The “Holidays”: Time to be happy and merry. For many people, this time of the year may feel stressful and overwhelming. Holidays can bring up and magnify unwanted memories and emotions. You want to make THIS holiday season great though – great for your kids, great for your family, better for yourself.  Below are two coping tips that may help you or someone you know enjoy the holidays a bit more this year.

  • Let go of expectations: Nothing will be perfect, and nothing will work out just the way you want it to. You can’t change or control anyone or anything but YOU. If you set your expectations too high, there’s a good chance you’ll feel guilty and/or frustrated when things go differently. Give yourself a break. Take things one step at a time and one moment at a time (this can be minute by minute, or day by day – whatever works best for you). 

  • Live in the moment: Practice mindfulness. When you start to feel all that stuff you don’t want to feel or worry about all those things you don't want to think about, try to focus your awareness on what is happening in the current moment (take a deep breath, close your eyes). Accept the moment for what it is (find a way to ground yourself in the moment and acknowledge that moment). Stop missing out on potential enjoyable activities by getting distracted by your thoughts. 

And on that note… I wish you all happy holidays! :)


I'm so excited to be featured on the Private Practice from the Inside Out Blog Carnival! The theme for this Blog Carnival is "Top 10's In Private Practice".

Here's a link to the current Blog Carnival:

I hope you also check out more selected posts for this Blog Carnival, located at the end of my article.

And now, here is my article:


Starting, maintaining, and growing a private practice is hard work. There’s always something to do, change, buy, worry about, stress about, etc.  For me, it’s 100% worth the work because I LOVE my work! I think it’s important to consider why (and why not) you do what you do for work, and when building a private practice, there are a lot of aspects to consider. No matter what challenge comes my way, I’m always happy to be doing what I’m doing because I love my private practice. Here are my top 10 reasons (in no particular order):

1. My clients: I have awesome clients (even if they don’t know it yet). I love being part of the change and growth each client goes through. I love feeling confident in what I do because I’m working within the scope of my education and training, and if a client wants to work on an issue that I don’t specialize in, I can feel confident about referring them to another therapist who does.
  • Tip for building a private practice: Figure out what population you want to work with. You’ll love your job more if you work with the population you enjoy and feel confident working with.

2. My space: I love both the physical office (an old craftsman-style house – very cute and cozy) and the physical location (one of my favorite neighborhoods in Seattle – lots of walkable shops and restaurants and a great community).
  • Tip for building a private practice:  Location is super important when deciding where you want your office. Make sure you do your research and find a place within the community you want to work in and in a neighborhood you love to be in. Make sure there is a demand in the area, and make sure you’re comfortable in the physical office you pick.

3. My hours: Since I primarily see children and parents, I usually work afternoons and evenings (after school hours). I’m not a morning person, so I love being able to have a sleepy morning at home in my pajamas and heading over to my office no earlier than 10:30. I’m more awake in the afternoons and evenings, so I’m more alert and ready to work with my clients during the hours I’ve set up.
  • Tip for building a private practice: Figure out what your optimal hours to work are. If you are a morning person, work during the morning. If you love your Saturday’s off, then don’t work on Saturday.

4. My paperwork: I love being able to create my own paperwork, change it when I feel like it should be changed, and make it my own. I love being able to complete my paperwork when I want to and when I am best able to.
  • Tip for building a private practice: Paperwork is a necessity, and thankfully, there are a lot of resources out there to help you get it all together. Take your time to figure out both what is needed and what would be beneficial for your practice, and make it your own.

5. My way: Since I have a private practice, I’m my own boss. I love being able to make my career challenging, stimulating, and enjoyable. I simply love being able to build my business the way I know will be best for me, my family, and of course, my clients.
  • Tip for building a private practice: Figure out what you want to do and how you want to do it. Make a business plan. Consider if being your own boss is best for you, your family, and your clients. Maybe hiring an accountant to help set up your legal and financial structure would be better than trying to do it all by yourself.

6. My stuff: I’m a child at heart, and I love to play every day. Since I mainly see children, I have some pretty cool toys and games. I love looking at, thinking about, and learning about new therapeutic toys and games for my practice.
  • Tip for building a private practice: Think about the stuff you need to practice your work successfully. Maybe all you need is two chairs. Maybe all you need is two chairs, paper, and pens. Making a list of things you need right now and things that you want in the future may be helpful for you.

7. My colleagues: I’ve reached out to many other therapists in my area in order to network, learn from each other, and learn with each other. I have gotten to know some pretty awesome people that I would not have met otherwise.
  • Tip for building a private practice: Networking is a must if you have a private practice. Not only does networking help build your practice, but it provides ways to learn new things, share, and feel supported.

8. My style: Again, I love doing what I do. I love doing what I do because of my therapeutic style, and I love being able to be flexible with my style in order to meet each client’s needs.
  • Tip for building a private practice: Know what therapeutic style works best for you, and make sure it’s a good fit for the clients you work with. If you think a client would benefit from working with a CBT therapist and you don’t do CBT, then refer the client to a CBT therapist. Make sure you do what you love doing – you’ll love your job more, and your clients will get more out of therapy if you are genuine.

9. My training: I love to continue to grow as a therapist by attending trainings I’m interested in. I love hearing about new research and learning more about my specialties.
  • Tip for building a private practice: I’m a nerd and would love to go to trainings/be in school forever, even if trainings (CEU's) weren’t required for my profession. If you, however, don’t particularly like trainings, at least find the trainings and topics that interest you and/or you want to learn more about. If you enjoy the topic, then you’ll be able to get something out of the training and continue to learn and grow as a therapist.

10. My supervisor/consult group: I have an awesome supervisor/consult group. I love being able to discuss ideas for both my business and my clients. I get to process sessions in a way that is unique (getting feedback and having a conversation with someone rather than simply writing a note about the session). Again, I love to learn and grow as a therapist.
  • Tip for building a private practice: Even if you have your license and don’t need a supervisor, consider the benefits of working with a supervisor and/or a consult group. Not only will you be a better therapist for it, but you can get more referrals by someone else knowing the kind of work you do.

Please check out more articles about Top 10's in Private Practice

Is your child’s least favorite word, “no”? Do you dread saying the word because you know it’ll result in a tantrum? Do you give into demands just to avoid a tantrum? If you avoid trigger words and phrase your responses in a more positive way, you can avoid power struggles while simultaneously empowering your child. Remember, STAY CALM when responding to your child!

1. Use FIRST, THEN language and acknowledge what your child wants (Yes, I’m listening!)
  • I know you want [candy][to play]. First, eat your dinner, then you can [have candy][play]

2. Remind your child WHAT he/she should be doing right now, and then give CHOICES

  • It’s time for bed. You can decide though – you can [have candy][play] either right when you get home from school tomorrow, or after you finish tomorrow’s homework

3. Work as a TEAM to come up with a solution

  • [Candy][Playing with paint] is only for special occasions. Let’s think of a way you can earn it.