Family therapist Ashley Graber is here to tell parents this: It’s okay to relax the reins—for now. Creating a positive space at home for everybody, says Graber, begins with lessening the pressure on ourselves and our children. “There’s a sense that we need to have it all figured out right now, and we just don’t,” she says. “So it’s time to let go of the strict rules and schedules and choose love and connection over some of those prior systems.”
Graber says the path to helping children cope with a crisis begins with asking them questions. Then: Lead by example and forgive each other for making mistakes. Graber shared tips, along with online resources, to get us through the next few weeks and beyond, as we try to cultivate more mindfulness and compassion at home. This work can be rewarding—and even fun. As Graber explains, parents, too, can benefit from childlike curiosity.
Do you want simple tools that work to find calm in your family? These mindfulness-based emotional regulation techniques for children ages 3-12 are easy to implement, fun, and designed with the busy caregiver in mind.
Child and family therapists Ashley Graber and Maria Evans packed this guidebook with coping strategies, sleep strategies, and step-by-step guidance for responding to your child's big emotions with calm and confidence. Learn to have conversations about difficult topics with your children and support them when unexpected changes occur in the home, at school, or in the greater community.
Being estranged from family can be really difficult. And even when, remarkably, it is not as difficult—when we know our boundaries, have made our choices, and have formed our chosen families—we come up against the narrow cultural expectations that bubble up around, say, holidays like Christmas or Mother’s Day.
We asked Santa Monica–based family therapist Ashley Graber how she helps clients navigate boundaries, loss, and the holidays. “Every day of work, I’m helping people fight against some societal norm that has them really fighting against their own inner core and their own beliefs,” she says. “When it comes to estrangement, clients tell me sometimes the shame is worse than the loss of the person.”
There is no one way to be a parent. The very nature of family is that it is as individual as DNA and as unique as a fingerprint. And despite the fact that blended families are increasingly common, we don’t talk much about stepparenting beyond narrow archetypes and cautionary fairy tales.
But there isn’t a rule book on how to blend a family seamlessly, says family therapist Ashley Graber, who sees a lot of parents and stepparents struggling with this delicate process in her Santa Monica practice. “Adults in these situations can be really hard on themselves,” Graber says. “We need to allow for a breakdown of perfectionism. We’re human, and we’re going to make mistakes, and that’s okay.”
Teletherapy has made healing accessible from home. Among the myriad of benefits of online therapy are convenience and comfort; seemingly simple on the surface, but critical to those who experience difficulty getting to in-person appointments. Whether delivering top-notch services in rural areas, allowing patients to skip traffic in bigger cities, or bringing therapy to those who can’t otherwise make it to in-person sessions, teletherapy has changed the game in making therapy accessible. In this article, Ashley Graber talks with The Washington Post about the efficacy and impact of online therapy.
An in-depth look at the profound physiological and psychological effects of chronic stress with TED Women. While most of us know we’re addicted to our iPhones and social media, we don’t realize how being plugged in all the time can undermine our focus and effectiveness. Understanding how our brain's stress response works and implementing mindfulness tools can help us become more self aware and grounded when we need to make clear choices --despite feeling stressed.
Ashley Graber is a nationally syndicated columnist with Thrive Global, with her column about How to Slow Down to Do More, where Ashley illustrates the positive impact of mindfulness through interviews with a multitude of industry professionals. Ashley explains that "paying attention to our breath is the easiest inroad to mindfulness that I’ve found. No matter what you’re doing, getting conscious of your breath, not even changing it, but just noticing it, will plant you directly in the present moment".
As kids begin to socialize again in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, they might have to face grieving friends. With the magnitude of the pandemic’s impact in mind, it’s likely that they will encounter someone who has suffered a loss–whether it be a peer, a friend, or a neighbor. Parent coach and therapist Ashley Graber talks National Geographic through the best ways to start that conversation with your child, to give them the tools they need to handle these interactions. She suggests preparing your child for what they might expect, and allowing them space to ask questions.
There are many psychological theories and meditation practices that promise to reduce stress and bring peace, calm, and even happiness, so why are so many people still unhappy and unable to apply these practices to their daily life? Ashley Graber’s years of meditative practice and work as a licensed psychotherapist have lead her to understand how the combination of meditation and psychology are the key to building resilience. When we become truly resilient we can take on our troubles because we know that we can bounce back in the face of adversity. In this engaging and interactive talk at the Mindfulness & Technology conference with Wisdom 2.0, Ashley shares simple ways to combine both meditative practices on and off the cushion and psychology to cultivate the essential skill of resilience.
Good morning La La Land, America's first streaming video talk show network, had me on the show in their inaugural year. Dr. Erin, Rob Mack and Jezlan are "all about the mindset of the dreamers" and learning to love one's self. They interviewed me about my journey to becoming a psychotherapist and meditation and mindfulness expert. As usual, you'll get some simple tips.
Los Angeles, the birthplace of cutting edge health and wellness trends. Perhaps it's the the sunshine (because it certainly isn't the air quality) that inspires these wellness experts to thrive. As one of L.A.’s most forward-thinking healers, Ashley Graber works to help CEOs, parents, and 6-year-olds alike learn how to react respond rather than react to life’s stressful situations.
Anxiety can feel like a runaway train – and when it’s coming, we often tell ourselves a story; we over identify with what’s happening; and unfortunately, this only serves to intensify the speed of the train, rather than slow it down. In this article, Ashley Graber demonstrates how to use meditation and mindfulness to keep the train on track. She breaks down these tools into just four simple steps to help relieve anxiety in the moment.
Ashley Graber has done all of the research: she has been studying and practicing meditation and mindfulness for 10 years. She has taken courses, read articles, and practiced for countless hours. Over these years, she has discovered there are a lot of sources for meditation guidance out there, but some are better than others. Ashley has put together an online catalog of the best places to turn for meditation and mindfulness education. Having done the legwork, she shares with us her favorite apps, videos, blogs, online courses, and free resources to help you start or deepen your practice.
Don’t forget that “no” is a complete sentence. “Saying yes when you want to say no is a setup for added stress,” says Ashley Graber, curriculum co-director at Evenflow. Family, friends and coworkers ask a lot of you this time of year. Graber reminds us to use this as an opportunity to practice doing what is right for you.
Mindfulness and meditation expert Ashley Graber sits down with Mindful Mama and owner of the super foods company, Philosophie, Sophie Jaffe and her addiction specialist husband and author Adi Jaffee to discuss meditation and mindfulness practices for the family. On this super honest and raw podcast, IGNTD, we get real about making meditation and mindfulness work in the family and truth be known, for anyone.
Learn how to understand and diffuse anxious thoughts and feelings and work with them in new ways in my series on Anxiety on the Evenflow app. Evenflow is a mindfulness & meditation company that helps you take your practice into daily life. Evenflow offers you daily support with a unique meditation app, custom programs for companies and schools, and one on one mentoring. Everything you need to get through life's challenges with more ease and less stress.
One of my favorite mindfulness tools is the calm down jar. The jar represents the mind; the glitter represents thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. When we shake it up this represents when we are overwhelmed, stressed, upset, and/or overly excited to the point that we cannot see clearly. Our perception becomes cloudy. We can be more "reactive" to life from this place, as opposed to "responsive". It can feel like there is a storm inside which makes us feel unsteady. To help balance and steady ourselves we can practice coming to our senses...literally...by focusing on one of our senses.