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Shrinking It Down: Mental Health Made Simple

Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds

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Shrinking It Down: Mental Health Made Simple is an entertaining discussion-based podcast. Co-hosted by two shrinks, the show plays up the fact that mental health is anything but simple, while helping parents to navigate some tough questions. Join D...Show More
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Self-Care for Resilience

25:29 | May 6th

Did you know Ellen enjoys boxing for self-care, and that Gene depends on daily interactions with his dog, Bear? This week is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week! What better way to celebrate than by focusing on self-care, and on building resilien...Show More
Understanding ADHD

24:19 | Apr 24th

We all get distracted and disorganized. Today, it seems more than ever with digital media consuming our lives. We bet you’ve even wondered, at some point in your life, whether you might have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Heck – do ...Show More
It’s the Time of the Season for... Mental Illness

23:18 | Apr 18th

Flowers are blooming. People are smiling. On the surface, it seems like spring is the sweetest season of all. And while it is rejuvenating and joyful in many ways, it’s also associated with the highest rates of psychiatric issues. Gene and Steve take...Show More
We'll be back next week!

01:15 | Apr 12th

We'll be back next week with new episodes! Dr. Gene Beresin shares a glimpse of the topics to come, including ADHD, self-care, and more. Stay tuned...
Discipline and Punishment

23:12 | Mar 27th

It’s not the most fun part of the job, but parents know they have a responsibility to discipline their kids when they do something that’s not right – stealing, hitting, staying out past curfew. But how do you make the punishment fit the crime, and he...Show More
Admissions Scandal, College Pressure, and Mental Health

37:37 | Mar 20th

On today’s show, Dr. Ellen Braaten joins Gene and Steve to think deeper about our American culture that’s contributed to issues like the recent college admissions scandal, and also less extreme (and less fraudulent) measures we take to ensure our kid...Show More
Cannabis and the Teen Brain

32:57 | Mar 6th

Welcome to today’s “pot-cast”! Marijuana is on everyone’s mind, especially the parents of tweens and teens, as it becomes legal in more states – not just for medicinal use, but for recreation. We’ve learned from alcohol that teens are going to have e...Show More
Oscars Special!

18:28 | Feb 22nd

* Want the visuals to go with the talk? Watch this special episode on YouTube *Why on earth are two child psychiatrists talking about the 2019 Academy Awards? It’s not just for fun, even though it’s fun, too. But, rather, because there is so much in ...Show More
Surviving Tantrums with Toddlers

32:13 | Feb 13th

Almost every parent has been there. Whether your child is age two or twenty-two, we’re all familiar with the “T” word. Out-of-control meltdowns on the way to school, embarrassing moments in the supermarket. Tantrums can feel like a nightmare. But und...Show More
Sex and the Teenage Brain, with Ellen Braaten, Ph.D.

35:42 | Feb 7th

Sex. Is there anything else in the teenage brain? It’s a wonder they make it through school once puberty hits! We’ll be honest, we didn’t know what direction this conversation would take (yikes), but it turned out a great example of how talking helps...Show More
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, featuring Susan Sprich, Ph.D.

30:20 | Jan 23rd

Did you know that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most evidence-based psychosocial treatments we have for mental health issues? Today, its use goes beyond treatment for anxiety disorders and depression to application for a wide range...Show More
New Year's Evolution

24:55 | Jan 9th

What’s the difference between a “resolution” and an “evolution”? In the context of New Year’s, even though they begin with the best intentions, resolutions often come with a lot of pressure to follow through. But an evolution allows you to grow and a...Show More
Home for the Holidays

25:59 | Dec 18th, 2018

Here we are, in the peak of the holiday season. Do you feel joyful? Do you feel down? Are you simply overwhelmed? Whatever it is you’re feeling, it’s okay, and we guarantee you’re not alone. The holidays mean different things for different folks and ...Show More
Coping with the Wintertime Blahs

22:23 | Dec 5th, 2018

It’s cold. It’s gray. It’s dark. This time of year, a lot of folks feel pretty blah. And not just those with depression or other mental health disorders. It can affect anyone. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing. But if you don’t like t...Show More
Changeable, featuring J. Stuart Ablon, Ph.D.

23:18 | Nov 21st, 2018

Rewards. Punishments. Incentives. What parent hasn’t used one or all of these when trying to navigate challenging behavior in their kids? These might be great strategies when the root of the problem is a lack of motivation. But in reality, that’s not...Show More
Gaming Disorder

23:52 | Nov 8th, 2018

“I couldn’t get off the computer ‘cause I was about to kill that final thing in ‘Call of Duty’ and if I didn’t kill it I’d have to fight it all over again and it just isn’t worth my time!”Who doesn’t love a good video game? Whether it’s Fortnite or C...Show More
Our Greatest Strengths, Part 2

14:43 | Oct 25th, 2018

At the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, we think a lot about helping kids as they’re growing up with all sorts of challenges. Most families will experience some kind of challenge along the road of life, whether behavioral, psychiatric, chronic, o...Show More
The Death of a Pet

19:52 | Oct 10th, 2018

Last season, we talked about the benefits of pets for our kids' mental health. That unconditional love helps our children build skills and navigate important life lessons. What we don't tend to think about, though, is that one day our pets will be go...Show More
When Nightmares Become Reality in the U.S. (Special Episode)

25:31 | Jun 22nd, 2018

In research that's been done about kids' fears, one of the most frightening things is losing or being left without a parent.Through the events at the U.S. southern border over the past weeks, we have watched migrant children live out their worst nigh...Show More
Season Finale: Our Greatest Strengths (S1, Ep 16)

21:25 | Jun 14th, 2018

Did you know that Dr. Ellen Braaten has a mild form of dyslexia and had to work really hard at reading when she was a child? Did you know that Dr. Gene Beresin has always struggled with math?We all have challenges. We all have differences. But some o...Show More
Beyond High School (S1, Ep 15)

24:28 | May 30th, 2018

Did you know that many young people forego college and go into the workforce after high school? In fact, going to college right away has declined to 66% of high school grads, in recent years, and only 46% of those under age 30 complete an associates ...Show More
Kids, Marches, and the Media (S1 Ep 14)

20:40 | May 16th, 2018

Recently, youth-driven marches such as 'March for Our Lives' have received extensive media coverage. While many kids and teens are participating in these marches, what happens to those who want a different outlet? Have adults pressured youth into mar...Show More
Navigating the System (S1 Ep13)

15:36 | May 2nd, 2018

We're not going to pretend it isn't so. If you're seeking mental or behavioral health services for your child, it can be tricky and frustrating trying to navigate the system. But resources are available.In this episode of Shrinking It Down, Dr. Ellen...Show More
Creativity Gives Our Brains a Boost

17:42 | Apr 18th, 2018

Is creativity important for human relationships? We don't just think so, we know it! Think about it, yourself: What does it mean when you watch a movie with family or create music with friends?On this episode of Shrinking It Down, Dr. Gene Beresin an...Show More
Autism Spectrum Disorder (S1 Ep 11)

22:51 | Apr 4th, 2018

A lot has changed over the years in the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), including that we’re getting better at understanding how to recognize it early in kids. And the earlier treatment starts, the more beneficial and effec...Show More
Is Age 27 the New 18? (S1 Ep 10)

16:01 | Mar 21st, 2018

Does turning 18 mark the start of adulthood, or is this milestone simply a cultural construct? These days, researchers say that legal adolescence should continue into the mid-20s.In this episode of Shrinking It Down, Dr. Gene Beresin and Dr. Steve Sc...Show More
Hope Beyond Anorexia (S1 Ep9)

24:41 | Mar 7th, 2018

At 14 years old, in the 1980s, Kathleen began seeing Dr. Beresin, an experienced clinician with expertise in eating disorders. Though eating disorders can be potentially deadly, over many years of working on it, Kathleen conquered her anorexia nervos...Show More
Emotional Eating (S1 Ep8)

21:14 | Feb 21st, 2018

Emotional eating occurs when we use food as a coping mechanism to deal with the stresses in life. Oftentimes, feelings of shame and regret follow patterns of emotional eating.Dr. Gene Beresin and Dr. Steve Schlozman break down what emotional eating i...Show More
Loving Relationships (S1 Ep7)

22:07 | Feb 7th, 2018

While relationships with family, friends, and even pets can be challenging, learning how to balance our needs with the needs of others can lead to meaningful, loving relationships.Dr. Gene Beresin and Dr. Steve Schlozman are joined by Dr. Ellen Braat...Show More
Political Angst In America? (S1 Ep6)

29:26 | Jan 24th, 2018

According to a 2017 report by the American Psychological Association, 2/3 of Americans feel stressed about the future of our nation, including a majority of each Democrats and Republicans. But who needs a survey to point that out – even our kids can ...Show More
Films That Heal, featuring Eric I. Lu (S1 Ep5)

25:22 | Jan 10th, 2018

Films foster empathy and can even promote social action. Sharing stories of mental health through video allows viewers to deeply connect with storytellers. When we watch and listen to stories, we begin to expand our own perspectives and understand th...Show More
The Importance of Pets for Mental Health (S1 Ep4)

19:01 | Dec 27th, 2017

Whether they have fur, scales, tail or no tail, pets can improve the mental and emotional health of children, teens, and our entire families. They love us unconditionally through hard life lessons. It's no wonder we love them, too!Today, Dr. Gene Ber...Show More
Divisiveness During the Holidays in Front of Our Kids (S1 Ep3)

18:51 | Dec 13th, 2017

Differing viewpoints, feelings of frustration. We're all constantly on edge today, and families can be home to a wide range of beliefs, which only adds stress to "together" time. But who has the energy for negativity? And what message are we sending ...Show More
Does My Child Need to See a Therapist? (S1 Ep2)

28:26 | Nov 29th, 2017

In today's episode, Dr. Ellen Braaten, psychologist and associate director of the Clay Center, joins co-hosts Beresin and Schlozman to address common questions parents have when they notice changes or differences in their kids' behavior: Is this typi...Show More
A New Season & New Conversations: Can Kids Get Mental Illness? (S1 Ep1)

14:38 | Nov 14th, 2017

Mental health made simple? Who are we kidding? It can be really complicated. Just take a look at our short film, "Can Kids Get Mental Illness?'': https://youtu.be/halx1H-mvnw But openly talking about the challenges we face -- from mental, to behavio...Show More
Processing the Manchester Terror Attack

20:54 | May 26th, 2017

Dr. Ellen Braaten joins Gene and Steve today to process the recent terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert, as both shrinks and parents. This attack felt different from others because it targeted kids. Join as they share different points of view on...Show More
Teen Suicide in the United States

20:05 | Mar 17th, 2017

Today, Gene and Steve talk about a really difficult and in many ways scary topic: Teen suicide. Suicide rates are on the rise for the entire US population. It's currently the 2nd leading cause of death among 18-26 year olds & 3rd leading cause for 15...Show More
Addiction Free Futures Project - Conversations With Youth

22:44 | Mar 1st, 2017

Gene welcomes members from Addiction Free Futures Project to discuss some of their latest initiatives related to Screening, Brief intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), tools for prevention of substance use by youth and for identifying subst...Show More
The College Mental Health Crisis

19:41 | Feb 8th, 2017

Drs. Gene Beresin and Steve Schlozman discuss the growing concerns around the mental health of our teens and young adults in college today.Read the accompanying blog post here:http://www.mghclaycenter.org/parenting-concerns/6752/
The Importance Of Civility In Today's Political Climate

16:26 | Nov 7th, 2016

Gene and Steve discuss the seeming decrease in civility that has characterized our political discourses over the past months and has also become pervasive throughout our entire culture – not just in politics.Check out the accompanying blog on our web...Show More
Raising Moral Children

16:45 | Mar 31st, 2016

Gene and Steve get more abstract in today’s topic as they discuss ethics and morality and how we get kids to think in ways that we’ll be proud of, and ways that they’ll be proud of later on in life.Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http...Show More
Grace's Story: Living With A Chronic Medical Illness

16:44 | Feb 25th, 2016

Gene and Steve welcome a special guest,Grace, to talk about a really complicated topic: When you have a chronic medical illness on top of the already challenging experience that is life as a teenager. Check out the accompanying blog on our website: h...Show More
Leaving Home - A Student's Perspective

24:59 | Jan 22nd, 2016

Gene and Steve welcome special guests Ellen Braaten, PhD and her son, to talk about what is it like for kids and young adults to go off to college or work. What are the stresses and struggles, along with the joys and positive things that happen?Check...Show More
Home Is Where The Heart Is: Thinking About Homeless Children In The Classroom

27:56 | Dec 10th, 2015

In this third podcast on the Lesley University Child Homelessness Initiative, Gene and Steve welcome a Massachusetts teacher and the mother of one of her students who had a period of homelessness, to discuss the ins and outs of homelessness, its impa...Show More
Are You Afraid Of The Dark? A Look At Specific Phobias

14:13 | Oct 13th, 2015

We all have fears – some hardwired in survival, some based on traumatic events, and some a little less rational – that is, phobias. Phobias tend to be persistent, resistant to reassurance, last from 6 months to 20 years. Gene and Steve delve in and t...Show More
Leaving Home: The Transition To College Or Work

18:25 | Sep 4th, 2015

Dr. Schlozman looks to colleagues Drs. Beresin and Braaten on the daunting, terrifying unknown of how to help your kids transition to life after high school - work, college, trade school or whatever they may have in store. Check out the accompanying ...Show More
Substance Use - How The Addiction Free Futures Project Can Make A Difference

15:49 | Jul 14th, 2015

Kristen Chello from the Massachusetts Children's Mental Health Campaign and John Kelly, Ph.D. sit down to talk about the Addiction Free Futures campaign and how to prevent adolescent substance misuse and abuse misuse before it begins. Check out the a...Show More
Creativity And Mental Illness

15:41 | May 21st, 2015

Is there a connection between creativity and mental illness? Dr. Mark Vonnegut joins to discuss.Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http://www.mghclaycenter.org/parenting-concerns/creativity-mental-illness/
Music For Autism Is Music For All: Reshaping And Expanding A Disability-Friendly Space

17:03 | Apr 1st, 2015

Dr. Robert Accordino, founder of Music for Autism, discusses the organization and its mission to make music concerts accessible to individuals with autism and their families. Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http://www.mghclaycenter.or...Show More
The Plight Of Homeless Children In The United States

15:46 | Feb 27th, 2015

Child homelessness is a national crisis. The first in a series of podcasts in collaboration with Lesley University Child Homelessness Initiative. Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http://www.mghclaycenter.org/parenting-concerns/infants-...Show More
Nicole's Story: Recovery From Anorexia Nervosa

22:11 | Feb 13th, 2015

"Your heart cannot beat unless you feed it". Anorexia nervosa is a deadly and very complex disease. Nicole shares her story of recovery along with Dr. Emily Gray. Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http://www.mghclaycenter.org/parenting...Show More
Ali's Story: The Effects Of Sexual Assault On Mental Health

17:35 | Jan 8th, 2015

Sexual assault is a disturbing, distressing, but important and relevant topic. Sexual assault survivor and UN Global Hero Ali Safran shares her story and how she's worked to support other survivors and end sexual violence. Check out the accompanying ...Show More
Why Watch Holiday Classics This Season?

11:14 | Dec 22nd, 2014

Why are we drawn, year after year, to classic holiday movies? Drs. Beresin & Schlozman discuss the nostalgic draw of holiday films. Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http://www.mghclaycenter.org/hot-topics/watch-holiday-classics-season/
'Tis The Season: Tips For Coping With Holiday Stress

09:37 | Dec 22nd, 2014

We're supposed to make merry and be joyous during the holidays, so why are we so stressed? Listen here for tips on how to cope with holiday stress. Thank you for joining us in this journey and conversation. If you have a question or comment about hol...Show More
Putting A Little Thanksgiving Into Your Nightly Family Dinners

19:13 | Nov 25th, 2014

Family dinners can make for happier families and healthier kids. Anne K. Fishel from The Family Dinner Project chimes in! Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http://www.mghclaycenter.org/parenting-concerns/families/putting-little-thanksgi...Show More
Emotional Turmoil And The Overwhelmed High School Student

10:17 | Nov 3rd, 2014

Pressure and stress has increased for high school students applying to college. When do these pressures begin, and should parents be worried for their kids? Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http://www.mghclaycenter.org/parenting-concer...Show More
How Scary Is Too Scary During Halloween?

12:01 | Oct 27th, 2014

Halloween can be fun and whimsical, but there's another, more scary side to the holiday. What is it that makes us enjoy being scared? Drs. Beresin and "Zombie Doctor of the Living Dead" Schlozman discuss. Check out the accompanying blog on our websit...Show More
Developmental Challenges Of Middle School: It’s Not So Much Who You Are, But Whom You’re With

12:46 | Sep 24th, 2014

Middle school is a difficult experience for many kids - but why? Gil Noam, Ed.D, Ph.D discusses this infamously treacherous time - and why it doesn't have to be so traumatic - with Drs. Beresin and Schlozman. Check out the accompanying blog on our we...Show More
Kids Are Not Born Blank Slates

18:34 | Sep 5th, 2014

Every kid has a unique temperament and personality from the moment they are born. How can we understand and make sense of that in a clinical setting? Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http://www.mghclaycenter.org/parenting-concerns/infa...Show More
Pete's Story: Living With ADHD

20:48 | Aug 14th, 2014

What's it like to live with ADHD? Peter Braaten, his mother Ellen Braaten & Dr. Schlozman share 3 perspectives. Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http://www.mghclaycenter.org/parenting-concerns/teenagers/coping-adhd-young-man-mom-managi...Show More
Nate's Story: Recovery From Substance Addiction

22:54 | Aug 1st, 2014

Alcohol and drug addiction is a persistent, troubling problem in our society. Nate shares his story of long-term recovery and Dr. John Kelly weighs in.Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http://www.mghclaycenter.org/hot-topics/suffering-a...Show More
The Fault in Our Stars: Proof Of What Teens Can Handle

09:55 | Jul 11th, 2014

The Fault In Our Stars, the novel turned movie by John Green – crushed its opening week competition, The Edge of Tomorrow (a scifi blockbuster featuring Tom Cruise!). That teenagers across the country were drawn to this film about two kids with canc...Show More
Did The Black Box Warning For Antidepressants Risk Greater Depression & Suicidal Behavior In Youth?

12:42 | Jun 30th, 2014

Black box warning: both patient and doctor should exercise caution in prescribing a drug. How does a black box warning for prescribing antidepressants to adolescents and young adults correlate with suicide and suicide attempts in this population?Chec...Show More
Dad's New Shoes: The Evolving Roles Of Fathers

13:29 | Jun 12th, 2014

Dr. Ray Levy, founder and director of The Fatherhood Project at MGH, talks fatherhood and Father's Day with Drs. Beresin and Schlozman. Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http://www.mghclaycenter.org/parenting-concerns/families/dads-new-...Show More
Concerts: How To Stay Tuned In When Your Kids Are Unplugged

11:01 | May 20th, 2014

Our music-loving doctors discuss concerts and provide a concert-survival guide for parents.Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http://www.mghclaycenter.org/parenting-concerns/teenagers/concerts-survival-guide/
The Senior Prom: A Joyous Rite Of Passage Or Nightmare For Parents?

08:49 | May 20th, 2014

The senior prom is a ritual for parents and students. How parents can talk to their kids about this right of passage, and the sometimes even more dreaded after-prom.Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http://www.mghclaycenter.org/parentin...Show More
Patriots' Day Project: The Importance Of Community

10:08 | Mar 31st, 2014

In this second podcast in a special two-part series with the Marjorie E. Korff Parenting At a Challenging Time (PACT) Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, we explore the importance of community and connections in challenging situations.Check it...Show More
Patriots' Day Project: Purpose And Lessons Learned

08:48 | Mar 31st, 2014

In this first podcast in a special two-part series with the Marjorie E. Korff Parenting At a Challenging Time (PACT) Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, we talk about the purpose of the Patriots' Day Project, as well as the lessons learned tha...Show More
Horror Movies & Videogames

08:41 | Mar 5th, 2014

Are horror movies and video games getting increasingly graphic and realistic? Have they changed over the years? What's healthy and OK for kids to see, and what isn't? Drs. Beresin & Schlozman discuss. Check out the accompanying blog on our website: h...Show More
Kids Moving Home

08:01 | Mar 5th, 2014

More college graduates are returning home than ever before, but what happens to parent-child relationships when adult children move home? Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http://www.mghclaycenter.org/parenting-concerns/young-adults/adu...Show More
Over-Scheduled, Stressed Out Kids And Families

05:46 | Mar 5th, 2014

In the last 10-15 years, we have been increasingly stressing out our kids with zillions of activities and commitments. Are kids getting lost in the haze of over-achievement and over-scheduling? Check out the accompanying blog on our website: http://w...Show More