Tag Archives: mental health

Sometimes When I’m Mad by Deborah Serani (Book Review)

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Award-winning author and psychologist Dr. Deborah Serani and illustrator Kyra Teis team up again for a companion to “Sometimes When I’m Sad” that tackles the difficult feeling of anger. “Sometimes When I’m Mad” describes a child’s experience with anger and the many ways it can surface, along with ways children – and adults who love them – can use anger management techniques.
 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon Walmart
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Children can and will get angry. Infants express anger through their cries because that’s the only way they know how to vocalize their emotions. 


Toddlers through tantrums. These are known as the “terrible 2’s.” Preschoolers and older children will succumb to anger and react in their own fashion. Some kids scream, throw objects, break things, cry, or get physical. Adults have been known to react in the same manner. 


It’s important to teach children how to handle their anger, so they grow up with a healthy understanding of how to cope and react when the emotion builds up inside them. 


In Sometimes When I’m Mad, Deborah Serani, Psy.D. gives “Caring Adults” tips and tools to help them “spot anger in children of various ages,” and “ways to encourage healthy anger expression.”


It’s okay to get mad, but it’s how we deal with that anger that defines us. 


Together, Deborah Serani, Psy.D (author), and Kyra Reis (illustrator) show different scenarios that might elicit an angry outburst from a child. As you read Sometimes When I’m Mad, ask your child what’s the appropriate or incorrect way to handle upsetting situations. 


For adults, I encourage you to read and use all the resources provided by Deborah Serani, Psy.D.


To Kyra Reis: Great job on your illustrations. We particularly loved the cats. We also have a cat who loves to sniff shoes. 😀

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:  

Author Deborah Serani

Deborah Serani, Psy.D. is psychologist in practice over 30 years. She is also a senior professor at Adelphi University and has been published in academic journals on many psychological subjects. Dr. Serani is a go-to expert for psychological issues. Her interviews can be found at ABC News, CNN, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Reader’s Digest, The Washington Post and USA Today, and affiliate radio station programs at CBS and NPR, just to name a few. She is also a TEDx speaker and has lectured nationally and internationally. Dr. Serani has worked as a technical advisor for the NBC television show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – where a recurring character, Judge D. Serani, was named for her. Dr. Serani is an award-winning author, writing about psychological topics in many genres.

 

Connect with the author: 
 ​​website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ goodreads
 
 

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Sometimes When I’m Sad by Deborah Serani (Book Review)

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“Sometimes When I’m Sad” is a sensitive and supportive story to help young children recognize and cope with sadness. Written by psychologist, Deborah Serani, Psy.D. and illustrated by Kyra Teis, this award-winning children’s book is also an invaluable resource for parents, teachers, caregivers and other mental health professionals. “Sometimes When I’m Sad” has been endorsed by Jo Frost, The Supernanny and pediatric depression expert ,Dr. Joan Luby.


Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Indiebound ~ Walmart ~
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Sadness is not an adult issue. As Deborah Serani, Psy.D. (the author) and Kyra Teis (the illustrator) depicted, sadness can strike people of all ages. The author is correct – when someone is sad, sometimes nothing helps alleviate their sadness. 


While this book was intended for children, parents can significantly benefit from the last portion of the story. Deborah Serani, Psy.D. gives insightful clues on “How To Spot Sadness In Children of Various Ages,” “Ways To Reduce Sadness In Children,” “When To Seek Professional Help,” and “Resources For More Information And Support.” In the last-mentioned section, there are websites and helpline numbers. 


When your child is feeling sad, I encourage you to share this story with them. Use the powerful images created by Kyra Teis and ask if they ever feel sad and, if so, how do they handle it. 


Sometimes When I’m Sad would be a beneficial tool for child therapists, counselors, or social workers. 


In conclusion, the story is simple to understand and read, so it’s a perfect fit for young readers — whether they are currently experiencing sadness or not. 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:  

Author Deborah Serani

Deborah Serani, Psy.D. is psychologist in practice over 30 years. She is also a senior professor at Adelphi University and has been published in academic journals on many psychological subjects. Dr. Serani is a go-to expert for psychological issues. Her interviews can be found at ABC News, CNN, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Reader’s Digest, The Washington Post and USA Today, and affiliate radio station programs at CBS and NPR, just to name a few. She is also a TEDx speaker and has lectured nationally and internationally. Dr. Serani has worked as a technical advisor for the NBC television show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – where a recurring character, Judge D. Serani, was named for her. Dr. Serani is an award-winning author, writing about psychological topics in many genres.

Connect with the author: 
 ​​website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ goodreads

 
 

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Finding My Sunshine (A Memoir) by Shannon Leith McGuire (Book Spotlight / Author Interview)

FINDING MY SUNSHINE by Shannon Leith McGuire
Content Rating:  PG+M for bad language, anger, and suicidal thoughts, clinical depression, and assault
 
“What if that someone was you?” Shannon had been so quick to blame others for her anger. She knew she was drowning in darkness and pain; being born with a learning disability made her feel defeated by life. She tried drinking heavily in order to quiet the demons. After being kicked out of college, Shannon took a leap of faith and started working in a nursing home. That’s when her angels appeared and the miracle began. The insight and wisdom she gained from those elderly new friends led her on an inspiring journey of discovery and self-acceptance. Each of us has our own path. Some of us just need angels to help us find it. This is her story.
 
 
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Meet the Author:
 
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Bio: Shannon was raised in a small town in Eastern Montana, where you leave your car keys in the ignition and your front door unlocked all the time. The kind of place where sunsets and sunrises can be seen for miles on the horizon. Where the spring crickets and frogs resting in the irrigation ditches helped transition the days into a calm resting night. Where the winters can get so cold, air can freeze.

It was only after she was academically suspended by the college she was attending, that she became a Certified Nurses Aide (CNA). She did her training in Billings, Montana and it was there she learned how to take care of others and bonded with the geriatric population.

​For over five years, Shannon worked in the same nursing home where she received her training. The work was hard, but it grounded her and helped her find balance in what had become a deeply unbalanced life. It was not until she was a CNA, at one of the hospitals that she had a dream-three nights in a row-that she was going to become a nurse.

She currently resides in Tampa, Florida, where you may hear her laughing with her husband of over 10 years,  scuba diving in the ocean, taking walks with their rescued pit-bull dog- Darby, or dancing together to life’s music.

 

In your book you wrote how disappointed you were when you found out you had Poly Cystic Ovary disease and that you had always wanted to have 4 boys. Did you ever think of adopting?

Yes, I did. However, I knew for some time I could not take care of myself. How was I going to be able to take care of children?  I was not put together yet, and it took many years for me to feel like I was able to care for myself. I did not have the money to work with a fertility specialist. It was something I had to come to terms with and accept. It was not in God’s plans for me to become an actual mom.  So, I am a mom to my rescue dog, Darby. 

 

 

What is your pet peeve?

One thing I learned from my time in counseling with Tom is to be truthful.  I found that if you are honest in the beginning, everything really will turn out okay. There is no reason to lie.  Lies start a domino effect and people get hurt. Sometimes you cannot take back what was lied about. Saying “I am sorry” after a lie is owning up to the action, and it changes everything. I learned you only are as strong as your word. 

 

 

There are many memoirs out there about people’s lives. What makes yours so special?

 Like so many other memoirs, mine is about finding myself and finding a balance. I write about how I was trying to survive; I had darkness all around me. Counseling helped me shine the light on the darkness, and really helped me own up to my insecurities, anger, and hatred of myself. I realized I never was a victim of life.  I just needed help; I denied myself for many years. My hope is my book will help others get help earlier and live their best life and not wait so long to get it like I did. I hope others learn that mistakes are not a life sentence, and you can get better. But first you must admit you need help. That is the first step. I hope I make it easier for people who are struggling to find their way and let them know it is okay. And, let them know their lives can be SO much better.

 

 

Tell us more about your rescue dog, Darby.

Pit bulls have such a bad rap. I have learned a lot about the breed from watching Pitbull’s and Paroles and reading up on them on my own. We wanted to help.  We were on a web site, Pet Finder, and we saw her.  She looked like she had road rash on her right shoulder, and scars all over her face, but she was still smiling. We made an appointment to go meet her, and she was lovely.  She had healed stab wounds all over her body and her tongue needed to be surgically put back together. She was found when police did a raid on where she was living.  Jimmy’s Angels rescue center took her in, cared for her, and brought her back to life. We fell in love with her. They came out and did a home check. She has been with us for a little over a year now. She is living proof what a little bit of love can do to change someone’s world.  She goes everywhere with me.  (And she snores louder then my husband.)

 

 

Tell us more about your favorite resident. What drew you to her or him?

I have so many favorite people I have taken care of over the years. But I guess the 2 that I truly bonded with were Betty Ann and Phyllis. I talk about them in my book. I guess because they were once broken also, and both shared it with me.  They shared with me their stories and how they got through the tough times and struggled with addiction (alcohol) as well.  I guess what drew me to them was the rawness of how they were.  They too had one-night stands, got drunk at parties, lived by the seat of their pants, did what they needed to do to get by.  They helped me realize mistakes are not life sentences. It is just life.  They helped me stop taking things so seriously and being so hard on myself.

 
 
connect with the author: website
 
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer: All questions and answers were constructed by the author and/or their representative. 
 
 
 

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Cerebral Palsy: ‘A Story’ Finding the Calm After the Storm by Ilana Estelle (Book Review)

 
Living with cerebral palsy is enormously difficult. But what if you never knew you had it? This is the incredible story of Ilana Estelle.

Born the second of premature twins, from a young age Ilana knew she was different, but for all the wrong reasons. A child of the 60s, Ilana experienced first-hand the way that disability was so often brushed under the carpet and not spoken about. Her constant physical and mental struggles made her feel isolated, alone, frustrated, and misunderstood… it took 46 years for her to find out why.

Part memoir, part motivational guide, Cerebral Palsy: A Story is Ilana’s open and honest journey from an angry, confused child, knowing something was wrong, but not knowing what, to the ‘real’ her – a courageous woman using her experiences and lessons to create inspiring messages about mental and physical health, positivity, resilience and change. 

 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon US ~ Amazon.UK
B&N ~ BAM ~ IndieBound ~ Waterstones
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Cerebral Palsy: A Story: Finding the Calm After the Storm informed me about 11 secondary conditions connected to CP (cerebral palsy). The memoir also gave me facts that escaped me until now. For example, 800,000 individuals have CP, and 10,000 people are born with it each year. Ilana Estelle also explained how the brain is affected in those with cerebral palsy. There are physical limitations. People also face emotional and mental roadblocks. 


She went in-depth on how emotional stress can affect a CP’s immunity. A positive attitude, surrounding yourself with positive people is vital for a CP person’s overall health. Ilana Estelle gave examples of how to achieve a happy mind, cope with stress, and live a healthier life. 


There were many sections in Cerebral Palsy: A Story: Finding the Calm that could apply to those not living with CP: foods to maintain good high blood pressure, foods that alleviate arthritis pain, and parenting tips. At times, these areas seemed to deter away from the topic at hand—cerebral palsy. While I appreciate the extra health tips and her parenting advice, I wanted more about her journey in life with CP. 


Ilana Estelle discussed the misdiagnosis at the age of 2 (2.5). She spoke of the lack of family support  (often) and felt guilty and depressed about failing in life. She also emphasized what she learned in the process. 

  • know your limitations
  • ask for help
  • gain knowledge about your condition

To parents, she stressed having a sit-down and make sure all siblings are aware that people with CP need patience, understanding, compassion, and assistance. 


While Ilana Estelle has struggled in life and will as she continues her journey in this world, I’m pleased to see she’s not bitter or angry over what’s occurred in the past. She’s working hard to achieve a happy mind. Peaceful soul. 


You can’t change the past, but your actions today can pave the road for a better tomorrow. 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon US ~ Amazon.UK
B&N ~ BAM ~ IndieBound ~ Waterstones
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Picture

 
Ilana was born with a disability she didn’t know she had until the age of 46, when through her medical notes she discovered she had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 2.

That discovery turned out to be a unique and life-changing experience that has forced Ilana to stand back and look at her life experiences differently. On her late diagnosis, Ilana set up her website The CP Diary and uses her experiences to explore her emotional and physical health, with an inspiring message advocating resilience and change.

Ilana likes to spend her days writing and blogging about anything that contributes to her health and well being. She is an animal advocate and is passionate about environmental issues. When she is not writing to tending to her blog, Ilana enjoys days out exploring the Yorkshire countryside. Ilana lives with her husband and their much-loved cat, in Yorkshire. Her grown up son and daughter both live in London.

Connect with the author: 
website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ pinterest ~ goodreads

 
 

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Spirituality, Healing and Me by Ilana Estelle (Book Review)

Spirituality, healing, and me by Ilana Stankler

 
Everyday life has never been more challenging and it’s easy to lose sight of who we are and who we want to be. In Spirituality, Healing and Me, Ilana Estelle draws on her experiences of emotional, mental and physical disability to show how tuning into our spiritual side can improve well-being, heal our minds and set us firmly back on track.

Ilana shows how focusing on values such as understanding, empathy, compassion, tolerance, kindness, creativity and acceptance can help us find our inner calm.

Packed with inspiring messages and real-life vignettes, Ilana’s book shows how spirituality can help us navigate even the roughest waters.
•Improve emotional balance and wellness
•Boost confidence and self-esteem
•Stay self-aware, grounded and patient
•Appreciate life and each other
•Accept changing circumstances
•Enhance positive emotions and personal healing

 

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Amazon.uk

B&N Indiebound ~ Waterstones
Book Depository
add to goodreads

 

 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book ToursI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Ilana Estelle wrote a very straightforward book that dealt with many topics such as mental health, global warming, covid, achieving inner peace, and much more. Even though Ilana gave her opinion on various these subjects, in no way did Spirituality, Healing and Me come off as preachy. In fact, she made it abundantly clear spirituality and religion are not the same. You’ll have to read Spirituality, Healing and Me to read her explanation on each and how to become more spiritual. 


Many points were made in Spirituality, Healing and Me that I 100% agree with, and I’d like to share a few of those with you so you, the potential reader, can get a feel for the book and its content. 

  1. You don’t have to be religious to be spiritual. 
  2. Fearing death can cause a person to stop living life to the fullest. 
  3. Perform random acts of kindness without expecting anything in return. 
  4. Listen more. Be respectful. 
  5. We must value nature and help it to survive. Our existence depends on it. 
  6. Covid and the pandemic are real, and so is global warming. 

I also agree with Ilana Estelle’s “Natural Stress Remedies.” (read the book to view them)


I appreciate every passage that dealt with mental health. Our society needs to talk openly and embrace the mental struggles people face. As a person battling inner demons, I love how the world is no longer shying away from mental health issues. 


I encourage everyone to read Spirituality, Healing and Me by Ilana Estelle and start their journey to a more spiritual life. 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 


Amazon ~ Amazon.uk

B&N Indiebound ~ Waterstones
Book Depository
add to goodreads

 

 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Picture
Ilana was born with a disability she didn’t know she had until the age of 46, when through her medical notes she discovered she had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 2.

That discovery turned out to be a unique and life-changing experience that has forced Ilana to stand back and look at her life experiences differently. On her late diagnosis, Ilana set up her website The CP Diary and uses her experiences to explore her emotional and physical health, with an inspiring message advocating resilience and change.
Ilana likes to spend her days writing and blogging about anything that contributes to her health and well being. She is an animal advocate and is passionate about environmental issues. When she is not writing to tending to her blog, Ilana enjoys days out exploring the Yorkshire countryside. Ilana lives with her husband and their much-loved cat, in Yorkshire. Her grown up son and daughter both live in London.

Connect with the author: 

website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ pinterest ~ goodreads

 
 

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