Hi! I’m Chris – child psychiatrist, father, and storyteller.
Thanks for visiting. Before I say anything else, I want you to know that I would love to help you. That is why I am doing this. I want this to be a place that can demystify childhood emotional and behavioral problems with humor and humility, and hopefully provide you with some practical resources and advice to make your life better. I hope this blog can be the village that people need, but often don’t have, when they are struggling to raise challenging children.
I’m in the midst of my child psychiatry fellowship, which means that I’ve been through college, medical school, and a psychiatry residency, so a mere 12 years after high school, I am finally in the home stretch. I’ve spent years trying to learn as much as I can about emotional and behavioral problems, how the brain works, and what make some kids (and families) struggle, and others thrive.
You might wonder why you should listen to me over those other people with decades of experience and books and stuff. Don’t. They are really smart. Read their blogs too. I know a lot of stuff, but definitely not all of the stuffs. However, I offer a unique perspective for a few reasons:
- Balance – I’m not committed to viewing problems through a particular lens since I’m not “the expert” in one area. Experts often say the exact opposite things (time-outs, anyone?), which means they can’t all be right all the time. I learn from behavioral therapists (think sticker charts), attachment therapists (think talking it out), and everything in between. Kids are complicated, and what one kid responds to might make things worse in another.
- Medical training – Most parenting experts are psychologists or social workers trained in therapy only. I am a psychiatrist, which means I use medications too. Medications aren’t magic, but can be helpful. Medical training also gives me a strong foundation for exploring the connections between the body and the brain and the roles that exercise, nutrition, and general health have in mental health.
- I’m right there with you – I have three young kids, which means I’m not looking back with 20/20 hindsight vision. That feeling of “I’m going to mess my kid up forever!” happens to me everyday. This isn’t easy for me. I thought it would be because I am great at playing with kids. But, I have my own attention problems, I don’t like to do yoga, and I’m not very patient. My wife is anxious. Our family isn’t perfect. Sometimes our family is a wreck in spite of lots and lots of training on how not to be all of those things. I will be writing on days that I feel inadequate as a parent, and I want to be vulnerable and transparent about that, so that you don’t feel alone in this.
What should you expect?
I believe that emotional and behavioral problems are real, and that kids and families deserve recognition and help. Sometimes that help can be medication, but oftentimes it is therapy and lifestyle changes. In my practice and on this blog, I will often focus on the latter.
I write about general parenting and family life, but focus especially on families with children who have emotional and behavioral problems. This is where my expertise lies, and I will be addressing it from a mental wellness and family-based perspective. I try to make all of the things I write research-based, approachable, and actionable. I like to make people laugh, so I hope that happens sometimes too.
If you have read this far, please join the email list, comment on posts, or find some other way to contribute and help out. It’s not a village without you!