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Books for Self-Esteem & Confidence Building

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Walking into the self-help aisle of your local Barnes & Noble or logging onto Amazon can be a bit daunting. There are thousands of books on building self-esteem and self-confidence to choose from and with the hefty price tags, you don’t want to walk out with a book that just doesn’t do it for you.

Part of my job is reading self-help, psychology, and all the books in-between. I find the ones that resonate with me and have helped those I work with, then pass them on to clients or friends. These are some of my current favorites for creative and effective building of self-confidence and self-esteem in adults and children.

Self-Confidence, Self-Esteem Books For Adults

Click to buy The ToolsThe Tools: Transform Your Problems Into Courage, Confidence and Creativity by Phil Stutz and Gary Michels

Hollywood psychotherapists, Stutz and Michels, have created a groundbreaking book about personal growth, that provides an effective set of five tools that bring about dynamic change. The Tools provides solutions to the biggest complaint patients have about traditional therapy, “the interminable wait for change to begin.” The authors use a language that we can all identify with and provide insight and strategic tools to build confidence and release fear. For years, Stutz and Michels taught these techniques to an exclusive patient base and helped to create lasting change.  I have seen these tools work for clients and therapists alike.

 

Click to buy The Anxiety and Phobia WorkbookThe Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne.

I have used this book with many clients, and the tips are so easy I was able to implement them into my own life as well! The educational component, learning how one develops anxiety and low self-esteem is invaluable and the exercises have proven to be nothing less than a success. I appreciate his vast understanding of how self-esteem is a component of anxiety, as well as allowing for chapters to just address self-esteem and assertiveness building.

Self-Esteem Books For Parents

Click to buy Princess Recovery
Princess Recovery: A How-to Guide to Raising Strong, Empowered Girls Who Can Create Their Own Happily Ever Afters
by Jennifer L Hartstein PsyD

This is by far one of my favorite parenting books for girls! Applicable to anyone who works children or parents, Dr. Jennifer Hartstein is the go-to for raising girls.  She can be seen on NBC’s The Today Show and CBS’s Early Show as an expert in child and adult psychology. Certainly a page turner, Dr. Hartstein gives readers insight into what our young girls are going through developmentally and how our culture impacts their sense of self. She provides readers with strategies to build self-esteem and confidence in every age group, starting at 2 years old. By explaining how girls are interpreting mixed messages from parents, peers, and the media, readers get an inside look at how we can instill confidence and self-esteem in our daughters that will last a lifetime. The best part is that after each chapter, you will have the tools to implement immediately.

For Kids

Click to buy Cool, Calm, and ConfidentCool, Calm, and Confident: A Workbook to Help Kids Learn Assertiveness Skills by Lisa Schab.

I have tested the exercise in this book out numerous times with the groups I teach. The exercises are effective and help children stand-up for themselves, learn to be both kind and assertive communication, and develop self-confidence and a positive self-image. Using this workbook is an easy and effective way to teach self-esteem, especially when read with an adult. I urge parents to purchase this book and work on it at home with their little ones.

 

Click to buy How Full Is Your Bucket for KidsHow Full is Your Bucket? For Kids By Time Rath

This adorable and educational read teaches children how to fill their mental “bucket” by being kind and building confidence. Rath tells a story that children as young as three can identify with, and how everyday situations are opportunities to “fill your bucket” with positivity and kindness. This book is a visual for teaching children how we each feel and how our actions and words impact ourselves and each other. Kids as young as 4 have related to this book with ease.

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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Increase in Suicide Rate Among Middle-aged Americans

Recently released research reveals that the suicide rate among middle-aged individuals living in the United States has increased dramatically in the last decade. 

A report released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that from 1999-2010 suicide rates among middle-aged individuals age 35-64 has increased by a whopping 28.4%.

These findings are consistent with a previously released study that revealed a significant increase in the overall suicide rate among middle-aged individuals, comparative to a small increase in rates among younger individuals, and a decline among older individuals.

The increases reported were geographically extensive, occurring in areas with high suicide rate levels, as well as areas with average and low suicide rate levels. A considerable change in the method of suicide is also noted in the study.  There was a dramatic increase in suicide rates by firearms, poisoning, and suffocation/hanging; with suffocation/hanging suicide rates increasing the most among individuals age 35-64.

The study suggests that the recent economic downturn is a possible contributing factor for the increase in suicide rates among middle-aged individuals, noting that historically higher suicide rates have been observed during periods of economic hardship.

Although the report does not explicate why exactly suicide rates among middle-aged individuals have increased. It does point out that most suicide prevention efforts have focused on youths and older adults, further highlighting the need and importance of suicide prevention efforts geared towards middle-aged individuals 35-64.

The authors describe some of these efforts as focusing on strategies that help middle-aged individuals overcome certain risk factors, such as economic challenges, job loss, health issues, substance abuse, and stress related to partner problems or caregiver responsibilities.

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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Got 5 Minutes? Get Happier

Emily Roberts MA, LPC

If you are anything like me, you procrastinate, not a personality trait I’m proud of, but it is part of who I am. Perhaps for you it’s the to-do list you never actually “do”, your bills, laundry, cleaning, anything that is put off, and wind up stressing about later. I have noticed that these mundane tasks can actually cause more anxiety for me and many of my clients. Normal lists may not do the trick anymore because they get written and then never completed, thus more anxiety. So, rather than making myself feel bad for putting off yet another thing, I take five minute action breaks and start getting things done, my sense of satisfaction boosts and so does my level of happiness.

Here’s How it Works

You have five minutes, I know you do (get off Facebook or Instagram for a little while and you will find the time) and set out an area of your life you need to tackle. You can do this at work, at home, or even while your commuting. Today, I chose my desk. 

Set a timer.  Use your phone, the microwave, or your oven, whatever will ding to let you know time is up.

Get to work.  Make it a game, see how much you can accomplish; chances are you may even go longer than the time you set. I organized my files, grabbed a bottle of Windex, took out the trash, vacuumed, and put away anything that looked out of order. By the time I was done I had a few seconds left, and was smiling!  That was something I was dreading for weeks, and only took me about 4 minutes! I do this with many irritating tasks, responding to or organizing emails, paying my bills, sometimes I set it for longer, but when I keep the time frames small I feel accomplished and motivated to move forward with my day. You can do this multiple times throughout the day.

Use rewards.  Maybe you reward yourself by checking Twitter or having a piece of chocolate, or doing something fun.  Don’t go overboard here but, if its something you have really had a difficult time completing why not?  it will signal the reward center of your brain making you more likely feel better about finishing the task next time.

Many of my clients who have ADD/ADHD or who find that they procrastinate and then feel guilty have found this technique effective. Telling yourself or a child “the whole room needs to be clean” is a daunting task, and often times we get so overwhelmed by the big picture, we don’t see how easy it is to break it down into manageable assignments. Start with 5 minutes on a corner or a drawer, when your done find your inner cheerleader and give yourself a pat on the back.

So take 5, 10, or 15 minutes and start getting happier, and more control of your life, you have the time somewhere in your schedule, just make it happen. Have a tip that works for you? Please share! (3308)

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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What is “Clean Eating”?

Emily Roberts MA, LPC

There are so many diets and fads out; it’s difficult to know what is best for you and your family, and what is more work than it’s worth.  Paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, raw, the list goes on.  One of the lifestyle diets we hear most is “Clean Eating”. This is a great plan for many, depending on your dietary needs and restrictions; however, let’s get clean on what it really means.

Clean Eating is not just washing your produce well and keeping a close eye on labels. Simply put, clean eating is avoiding all processed food, and relying on fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, rather than prepackaged or fast food. The purpose of clean eating is to make sure you are getting your nutrients and your health from whole foods, and avoiding junk food.  According to research, a clean eating lifestyle can keep you healthy, or help you regain your health if you haven’t been well. If this sounds close to impossible, to only eat clean, I hear you! However, it’s easier than you may think.  One of my favorite blogs these days, The Gracious Pantry, puts it in perspective:

  1. Eat Lots of Plants, Fruits, and Veggies – Emphasize foods that are close to nature. If you focus on foods that are off a tree, bush, plant or vine, you’ve pretty much got it covered. Stay away from foods that are processed.
  2. Include Meats, Fish, and Poultry - Eat meats that are whole and straight from the butcher, not prepackaged (which are sometimes filled with nitrates and other chemicals).
  3. Enjoy Grains - Eat grains that are still complete and haven’t been broken down into “glue”. Stick to brown rice, whole wheat, and other whole grains (For a list of foods to stock your pantry with, check out this list.)
  4. Don’t Always Trust Labels – “Whole Grain” or “natural” doesn’t always mean it is.  Look closely at the ingredients: white flour is not a whole grain, and “natural” spices and flavorings can encompass surprising ingredients – clarify with the company.
  5. The Fewer Ingredients, the Better. Try not to purchase foods that have more than 3-6 ingredients in the ingredient list, according to The Gracious Pantry. If you can’t pronounce it, and don’t recognize it, it likely shouldn’t go in your body.

You Can Have Carbohydrates

Avoid anything white or “enriched”.  Once again, if you are trying to eat clean, then you will want to purchase only those products that say 100% WHOLE grain/meal/flour.

Your Whole Family Can Benefit.

Processed foods are linked to lower IQs in children, research suggests. When we think of creating a lifestyle (depending on your child’s unique dietary needs), many parents are choosing to eat clean, most of the time.  A family I talked to recently said they do 80:20, 80% clean, 20% real life.  The book Clean Eating for Busy Families: Get Meals on the Table in Minutes with Simple and Satisfying Whole-Foods Recipes You and Your Kids Will Love (Fair Winds Press, 2012), by Michelle Dudash, R.D. can help, as well as many of the websites and blogs out there:

The Gracious Pantry

Clean Eating Magazine

Michelle Dudash

 

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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Mental Health Stigma: Parenting & Children’s Health

Mental health stigma keeps many parents from getting their children the mental health they need. Our Therapist and blogger, Emily Roberts, LPC, addresses stigma, parenting and your child’s mental health on HealthyPlace.com and asks you to join the campaign to end the stigmatization of getting help. Many of the over 46 million Americans who suffer from some type of mental health disorder may describe and define stigma using one of these words or phrases: hate, discrimination, prejudice, fear inducing, humiliating, hurtful. In order for us to get the best treatments for ourselves, children, and families, we need to accept that the benefits override the possible stigma.  Learn how:

To learn more about HealthyPlace’s stand up for mental health campaign click the button below.

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Mental Health Disorders Info

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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Study: Active Kids Have Less Stress, Less Cortisol

We know an active child is generally more relaxed than a child who has been cooped up inside all day. This has been found to be true by the  Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism who recently published a study that shows the correlations between exercise, activity, and stress levels.  They found that the more active the child is, the more likely they are to cope with setbacks and handle stress with ease. They also measured Cortisol levels; a hormone induced by physical and mental stress and contributes to weight gain.  The children who were least active had the highest levels of cortisol, did worse on psychological and academic testing.  Those who had a higher activity level were better able to self-regulate.  As we know from adult levels of cortisol, chronic stress impacts this hormone, causing more stress, weight gain, and contributing to mood disorders.

Exercise, and activity, even in small breaks throughout the day can really assist in long term mental health. Many of the children we work with have found more balance, regulated moods, and ability to maintain focus with movement breaks during the day, especially after school.  It allows them to get out some of the stress they have been holding on to during the day.  Add in some sprints, jumping jacks, a team sport, or even a 30 minute trip to the park into your child’s routine.  It will help them learn to self-soothe and be better prepared to hit the books for the homework session ahead.

Other reasons to get moving:

  1. All that exercise and fresh air will help kiddos (and adults) sleep better, getting out the restlessness from the day of sitting.
  2. Make at an opportunity to teach your kids about nature. Talk about what they see and discuss how the environment works.
  3. Get creative with sidewalk chock and the games we grew up with like hop scotch, grab some neighbors and play kick the can or have them make up relay races.
  4. Take a technology break.  Although TV can calm the brain it doesn’t do much for releasing the stored up energy.  Take a detour to a bike path or nature trail before heading home from school.

The more kids are active, the higher their level for stress tolerance, their level for focus increases, and it increases their ability to communicate with you. When you kids them away from the computer, cell phone, hours of homework, or television,  they are likely to open up more.  Taking a break from school work, is likely to recharge their batteries, which leads to more effective use of study time, and happier kids.

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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In the News: PMS linked to Iron and Serotonin Levels

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking PMS symptoms to low iron intake, while noting that too much potassium could contribute to symptoms. 10-year study of more than 3,000 women has found that dietary iron may reduce the risk for premenstrual syndrome (PMS).  Researchers found  that women in the highest 20 percent for iron intake were about 40 percent less likely to suffer PMS. These findings suggest that dietary minerals may be useful in preventing PMS.

PMS is also linked to low serotonin levels.   Serotonin is the “happy neurotransmitter” responsible for regulating mood and sleep.  Many amino acids come from protein rich foods, that are also high in iron, which boost energy and mental alertness. After protein breaks down into amino acids during digestion, the acids travel from the bloodstream to the brain, where they increase levels of certain neurotransmitters. It isn’t only protein that increases serotonin.  Carbohydrates increase insulin which helps with amino acid competition and gives serotonin a chance (because it is more difficult to make than the excitatory neurotransmitters. Tryptophan, the amino acid responsible for creating serotonin, produces calming effects when ingested.  Iron and protein filled foods are shown to ward off moodiness and physiological symptoms associated with PMS.

How do you get more Iron in your diet? From the foods below. Women, between 18-50 years of age, are said to need 18 milligrams daily   Another helpful hint, combining Vitamin C rich foods with iron helps the absorption rate.

  • Red meat
  • Pumpkin, sesame, or squash seeds
  • Turkey
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • String beans
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Raisins
  • Egg yolks
  • Dark, leafy greens (spinach, collards, kale)
  • Dried fruit (prunes, raisins)
  • Iron-enriched cereals and grains (check the labels)
  • Mollusks (oysters, clams, scallops)
  • Beans, lentils, chick peas and soybeans
  • Artichokes

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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Mediterranean Diet Improves Health: Study Shows

The New England Journal of Medicine published a study linking the Mediterranean diet with a profound reduction  in heart attack and stroke. Funded by the Spanish Government, more than 7,000 people with a high risk of having heart attacks and strokes found the diet reduced them, compared to a low-fat diet. A regular diet of Mediterranean cuisine also reduced the risk of dying.

A group of men and women, randomly assigned to a low-fat diet or one of two variations of the Mediterranean diet: one featuring extra-virgin olive oil (more than a quarter cup a day) and the other including nuts (more than an ounce a day of walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts).

The Mediterranean diet is rich in fish, grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables. The diet is low in dairy products, red meat and processed foods. It’s easy to incorporate more of these into our diets when we plan ahead. Try trail mix with nuts and dried fruit instead of processed snacks. Or add olive oil as a base for salad dressing, instead of creamy dairy dressings. Mix up your main courses and use fish instead of pork or beef.

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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Diet Soda and Cancer Risk

More and more research shows the increased link between Aspartame and cancer.  In the longest-ever human aspartame study, spanning 22 years, findings suggest a clear association between aspartame consumption and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and leukemia in men; leukemia was also associated with diet soda intake in both sexes. Look at the research from Mercola.com sited below and think before you take your next sip of these toxic beverages.

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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Recommended Reading

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Often times I give parents book  recommendations, and if you are like most parents out there you have a library full of books that were helpful at some point. These are some of the ones that I most frequently recommend.

In an Unspoken Voice: How The Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness by Peter Levine

 

Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes: Awakening The Ordinary Miracle of Healing by Peter Levine

 

The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel Siegel

 

Princess Recovery: A How-to Guide to Raising Strong, Empowered Girls Who Can Create Their Own Happily Ever Afters by Jennifer L Hartstein

 

The Connected Child: Bringing Hope and Healing To Your Adopted Family by Karyn Purvis

 

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish

 

 

 

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 
 

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