In March of 2012, we decided to add an advice column to our parenting publication, Your Parenting Info. Every other Monday a question from one of our readers is published. During the next week and a half, our readers can submit advice and suggestions via the comment box. On Friday of the second week, one of our parenting specialists weighs in on the query and provides professional insight.
One of our parenting specialists is Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, a family and relationship counselor. This week we get to learn a little bit more about her.
MPK: Our readers know you as one of our Parenting Predicament specialists, who is a family and relationship counselor. Do you have a specific area in which you specialize?
DEW: Teens, children, couples, families: helping them learn the skills and dialogue to effectively communicate, using behavior modification for parents and children alike. I developed a theory called family play therapy (saving the children through family play therapy), which is highly effective with divorced, separated families or those suffering from adultery, alcoholism, workaholism, or drug addiction.
MPK: You have covered many topics on Your Parenting Info. Is there a particular topic in children’s behavior that you find most interesting?
DEW: Children’s rebellious behavior, acting out in school, bullying, jealousy with new siblings, parents fighting or breaking up.
MPK: What do you like best about being a counselor?
DEW: I love helping people (families and individuals) so they can get rid of me as soon as they can and learn the skills and dialogue to do without me. In other words there is a magic in connecting, whereby the love and the strength of the family takes over and I ease out.
MPK: Is there a book that you think is a good reference for parents?
DEW: The book I would recommend is Makeup Don’t Break Up (Readers’ Choice award 2011, New York Times) because it outlines the developmental stages of children, explaining how intimacy is formed in those early stages for most boys and girls, and how it affects their happiness later on and what kind of partner they will pick. Oh, I forgot to mention, I wrote it with most of you in mind.
MPK: What fun fact would our readers be surprised to learn about you?
DEW: I’ve been a family therapist since the age of 7. I love fun, I come from a family that works hard and play hard, which is why I developed family play therapy, so the child in the adult could come out to play with their child! My idea of fun is tennis, golf (did I say that?), swimming (I love the water), and our pontoon boat — jumping in the lake off the boat! Fun fact about me: I held on to the wonderful qualities we have as children to this day, that I always instill in others (that sometimes regrettably gets stifled as we socialize and mature): enthusiasm, optimism, curiosity, bubbliness, playfulness, and fun! I got it from my fun loving family!!
Also, I am so excited, I wanted to share: I received an award for the third year in a row (only one percent get it) 2011,2012,2013 best therapist NYC by US Chamber Association. My work was chosen for the “Best of Oprah” on May 21st, 2013.
If you’re seeking more advise than can be found in this column, be sure to check out these therapists.