The Teacup Overfloweth

The first step in helping a child to regulate is finding a calm, regulated place within ourselves. We need to tolerate our OWN distress in order to help our child. The image below is a metaphor for the difference between an adult’s and a child’s capacity to tolerate distress.

As parents, our capacity to manage stress is like the larger tea cup on the right. While we have a large cup, if it becomes too full, a tiny amount will cause the cup to overflow. If we can monitor our own stress level, we can take steps to manage our distress and create space in our cups.

A child’s cup (image on the left) is much smaller. Children have a much lower distress tolerance and haven’t learned how to empty their own cups. They easily become overwhelmed and their cups overflow. One of the safest and most natural ways that children create space in their tiny cups is by pouring their contents into their parents’ cups. Parents act as safe receptacles for a child’s overflowing distress, but only if the parent’s teacup has enough space to hold the child’s. 

As parents, we must continually monitor the capacity of our teacups so that children have a safe container for their  overwhelming feelings and aren’t left to manage on their own.

*Adapted from the teachings of Alicia Lieberman, PhD, Patricia Van Horn, PhD, and Chandra Ghosh Ippen,  developers of Child Parent Psychotherapy

A beautiful real-time demonstration of CALMing, co-regulating, parenting techniques.

🛏 Bedtime meltdown support with play based Neuro-somatic therapy. 🥳🙃🤬The scene: Big day here with a photo shoot and birthday party. My kiddo was understandably dysregulated and had shouted the words, “I hate you” a couple or times earlier in the day to both their sibling and I. Both times they were reminded that we don’t use those words in our house. After the second warning I told them there would be a consequence if those words were used again. It was time for bed and everyone was tired and dysregulated (myself included). While brushing teeth, right before story time, they said “I hate you” again so I followed through and said the consequence would be no story time tonight. They were understandably upset and they cried as I put them to bed. I left the room for about 5 minutes to self-regulate my nervous system and returned with the capacity to hold space for their big feelings. ❤️ I used a combination of play based Neuro-somatic drills and empathetic cognitive processing to help them move through their feelings. I held the boundary that it was time for bed when asked again if I would read a story but offered some agency in choosing if they would like to walk or be carried to bed. 🧰 Sharing to provide a real life example of how these tools can work to help parents and kids move through challenging moments with more ease. ✅ Save, comment and share to help this video reach more families who can benefit. Free PDF guide in bio to help parents and kids with nervous system regulation. Follow for more videos to help you and the little humans you love. #family #tantrum #threenager #singlemomlife #neuroscience #neurodrills #neurosomatic #neurosomatictherapy #neurosomaticintelligence #bedtime #bedtimeroutine #boundaries #ihateyou #consequences #parenting #parenting101 #parentingtips #soloparent #overstimulation #dysregulatednervoussystem #emdr #toddlertherapy #playbased #playtherapy #playbasedlearning #growingup #reparenting #reparentyourself #reparentingjourney

♬ original sound – CJ Smith

Feelings School is hiring (again!)

Feelings School is hiring

Feelings Work is hiring fee-for-service therapists (LMSW, LCSW, LMHC, PsyD, PhD,) looking for a clinical home where they can grow their skills in child psychotherapy. We are a Brooklyn-based, small group practice with a collaborative approach to treatment.  Our clients often seek us out because they are looking for short-term, family-involved clinical care for their children.  Hours and caseload are flexible.

Check out our website at for more information about our practice. 


  • Provide short term psychotherapy treatment to children aged 5-12 and their caregivers
  • Provide parent and conjoint sessions 
  • Be engaged in the ongoing pursuit of clinical knowledge and psychotherapy skills
  • Complete clinical documentation
  • Participate in a collaborative treatment team


  • Experience working with children/parents preferred 
  • Flexibility to work hours to meet productivity goals and deadlines
  • Strong teamwork ethic; positive, flexible attitude; ability to take complete ownership of responsibilities
  • Strong desire to increase clinical skills and receive training
  • Must have one of the following degrees and a current NYS license to provide psychotherapy: MA, LMSW, LCSW, LMHC, PsyD, Ph.D. 
  • Value and engage in anti-racism and social justice education
  • Be curious, engaged, empathic clinicians
  • Be organized and able to work autonomously

LGBTQ+ & Candidates of Color are encouraged to apply