Welcome to Mood Smoothie Mental Health Resources, a place where you can learn about coping with uncomfortable emotions. My name is Jennifer Keluskar. I am a clinical psychologist and parent. My mission is to provide FREE and accessible self-guided materials for social-emotional enrichment, as well as lists of resources for further information about various mental health topics.
What is Mood Smoothie?
Mood Smoothie is a site where people can go for ideas about how to smooth out the emotional highs and lows of everyday existence. The “smoothie” part of my project’s title speaks to the idea of approaching life with a spirit of creativity and calmness, or smoothness, in mood. Mood Smoothie is a means for me to share insights I have acquired as a clinical psychologist. Working as a mental health professional has come with the privilege of earning individuals’ trust and listening to their stories and struggles. This has both enriched my understanding of humanity as well as given me a sense of purpose in helping others. While I can have this kind of relationship with only a tiny segment of the population, I believe that everyone should have access to information for enhancing emotional well-being without long wait lists and financial constraints that might limit access to treatment. I am also a believer in prevention. For instance, in working with families over the years, I have seen the power that parents have in preventing the typical challenges of childhood from becoming insurmountable problems. Also, I believe that while many people will need more formal treatment than can be provided by self-help, therapy does not need to last a lifetime. Therefore, prevention can also take the form of maintaining coping skills after treatment has been completed.
Resources featured on this site are informed by various evidence-based cognitive-behavioral interventions, including: -Cognitive Behavioral Therapy -Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) -Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) -Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Mental Health Tools
In the Mental Health Tools section, you will find information on keeping track of your emotions to better understand them, activities to help kids increase their psychological flexibility, and a mindfulness video.
Here, you can find other resources for books, websites, and articles about various topics, such as: Resources for young children, school-aged children, adolescents, and adults; resources for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); and resources for making an impact in the community.
THE FORGIVABLE PARENT
In this series of blog posts, I apply my knowledge of the negative impact of perfectionism to the realm of parenting, making the case for critically examining how we are shaped by the "rules" and judgments that govern the parenting world. My aim is to help parents balance evidence-based advice with trusting their gut in order to raise children who are resilient, open-minded, and curious. My posts include: The Forgivable Parent; The Problem with Perfectionistic Parenting; When Values Collide; The Scoop on Oops; and Talking to Your Child About Being Left Out.
In The Forgivable Parent, I talk about what I mean (and don't mean) by the term "forgivable parent" and explain how being flexible can sometimes be more important than being "right" or "the best."
In The Problem with Perfectionistic Parenting, I discuss the importance of parents caring for their own emotional well being.
In When Values Collide, I talk about what to do when we want to parent our children one way, but it conflicts with one's child emotional needs at the moment.
In The Scoop on Oops, I talk about how parenting "mistakes" are not only acceptable, but also potentially represent valuable opportunities for enriching children.
In Talking to Your Child About Being Left Out, I describe tips for effectively responding to your child when they have been excluded by peers.
In Taming Distractions, I discuss tips for balancing task completing with engaging in opportunities to enhance meaningful social connections.
In Helping "Opt-Out" Kids, I discuss how to respond when children request sitting out of potentially enriching life experiences.
ASD SENSE: A BLOG ABOUT AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD)
My ASD Blog consists of: Taming Transitions; Language Matters in Understanding ASD; and De-Mystifying ASD and Supporting Neurodiversity.
Taming Transitions discusses reasons why children with ASD have trouble transitioning among tasks, as well as tips for helping individuals manage these difficulties.
In Language Matters in Understanding ASD, I discuss the role of language processing difficulties in emotional and behavioral challenges shown by many children with ASD, and how we can effectively use visual and verbal strategies to address these difficulties. In Using Visuals to Help Neurodiverse Youth, I discuss the value of visual strategies in improving mood and behavior, and the subtle art of effectively applying these tools. Going with the Flow, a post also included in the Self-Help blog (see below) describes tips for increasing psychological flexibility. De-Mystifying ASD and Supporting Neurodiversity discusses misunderstandings of ASD, and the importance of creating a culture that is more accepting and supportive of neurodiversity.
The Self-Help section contains blog posts on topics such as addressing thoughts and feelings of not belonging, using gratitude to improve emotional well-being, coping with not receiving recognition, learning how to go with the flow, balancing task completion and social interaction, and building resilience. I also have a page listing recommended self-help podcasts.