Hello from Dr. Marie
Hello. For over 40 years, I have been a teacher, psychotherapist, and parent educator. During that time I’ve learned that many of the problems that bring people to psychotherapy aren’t really psychological problems at all. Rather, they are the result of misinformation, miscommunication, and the terrible isolation that so many parents face these days.
Without extended family nearby and with most of their friends too busy with their own complex lives to be available, it’s not unusual for a new parent (or a parent new to a developmental stage) to find her or himself without a friendly, caring, knowledgeable person to turn to as questions come up. Often enough, a problem that could have been handled by some early support and a few suggestions gets out of hand simply because the parents didn’t know what to do at the time. Months later, the family comes in for therapy. By now the parents are at odds, the kids are upset, the adults are feeling defensive and angry because they worry that they have failed, and the original problem has become so tangled in the mess that it’s hard to know where to start.
I’ve been working on ways to solve this problem for years. I’ve written advice columns for the local newspapers, taught parent and teacher workshops and classes, written a few books, and helped start a family drop-in center in my town. Two e-books were an outgrowth of those experiences. In 2011, “Tending the Family Heart: Connecting Your Family in Disconnecting Times” was published by PsychCentral.com. I’m proud that it won a 2011 Gold Award from the Young Voices Foundation. Another e-book, “Tending the Family Heart through the Holidays” followed a year later.
“Unlocking the Secrets of Self-Esteem”, was published and released by New Harbinger Press in January 2015. Having focused on families in prior books, I decided to devote this book to helping adults become all they can be – whether as parents, partners, workers or community members. It is a workbook, chock full of activities to help you develop the courage, positivity, mindfulness and relationships that result in an improved self-esteem and more energy to fully live.
The Musings blog on this website is for reflections on life in my family and in my part of the world, rural New England.
Parent Aid provides tips for parenting that I’ve accumulated over the over 40 years I’ve worked as a therapist and the 129 person years I’ve been parenting. (129 is the total if I add up the ages of all my kids.)
Self Esteem Essentials contains reminders of what we all need to do to have the positive self-esteem that is key to self-confidence and competence.
Like many of you, I work full time and juggle a large and complicated family. It’s difficult to fit blogging into the mix so new blogs are done randomly when something stirs me.
My younger daughter made the drawing of the coffee cups for me when she was 7 and I was stressing over creating a logo. She got it right. I love the idea that blogs are a way for people to have a virtual coffee and conversation.
Dr. Marie has a masters in Counseling Psychology from the Alfred Adler Institute in Chicago and a masters and a doctoral degree from the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is licensed in Massachusetts as both a psychologist and marriage and family therapist. Dr. Marie has worked in a variety of settings including school systems, clinics and a private practice. Since 1978, she has been an advice columnist and feature writer for newspapers and, since 2004, on the web. She currently writes for PsychCentral.com and HuffingtonPost.com. She and her husband of almost 50 years have 4 adult children.