Dawn Institute strives to provide quality educational material free of charge to our community. Browse our extensive catalog of articles written by our therapists on a variety of mental health topics.



My Partner Won’t Go with Me to Couples Therapy

What do you do if your partner doesn’t believe in couples therapy or doesn’t think it is needed?  You can’t force someone to go to therapy, but you can see if they are willing to try. Try A Different Approach This problem is super common and there are many factors that can play a role in couples therapy. If your partner is hesitant to give it a shot, there are ways to approach it with them. Start with having a conversation about why they are don’t believe in it. To be a supportive partner, your first step should always be

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How Trauma Can Impact You as a Couple

You get into a relationship, you’re getting to know each other, starting to trust and rely on each other, and then BAM! Something happens that throws you or your partner off. Something makes you infuriated, terribly sad and hurt, or extremely nervous and worried. But what could that “something” be? This blog is about how our past traumas can continue to affect our relationships as a couple. How Trauma Enters Relationships The very nature of relationships is connection. It’s getting to know, trust, rely, and commit to someone over time. Our past wounds, hurts, or traumatic experiences enter a relationship

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Managing My Child’s Behaviors Started with Me

In the fall of 2016, my husband and I became licensed foster parents. Everyone told us we would get a nice “honeymoon phase,” before behaviors escalated with the kids who came into our home. I was caught off guard when we did not experience the “honeymoon phase.” I felt unprepared and overwhelmed. I began to question if I actually knew what I was doing. The information from all the classes I had taken seemed to disappear. “How will we ever get through this?” My husband and I would question. Start with Self Care             Managing behaviors comes with practical skills

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Behavior is Communication

As I prepare for our upcoming training “The Handbook You Wish Your Child Came With,” I can’t help but feel the excitement to share with you the lessons I have learned about children over the past nine years as a therapist.  It seems to be an innumerable number of times I have heard parents say: I really, really wish my kiddo came with a handbook!   Learning and Training Trust me, I have that same feeling too, like when we decided to get a puppy. I learned a ton in the three weeks that we had him.  For me, it

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The Fight Against Human Trafficking in Arizona

The facts of human trafficking in Arizona. In honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, I wanted to mention a few facts about this topic to bring awareness to it. The average age of a victim is between 12 and 14 years old.  The abuse that happens to these young people makes it extremely difficult to leave or get help. Arizona is part of what is called The Circuit.  We are in close proximity to two other major cities (Las Angeles and Las Vegas), which have a rotation of major events that come through all three cities.  This provides an easy

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Every First Responder Deserves Solace

“The experience I have had is that once you start talking about [experiencing a mental health struggle], you realize that actually you’re part of quite a big club.” — Prince Harry             I’m currently a 23-year veteran of a law enforcement agency.  My career started as a patrol deputy for approximately 5 years.  As a patrol deputy/first responder, I patrolled the streets responding to routine calls, as well as emergency calls for service.  In my later years in patrol, I eventually became a field training officer where I trained new recruits on how to become law enforcement professionals. I was

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New Year, New Goals

It’s that time of year again when we set goals to better ourselves in some way. Studies show that 90% of our goals will be abandoned by the first weeks of February. There are a lot of reasons why we don’t stick with it. Whether your goals are centered around health, self care, or are financially based, here are ways to ensure your success. Create realistic goals. Many times, we create resolutions or goals that are simply too big to achieve. If you’ve never run before, don’t sign up for a marathon, instead start with a 5k run. Putting too

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12 Ways to Help Your Child Stay Calm

There are so many wonderful things about this time of year—family tradition, gifts, spending time with people we love. This wonderful time of year can also bring on big feelings that are not so good. It can be the jam-packed social calendar, deadlines at school or work, the loss of a loved one, or all of the above. Just as parent stress increases due to lack of time, financial pressure, gift-giving, and family gatherings, kid stress can increase as well. The greatest gift we can give our kids, though, is the gift of being able to calm themselves when they

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‘Tis the season to… cry, grieve, to feel blue.

So much of what we hear and see in this season is reminiscent of joy and cheer.  It can almost feel like an expectation.  But what if we just can’t? This season can actually be challenging to get through at all, even more so with a cheerful mood.  It reminds of us of who we don’t have and what we didn’t get that we needed.  Let me explain.  The first, simple answer to this, which is true for so many people is that this time of year reminds us of people we loved that we have lost.  Lost to death.

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Grateful for the Hard Things

One of my favorite things to do as an adoptive parent is talk about those taboo topics that we aren’t “allowed” to discuss with the general public, because… well, a lot of people just don’t get it.  How the systems are taxing and the people are exhausting.  Those are the conversation most people understand.  But it becomes uncomfortable when we start talking about the challenges that come along with parenting children who are adopted.  Many people want to paint this picture that adoption is easy.  Can it be rewarding?  Yes.  Is it easy? No.  It’s Hard And it’s hard.  It

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