Sweet Oblivion Feels All Right – For a Time

“I said Lord please give me what I need. He said there’s pain and misery. Oh sweet oblivion feels all right.”  – Shadow of the Season – by Screaming Trees “Self knowledge is a dangerous thing. The freedom of who you are.” –There is No Time – by Lou Reed Helping children develop insight into their strengths and weaknesses is a […]

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The Blind Leading the Blind

For many human service professionals, state licensing boards require the completion of a certain number of continuing education units in order to maintain licensure. Personally, I’m required to attend 30 hours of continuing education programs every 2 years in order to renew my license as a mental health counselor. Some of these presentations are excellent and the best of them […]

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Less Fun Than Vacuuming? Really?

A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to NPR on the way home from work and heard a piece that has been lodged firmly in my brain since then. In the segment, Melissa Block interviewed Jennifer Senior, a contributing editor for New York magazine, about her new book about parenting entitled All Joy and No Fun. According to Ms. Senior, the book set […]

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Meaner Than a Junkyard Dog

Academy MetroWest uses cooperative, non-competitive physical activity as a vehicle to help kids see themselves in a more positive light and to interact better with their peers. While there’s more to any improvements in social skills and self-image than playing a bunch of games with other kids, using games that bring the focus away from kids vs. kids competition is our […]

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Oreo! Oreo! Oreo! – A Tale of Natural Consequences

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in my office with a group of 3rd grade boys. We were finishing up our session with a snack and a quiet activity – to the extent that doing anything with a group of hyperactive 3rd grade boys can be quiet. As I asked the boys what they wanted for snack, one of them […]

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Evidence Based?

Once I start reading a book, it has to be utterly abysmal before I decide to give up on it. The book I’m reading now is putting my resolve to the test. The book is called The Optimistic Child. It’s written by an eminent psychologist named Martin Seligman. Those of you who took Intro. to Psychology in college may be familiar […]

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Manners 101

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I went to college. Hofstra University, located in scenic (not really) Hempstead, NY, is my alma mater. I was a liberal arts guy but Hofstra was primarily a business school. Far be it from me to come across as anti-business or even anti-business student but you could always tell the business majors […]

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Cooperative Play Rules! (Not That I’m At All Biased)

In the work that we do at Academy MetroWest, we run gym-based groups that center on  cooperative, non-competitive physical activity, aimed at helping kids feel better about themselves and improve the way they interact with others. Groups of up to 6 kids participate in weekly 75 minute groups. In basing our groups around cooperative activities, we create a low stress […]

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The Hurried Child, Revisited

About 20 years ago, my supervisor suggested that I pick up the book The Hurried Child by David Elkind. This was shortly after I had finished graduate school and was just starting out in my first professional job. He suggested I read the book in order to give myself some context around the lives that many of the children in my caseload […]

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The Lure of the Console (Part I) – Quirky Kids and Video Games

“TV is just like video games. But without all the work!”– 15 year old Academy MetroWest participant During the summer, Academy MetroWest runs a small day camp.  Since we started the camp, I’ve worked not only as a co-director, but also as the counselor for the oldest boys’ group. Every Friday, we go on a field trip or run some type […]

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