Play Therapy Community Inspiration, Information, & Connection for Child Therapists Around the World | ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Child Parent Relationship Therapy, School Counseling Behavior Therapy, Sandtray Therapy,

Play Therapy Community will present a fresh, insightful episode once a week, usually on Thursday mornings. On this podcast, we will cover topics such as play therapy techniques and resources, group therapy, maternal mental health, picky eaters, struggles in school, behavioral issues, grief and loss, and so much more. We’ll also delve into specific diagnosis such as ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Specific Learning Disabilities, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, etc. Difficult topics, such as parenting through separation/divorce, depression, anxiety struggles, relationship struggles, and such will be explored as well. As the host of Play Therapy Community, I feel honored that you are joining us on this journey for knowledge to truly help our children in a way that honors their mind, body, and soul. My name is Jackie Flynn, and I’m a Licensed Psychotherapist, Registered Play Therapist, Education Specialist, Adolescent Life Coach and a Parent Educator.
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Play Therapy Community Inspiration, Information, & Connection for Child Therapists Around the World | ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Child Parent Relationship Therapy, School Counseling Behavior Therapy, Sandtray Therapy,




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Now displaying: November, 2016
Nov 21, 2016

Tiffanie Trudeau, LMHC, LPC, CSAT, NCC is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the Commonwealth of Virginia and District of Columbia.  She earned a Dual Bachelor's of Art degree in Psychology and Criminology and a Master’s of Art degree in Mental Health Counseling.  She has advanced training in:  Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Sexual Assault Response, Critical Incident Stress Management Debriefing (CISM) and Sexual Addiction Therapy.

In This Episode:  

 What is “sexting”:  Sexting refers to the sending and receiving of sexually charged material that may consist of words, images or both that are intended to sexually arouse and are sent via digital means.  


What puts the child / teen at risk for this behavior?  


Attention-seeking – separate oneself from peers

Self esteem boost – to feel attractive

Peer pressure – being directly or indirectly coerced 

Easy access and perceived privacy 

Modeling – celebrities in the media exposed for sexting have gained popularity

“Normal” – digital flirting, displays of affection


Where is this happening?  

When we, as adults, think of social media, Facebook may be the first thing to come to mind.  However, a 2013 study conducted by Forbes Magazine showed a 16% decrease in teen usage and engagement on FaceBook.  Presumably because of the increase in parental and extended family presence.  Young people are often using other social media platforms and messager apps such as:












What are the consequences? Legal? Social? Emotional? 


Shame – after the text/image is sent, it cannot be retrieved. Personalizing the “bad behavior” as being a “bad person”

Fear – who might see the text/image, what is their opinion of me, my text/image

Anxiety – if I text this, will he/she expect me to “do” what I said (becoming sexually active)

Low self-esteem/poor body image – comparisons with pornographic images or peers

Depression – in the aftermath of discovery if the text/image to shared with others


Rejection – “If I don’t send this text/picture to him/her, someone else will”

Ostracized – “Everybody else is doing this, if I don’t people will think I’m a prude”, “If I send this people will think I’m a ….”

Gossip – sending sexually charged images could suggest the presence of actual sexual activity, which may not be the case


The exchange of image-specific material intended to sexually arouse constitutes pornography, child pornography carrying the harshest of sentences 

Receiving, possessing and distributing child pornography can be considered a 3rd degree felony carrying sentences of up to 5 years imprisonment and up to $5,000 fine

Some states have laws specific to sexting that limit harsh penalty and/or separate sexting from child pornography



How can parents respond that will help the child heal, while preserving and / or increases feelings of self-worth?

Awareness - - ignorance is NOT bliss.  If your child or teen is over-protective of their phone, it may be because of photos they wish to hide or websites they do not want you to know they have visited

Be present and engaged. Children/teens want to connect and also fear rejection.  Being on your phone or preoccupied with occupational or domestic responsibilities can make parents/caregivers seem inaccessible

Listen and be prepared (emotionally and cognitively) for what might be shared.  If you ask about your child/teens online behavior, be mindful of your reactions/judgments (avoid  saying “what were you thinking”, “I can’t believe you did that”, “you weren’t raised that way”)

Compassion and empathy. The child and teen brain is still developing, and so is their ability to reason, predict future outcomes related to their behavior and manage impulses.  They are still learning. As parents and adults, our roles include reminding ourselves that they are not merely little adults.

How can parents educate and encourage their child / teen to make different/safer choices in the future? 

Open and regular communication regarding decision-making and safe online behavior (includes sexting and cyber-bullying). Once a message/image is sent it cannot be taken back and privacy cannot be guaranteed once the text/image is received by someone else

Process parental fears, beliefs and biases regarding sexual behavior to reduce reactivity 

Practice empathy and approach child/teen with friendly curiosity when risky online sexual behavior is discovered. Being mindful of the difference between punitive consequences and setting boundaries, personal responsibility and encouraging self-monitoring (consider if this text/photo was published in the yearbook, on FaceBook, sent to grandma)

For more information on Tiffanie Trudeau, visit or 



If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to join us on Facebook in our group Parenting in the Rain Community and like our page Parenting in the Rain Podcast, Hosted by Jackie Flynn


If you’d like to connect with me, I offer consultation and parent coaching support.  Just email me at or at my private practice at

Nov 14, 2016

Episode 42, When a Child is Shamed


In This Episode:  

It’s important to understand what shame is and what isn’t

Shaming is when someone induces humiliation, embarrassment, and a feeling of guilt, regret, or deep sadness on another person.

Shaming is not motivating, although that is a common misconception.  Sometimes people think “if they feel really bad about what they did, then they won’t do it again.” But it doesn’t work like that.  It is in essence a trauma that can cause long term maladaptive behaviors.  Many people that struggle with addiction, relationship issues, and other tough life struggles often have shame in their past. 

My friend and podcasting colleague, Robert Cox has a really good podcast episode on this his podcast, Mindful Recovery.   GUILT AND SHAME RIDDING THE SOUL OF TOXICITY  The link

Making mistakes is actually a healthy part of child development.  Allowing your child to make and learn from mistakes while the price tags are small is a huge gift to your child.  Life experience is the best teacher.  It’s so much more effective than lectures, put downs, shaming, or “I told you so’s”.

Empathy, clear expectations and logical choices are much more effective in helping your child grow into a self-confident, responsible, ambitious individual that enjoys life. 

Ongoing culture of shame decreases the quality of life for the entire family.

The trauma of shaming can be substantial, but if it’s an ongoing form of discipline, it can be devastating and often unbearable.  

Shame undoubtedly damages the parent child relationship.  It simply can’t be unfelt.  I just recently watched THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.  I love that movie! My daughter is a  huge John Green fan.  She’s read all of his books.  In that movie, one of the actors says “PAIN DEMANDS TO BE FELT”.  This is so very true.

It can establish a dysfunctional cycle that can lead to generations of pain and dysfunction.  If you tempted to shame your child, check in with what may be going on for you.  Was this something that you experienced as a child?  Is part of your heart hurting or could you use some healing?  I’ve seen great healing occur through therapy as well as work with one’s inner child.  It’s important to realize that blame, whether on self or others, isn’t on the healthy road to healing.  But, rather a focus on “I need to put on my own oxygen mask...” is much healthier for everyone.

Shame can cut deep.  Each person is so unique, so everyone has a different experience.  What is common though is that it hurts in a way that words can’t accurately describe. 

I really feel like part of the soul withers with shaming.  For people of all ages, it erodes feeling of self-worth and self-esteem.   

Ultimately, shame establishes a dysfunctional perception of a healthy relationship.  When children grow up they often, but not always, use their formative childhood years as a blueprint of how life “should”be.  If that “should” is maladaptive, it can be a long, hard road for them filled with heartache and pain. 

I’ve noticed that causes people to put up emotional walls to keep themselves safe.  It is ultimately a type of emotional abuse, especially if it is ongoing.   It limits our children’s vulnerability, which limits their options in life with relationships, careers, dreams and so much more.

Shame manifests itself in the body.   Shame fragments itself in the body in messy, infiltrating way that can take years of work to heal from.

Engrains negative cognitions in the brain such as i am not worthy, i can’t do anything right, i’m a jerk, i’m defective,  i’m a bad person and such

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Really does have some merit.  Fixing the effects of shaming is much more difficult than preventing it.

The quote “HURT PEOPLE, HURT PEOPLE” is a quote worth considering in this discussion of shaming.  When someone is deeply hurt, they often hurt others from their pain.  Looking at it from a child’s perspective, shaming, whether they are the target or someone that they love and identify with is, they may be tempted to transfer that pain.  Sometimes that can look like depression, anxiety, bully type behavior, aggression and much more.  

For parents that default to shaming, give yourself permission to learn a new approach.  Maya Angelou says when people know better, they do better.  This is so true.

If you are prone to shaming, it’s important to reflect on what messages you were sent as a child.  Ask yourself, “is this helping or hurting my child?”.


A more effective way is to use empathy to connect with your child. I love the ACT Limit Setting model  (Acknowledge the Feeling, Communicate the Alternative, and  Target the Alternative) that is described in Child Parent Relationship Therapy.  If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to check out episode 22


There’s so many better ways to discipline than shaming.  I love LOVE and Logic, Child Parent Relationship Therapy, a 10 Session Model, and 123 Magic are some much better options.  I have all of these linked in the show notes. 

If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to join us on Facebook in our group Parenting in the Rain Community and like our page Parenting in the Rain Podcast, Hosted by Jackie Flynn


If you’d like to connect with me, I offer consultation and parent coaching support.  Just email me at or at my private practice at


Below Are Some Sites, Affiliate Links to Books/Products That I Love

My Parent Coaching Program -


Labyrinths 20% off for calming, focus and connectedness.

Nov 7, 2016

Episode 41, When a Parent Feels Judged


In This Episode:  

What does it mean with someone feels “judged”? 

When you feel something in your heart that your mind knows isn’t true.  It can wreak havoc on family relationships.

One thing that I remember from a pre-marital training called Pre-Cana was the emphasis of not sharing personal disagreements and issues with friends and family members.  When personal conflicts occur and get resolved within the couple relationship, but close members of the inner circle are made privy to one side of the issue, long after the issue is over, the knowledge of that deep, personal feelings of their often skewed (because they only heard one side of the argument) perception lingers.  And, the relationships suffer as a result.  It can’t be unheard, unfelt or undone.

Feeling judged isn’t something that everyone deals with though.  Some people are more impacted by their caring what people think of them.  It has a lot to do with how we are wired, our own life experiences and the things that we feel to be true about ourselves.  When it can have a big impact is when someone feels judged, whether perceived or real, by multiple people.  It can feel painful, especially if the parent is already conscious of a need for improvement in that area anyway.

It’s important to distinguish between reality and perception.  Sometimes it can feel like others are judging us simply because we are judging ourselves.   Or if we have been judged or called out on a certain issue before, when it comes up again an emotional response could be triggered.

It’s really helpful to see it for what it is. If it’s really painful, do a check in with yourself to determine if you need some healing in that area.  If big emotions come from a situation of feeling judged, it’s almost certain that the feelings link to another situation.  If that situation hasn’t been fully processed and healed from yet, you may be more at risk for feeling judged.  When people feel judged, sometimes they close up to risk their vulnerability and that is when maladaptive behaviors start to form and relationships start to suffer.

Putting it into perspective can make a difference.  Looking at the source and thinking through the facts can be incredibly helpful with putting it in to a healthy perspective.


I love Brené Brown’s books.  In her works, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong and The Gift of Imperfection she speaks a great deal about vulnerability. Vulnerability is  feeling free to be authentic, daring to follow your dreams, being true to yourself and your values at the risk of being judged.  When we can be vunerable, we can be more creative, we can parent better, we can love more fully, and a gazillion other things that aren’t possible if we live in that space of fear of judgement.

So, why do people judge?  Quite simply, I believe it’s a character defect to go around judging everyone else.   I’m certainly not saying that I’ve never done it.  I’ve gotten so much better over the years and with my years of training and experience in this field.  It is common unfortunately, but it can be “fixed”.  When you stop judging others, you ultimately end up feeling good about yourself.  Way back in the early days of this podcast, I had an episode on about “How to Nurture Kind Kids” with Carol McCloud the author of Have You Filled a Bucket Today book.  The link is in the show notes  one of the big messages in this book is that when we are kind to others, we ultimately make ourselves happy in the process.

In this world, there’s no such things as a “perfect parent”.  We make mistakes, it gets messy sometimes, and it is a work in progress.  Give yourself permission to be real, to be human.  In this space of authenticity, you can model that genuine you to life and problem solving.  While it’s not always pretty, it can help you raise a confident child that feels free to be their authentic self.  Free to love and live without having guards up.  If you haven’t done so yet, listen to my episode 29 “How Taking Advice From Other Parents Can Be Like Wearing Their Skinny Jeans” on this topic. The link is in the shownotes

In a couple of other episodes, I mentioned the quote “HURT PEOPLE, HURT PEOPLE”.  I think for this topic of when parents feel judged, it’s helpful to look at who’s doing the judging.  In Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, she mentions one of Teddy Roosevelts quote “in the area” from a speech that he gave that still holds true today.  It’s an excerpt from his speech "Citizenship In A Republic" that he                                           delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910.

Here it is: It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

So if the person that’s doing the judging isn’t “in the arena” then their judgment, aka “opinion” doesn’t really count.  They don’t get to take up valuable real estate in my brain.  But if they are someone in the arena, worthy of me caring about their opinion, then I take it with a filter.  I keep what is helpful and filter out what is not.  This was a profound lesson in my life.  If you haven’t read her books or watched her Ted Talks yet, I highly recommend that you do as soon as possible.  Her concepts can help you get through tough times, as well as raise your resiliency levels to other people’s judgment.

If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to join us on Facebook in our group Parenting in the Rain Community and like our page Parenting in the Rain Podcast, Hosted by Jackie Flynn

If you’d like to connect with me, I offer consultation and parent coaching support.  Just email me at or at my private practice at

Below Are Some Sites, Affiliate Links to Books/Products That I Love

My Parent Coaching Program -


Labyrinths 20% off for calming, focus and connectedness.