Help For Stuggling Children

Waking from the nightmare - Book

"Tyler knew this monster in his brain was bigger than all of us and was terrified that it would eventually destroy him and his family".

I am a Clinical Psychologist, in private practice since 1986, working with children and teenagers who have academic, behavioral, attentional, and mood problems. My book is a personal, optimistic journey through the world of children who struggle with hopeless, depressive thinking, a world of deep sadness and undeniable strength. It explains why the traditional behavior management strategies do not work, why parents become so desperate to help their child, and how clinicians and educators are mismanaging and misunderstanding these children. I know, because I was one of these misinformed adults, trained in behavioral psychology, believing that if I just doled out the right consequence I could shape the child’s behavior to be more compliant and reasonable. If I just talked long enough, used the right words, and was consistent with my rewards and punishment, I could turn them around. I was in for the education of my life.

In Waking from the Nightmare, I have used all that “my kids” have taught me, sometimes in their own words, to also allow the reader to enter their world, live their pain, and experience the storm of their emotions. You will meet several children who have willingly, and with great pride, allowed me to share their stories. Stories that describe their shame at their own behavior when they were feeling their worst and illustrate their anger at the adults who could not help them. Children who almost gave up on everyone, including themselves, but hung on for dear life and never gave up on me or my ability to help them. I want to pay tribute to these children by teaching adults how to provide emotional care, how to problem solve rather than punish, and how, in some cases, to save the life of a child.

I have taught this approach to parents, educators, and other professionals throughout the state of Michigan, speaking at over 500 conferences and workshops. Each time, my information is greeted with enthusiasm and hopefulness because I give them permission to do what their instincts have been telling them to do. To provide educational care when education is impossible, to love unconditionally when “consequences” only serve to fuel the behavior, and to follow their intuition in the face of criticism. Waking from the Nightmare is just that, an awakening from hopelessness, helplessness, and rage into a world of hope, optimism, and strength. This is my invitation to you.

Find Out More: ResourcesPurchase The Book | Scheduling A Seminar | Attending A Seminar

Tyler's Story

Meet Tyler.

I first met him when he was 10 years old, in the fifth grade. He is one of the best illustrations of the complexity of children and why we must remain constantly watchful for developmental changes and the effects of changing environmental demands and expectations. 

Tyler’s mother brought him to me with concerns about his underachievement at school, poor social skills, increasing frustration and anger, difficulty with task completion, and constant, nervous fidgeting. These had been longstanding problems although, up until now they had seemed manageable. In addition, his mom had assumed they were largely the result of her parenting style and was continually restructuring her consequences in an effort to improve his behavior.

All of Tyler's Story...

A child's view of bi-polar

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