Author Archive: Dr. Yael Schonbrun
For all of our collective efforts to alleviate work-family conflict, most modern working parents still struggle. A lot. It may be that we have missed an essential piece of the problem. If that’s the case, we should return to understanding the problem so that we can be more effective in coming up with ways to manage it. Read my essay exploring a re-diagnosis of work-family conflict by clicking here.
I was delighted to talk with Psychologists off the Clock host, Dr. Diana Hill about how to sustain and rebuild romantic relationships. We discussed what happens inside of couples therapy, acceptance and change strategies, and how to heal after affairs or other major relationship infractions.
Working Parent Resource host, Sarah Argenal, was kind enough to have me on her podcast for an episode exploring the challenges and strategies of striking the right balance between career ambition and engaged family life.
Click here to download the episode.
We Americans like to believe we are independent thinkers. But when it comes to the way we think about success, it can be hard to leave behind the powerful influence of our peers, colleagues, parents, spouses, bosses, talking heads, not to mention your dentist, and that elderly lady who judged your three-year-old for opening the crackers in the checkout line.
Everyone has an opinion about how to be successful, and everyone’s opinion seems to point to you doing it wrong. (more…)
I was delighted to be interviewed for an episode of a wonderful podcast series exploring modern research and practice in clinical psychology. This episode focuses on modern ambitious and loving parents can effectively choose both a meaningful career and parenthood.
Dr. Yael Schonbrun and podcast host Dr. Diana Hill review research suggesting that pursuit of meaning in both work and parenting can be the cornerstone of happiness. However, the act of straddling an ambitious career and being a parent can be overwhelming and destabilizing. With research and personal examples, this podcast provides insights into how you can successfully choose both. Click here to download the episode.
Trailing after my 1-year-old wingman, I spotted a promising looking mom-and-child duo working the firetruck slide. She smiled at me and I went in for the opening. Thankfully, my eagerness wasn’t too off-putting, and our random playground encounter evolved into a friendship. Leigh and I were delighted to discover that we both had small kids, were both therapists, and found New England winters disagreeable. It didn’t occur to me to ask about her religion because who really cared?
Just a few weeks later we were watching our kids play and congratulating ourselves for finding each other when the conversation took an unexpected turn. Leigh said she didn’t think our meeting was a coincidence. “It was,” she told me, “God’s plan”. Um… what? (more…)
Communication—the blessing and the curse of most relationships. Words like “those pants are stunning on you” can bring peace and joy into your life; words like “we need to talk” can feel like a death sentence.
Because it’s so foundational to relationships, and because it’s so complicated to get it right, communication is among the most common of marital problems. It’s also the problem that couples often highlight when they first come into couples therapy. Couples therapy offers lots of specific strategies to tweak communication and this one is simple to get your head around, easy to implement, and has good returns on your effort investment. (more…)
The battle between two competing desires—the desire to achieve and the desire to engage with loved ones—rages within many working parents. But on my recent maternity leave, I hoped I might get a reprieve. After all, I’m not just a mommy (a few times over), I’m also a credentialed psychologist specializing in the treatment of new parents.
Yep, I naively expected my third maternity leave would be smooth, psychologically and otherwise. Yet my reality turned out just like that of every ambitious parent in love with their delightful young children: I’m spit-stained, dog-tired, and faced with a barrage of conflicted thoughts and feelings about who I am as a mother and professional. (more…)
Double Bind: Women on Ambition is a book filled with essays about the inherent paradoxes, challenges, and gifts of ambition, and includes a chapter by me on the challenges and joys of being an ambitious professional and loving parent.