If you follow this page or read my books then you probably know that when I am not writing fun paranormal mysteries that teach kids critical thinking, I work as a child psychologist. It is, without a doubt, the best job in the world. I play, I connect, and I make a difference. It really doesn’t get better than that.
Or does it?
In the past few months I decided to join my psychology skills with my writing by making a therapy workbook for kids. It was so much fun. The book is now published and it is becoming a success! If you want to see it, you can check it out here.
See, workbooks and activity sheets are to a child therapist what wrenches and drills are to a mechanic – essential tools of the job. And for a long time I have been frustrated with the quality of a lot of the workbooks for child therapy. Either they had great cute characters with fun activities, but weren’t grounded in the science, or they were scientifically grounded but well… what is the polite way to put this? Boring. I felt like I always had to use a tool that wasn’t quite right for the job. So I started making my own.
This started years ago. I made single sheets with activities that I thought were fun and used concepts from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is the kind of therapy I do. With feedback from kids, I fine-tuned the worksheets to be easy to understand, fun to use, and engaging.
So when I decided to start this project I already had a bunch of activities and worksheets to launch the work. My son Denali, who is the inspiration for the hero of the Beyond Belief series, saw me working on it and started asking me questions about the book. He was excited by the whole idea and asked if he could make a video using the book’s character. What the heck, I thought, knock yourself out kid. Making videos is a hobby of his that he is getting serious about, but I wasn’t taking it too seriously. Guys, this is the video he made:
I was floored. I asked him to make a video for each section of the book, and he did. He grasped all the CBT concepts, explained them perfectly, and made it easy for kids to understand. Thanks to him, at the start of each section of the book there is a QR code that kids can scan with their devices which will take them to a video. Each one was made by my kid! I was so proud I made him a co-author of the book. He’s stoked.
This might seem totally unrelated to the Beyond Belief series, but it actually isn’t. The thing is, Beyond Belief is a series intended to help kids learn some of the basic concepts you might learn in CBT. Things like socratic questioning and identifying your own biases or core principles of CBT, and if a kid reads the Beyond Belief books, they will find the ideas introduced in CBT very familiar. All my work revolves around one big idea: to help kids think clearly and critically. CBT is a perfect tool for that.
So to promote the new book, and the books to follow, I’m going to rework this site a little bit to make the theme broader than just Beyond Belief. Now, that series will be part of a growing collection of books for kids and families. I’m going to rename the site “Dr. Dad: Raising Critical Thinkers” (I’m still working on the name), and focus it more on child psychology, critical thinking, and parenting. I also plan to make videos to go with the new theme. If you are into that kind of thing, stick and around and stay tuned.
And whatever you do, stay skeptical.