post with great advice for divorcing couples about how to manage your own pain, end the blame cycle, and minimize the negative impact of divorce on your children.  

What about the kids? Every divorce parent worries about what divorce will do to their kids. It may keep you up at night obsessing over how you could prevent your children from experiencing such pain. As a clinical counselor, I want you to know that there is something you can do. It may sound like an impossible task, especially if the pain is still fresh. You might be thinking that I don’t understand. Based on my own experience, believe me I get it. I know firsthand the importance of creating a positive connection with an ex. We worked hard to lessen the impact by keeping communication open and eventually transformed our divorce into a working friendship. As a result, a harmonious (and yes, divorced) family unit was born. And my son loves it.

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5 Ways To Be an Amazing Mother-In-Law: Studio 5

When an adult child gets married, it can be difficult for his/her parents to navigate their new role as an in-laws. I am learning this myself, as my oldest son got married in the not too distant past. Unfortunately, our culture has created a negative stereotype of in-laws (particularly mother-in-laws), but your own experience can be a positive one! Here are 5 ways to be an amazing mother-in-law:

5 Ways to Be an Amazing Mother-In-Law

1) Expect and Embrace Differences

A family unit can thought of as a sort of “organism;” it has its own traditions, belief system, and even its own quirks. When a new person enters this family (through marriage), there are bound to be differences. Recognize that there is no such thing as a completely seamless transition, and expect  your new son-in-law or daughter-in-law to do some things in a new way. You can learn to celebrate these differences as well! It can also be helpful to talk about family expectations in order to navigate this change. Read more