Tag Archives: Dr. Daniel Trussell

Teaching Virtue in an Election Year (Dr. Daniel Trussell)

Dr. Daniel Trussell, How Families FlourishNo matter which candidate you support, there is no better time than a presidential election year to teach older children and adolescents about civic responsibility, critical thinking, and integrity. These activities all characterize people who live the good life, those who report the highest level of life satisfaction and happiness. Therefore, teaching virtue in an election year is very much worth the effort.

A “Themed” Family Meeting
If you’ve read my articles in the past, you know I am a strong advocate for regularly scheduled family meetings. Family meetings are a time to celebrate successes, compliment achievements, problem solve challenges and explore individualized family values. You might consider a family meeting themed around the presidential election.

One way to approach the discussion is to ask your child what they observe about each candidate’s performance during debates, forums, news bites and advertisements related to character traits the candidates’ exhibit rather than on their political platforms.
While this may seem a daunting task, here are some tips to help you guide the conversation.

Six Societal Virtues
Seligman and Peterson identified six virtues that can be found in virtually all societies. These include:

WISDOM- acquiring and using knowledge
COURAGE – accomplishing goals in the face of opposition
JUSTICE – building community
HUMANITY –befriending and tending to others
TEMPERANCE – protecting against excess
TRANSCENDENCE – connecting to the larger universe

Each virtue is demonstrated through consistent character strengths of an individual. Let’s look at those strengths.

How Families Flourish, Dr. Daniel Trussell, Daniel Trussell, PhDFor WISDOM, the strengths are a love of learning, discernment, curiosity, originality (approaching problems in new ways) and perspective.

COURAGE includes integrity, persistence, bravery and vitality.

JUSTICE involves teamwork, fairness and leadership.

HUMANITY manifests through generosity, loving and being loved, and social/emotional intelligence.

TEMPERANCE embodies forgiveness and mercy, humility, self-control and prudence/discretion.

TRANSCENDENCE encompasses appreciation of beauty in all things, gratitude, hope, spirituality and humor.

While no person exemplifies all the strengths mentioned above, it is helpful to identify the top and bottom strengths of an individual. For your family meeting conversation, you might want to look at the top three and bottom three strengths of each candidate from both parties.

A Few Ground Rules
If your family is not skilled at family meetings, some ground rules are worth mentioning. Family meetings need a rigid start and stop time where all family members are present. Once the meeting time is set, it can’t be changed unless there is a life or death emergency, so plan accordingly. No personal devices are to be used during this or any other family meeting (turn off TV or music, don’t answer phones etc.)

Each member gets an opportunity to identify the strengths of each candidate, without interruption, comment or judgment from the other family members. After everyone has had a chance to talk, a more general discussion can begin.

The time factor in family meetings is very important.  There is much less resistance to family meetings when they start and stop promptly. If time runs out before everyone has finished, it is better to schedule an additional family meeting (same time, next week) than to extend the meeting.

A Nice Surprise
You might be surprised to learn how your kids are reacting to and absorbing the campaign information they are exposed to. The purpose of this family meeting is not to persuade anyone to come to your way of thinking but to learn about each individual’s personal reaction to this exciting electoral process. It only happens once every four years so let’s grasp the opportunity!


Daniel Trussell, Ph.D., MBA, LPC, NCC, CPCS is author of The How Families Flourish Workbook and How Families Flourish. He is a certified Professional Counselor supervisor and conducts training for both professionals and families in incorporating the findings from positive psychology into daily life. He can be reached at drdanieltrussell@gmail.com. [website]


Winter: A Time for Introspection and Renewal (Dr. Daniel Trussell)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs the dark nights seem to stretch forever and days are cold, still and short, Winter is a time for reflection. It’s the perfect opportunity to fine tune desires, goals and accomplishments planned for in the coming year. Winter offers a time for refreshment and renewal as outdoor activities, social functions and overburdened schedules slow down to create a less frenzied routine.

With less hectic schedules, fewer time constraints and reduced daily routine, we find more time to reflect on the past: lessons learned, accomplishments gained and new strategies for “getting it right this time.”


snow, snow days, winter is a time for reflection, winter renewal

Families spend more time indoors together, providing the gift of time to spend with one another. Opportunities abound for increased intimacy, improved communication and the intentional making of positive memories with one another.

Yet many of us fail to embrace this auspicious time of year that encourages us to look inward, feast on the harvest of experience the preceding seasons provided and foment plans to increase engagement, meaning and positive relationships.

Snow Days as Grow Days
My wish for families I interact with during the Winter is that they will have several snow days – those days when everything shuts down, kids can’t get to school, parents can’t get to work and there is general quiet and beauty. Of course, in my vision, there are no disasters to contend with, the heat and lights stay on and a deep blanket of pristine snow covers the driveways and highways, inviting play and merriment.

Dr. Daniel TrussellBut what happens during snow days? Kids may go off on their own, parents worry about not getting work done and there may be a general sense of restlessness, boredom or dread.

However, snow days can provide a unique set of circumstances that gathers the family in one place at the same time. It’s the perfect time to hold a family meeting, learn a new skill, begin a family project or foster family bonds through creating positive memories, engaging in positive family activities and improving relationships.

A little planning now for those snow days can help structure activities that promote better family well-being and put every family member on notice that a snow day is a grow day.

While the promise of renewal lies shortly ahead when trees leaf out, daffodils bloom and the first Spring crops emerge, Winter is truly a time to celebrate. Take advantage of this Winter to not only plan for the future but to review the past and change the present. You are in charge of creating the future you want to have. Winter is the springboard. ###


Daniel Trussell, Ph.D., MBA, LPC, NCC, CPCS is author of The How Families Flourish Workbook and How Families Flourish. He is a certified Professional Counselor supervisor and conducts training for both professionals and families in incorporating the findings from positive psychology into daily life. He can be reached at drdanieltrussell@gmail.com. [website]


GRIT: The Breakfast of Champions (Dr. Daniel Trussell)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is considerable conversation about the need to address non-cognitive skills in our educational system and one of the most frequently mentioned non-cognitive skills is the acquisition of Grit. Duckworth, a University of Pennsylvania psychologist and a preeminent researcher on Grit, describes this trait as high motivation or passion focused on a long term goal pursued with diligence and perseverance, despite the obstacles and even during times of boredom.

In their book Grit to Great, Thaler and Koval ascribe attributes of Grit with a clever acronym:


While the value of developing Grit has only recently been scientifically investigated, it is not a new concept. Indeed, Grit has been considered a desired trait and reinforced to children for centuries. Its resurgence in the educational system is part of an attempt to level the socioeconomic field by teaching success strategies to children as they move through the educational system.

Educational standardization, a product of the No Child Left Behind era which many now view as a drill and kill mentality for academic performance, is increasingly sharing space with developing empowerment and success through personal responsibility and free will. Grit, like success in life, is not tied to IQ, talents or socioeconomic status, but to a skill set that levels the playing field.

You Have to Fail to Succeed

The “you have to fail to succeed” attitude from parents and educational systems is gaining momentum as an integral part of creating an environment that fosters success as adults. Success requires diligence, perseverance and tenacity.

Duckworth asserts that talents, intellect and a strong supportive social and home environment are insufficient for long term success. A “Yes, I Can” approach goes a long way even when a child wants to throw in the towel.

Perseverance builds resilience, which helps us continue to pursue a difficult challenge. Suffering through a difficult challenge is not only inevitable but necessary for achieving success. Confusion, frustration and even feeling overwhelmed often come with the territory.

Tenacity keeps us on track toward a goal even through the tedious or boring aspects of reaching mastery. Langer has found that one component of high life satisfaction is openness to new experience. Creatively approaching a seemingly insurmountable barrier to a highly prized goal enhances the development of grit. Finding interesting or novel ways to approach a problem balances the suffering and builds resilience, persistence and self-discipline.

Wait Just a Minute!

While many parents and school systems have jumped on the bandwagon to support academic persistence over academic achievement, others are raising concern. Opponents argue that emphasizing non-cognitive skills like Grit in an educational system denounces creativity , reduces diversity of interests, teaches conformity without question and focuses on narrow behavioral expectations rather than motive or desire. Some assert that reinforcing Grit can lower well-being if a child is expected to persist toward an unattainable goal or a goal of which they have no interest.

While there is merit to each of these concerns, let’s look back to the Duckworth definition of grit. Grit is accessed when one is highly motivated or passionate about gaining mastery over a skill or reaching a long term goal.

Duckworth describes a household rule in a recent article called the “Hard Thing Rule.” Family members choose one hard thing and work deliberately and consistently toward mastery over the chosen skill or activity for a specified period of time. They don’t give up or stop midstream, even if they have become bored or experience feelings of being overwhelmed. After a specified time, like a semester or a year, the family member can reassess their level of interest and negotiate to stop pursuit if they no longer have interest in the activity.

As parents, we all want our children to grow into successful, productive contributing adults. The question remains whether reinforcing Grit belongs in the home, in the educational system or in a combination of both environments. ###

DTrussellbookDaniel Trussell, Ph.D., MBA, LPC, NCC, CPCS is author of The How Families Flourish Workbook and How Families Flourish. He is a certified Professional Counselor supervisor and conducts training for both professionals and families in incorporating the findings from positive psychology into daily life. He can be reached at drdanieltrussell@gmail.com. [website]



Generosity: Inherited or Learned? (Dr. Daniel Trussell)

BTAboutThemIn numerous studies across the globe parents report that their number one goal is to raise children who are prosocial: generous, compassionate and empathetic. High life achievement through material success ranks much lower.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome children are naturally able to express generosity and compassion at a very early age. Most do not. While research from identical twin studies suggests that between 25 and 50% of the propensity to be a generous person is inherited, there is ample opportunity to teach almost all children to become prosocial.

What Studies Tell Us
In a 2015 study, Paulus and Moore observed that when children between the ages of 3 and 6 are guided to talk about feeling of being left out or included related to sharing, those children tend to exhibit greater generosity than children who are merely offered the opportunity to share without a discussion of feelings related to being included or excluded.

Other researchers found that during the first two years of life, children who are encouraged to talk about feelings are more emotionally intelligent and can better anticipate the emotional state of others. This in turn contributes to greater capacity to offer generosity as children age.

And, for 7 to 11 year olds, it has been found that the capacity to express generosity is linked to the development of moral judgment – an ability to experience compassion and mercy.

Two Interventions
Two factors that influence the capacity for generosity are modeling and “preaching.” There is little evidence that preaching or lecturing has much short-term effect, but it has been found to be effective in the long run.

DTrussellCompelling support for these two interventions was demonstrated in a recent study that included elementary and middle school students. A “teacher” demonstrated sharing tokens won in a game by donating them all to a needy family, donating some to a needy family or donating none to a needy family accompanied with a lecture about the value of selfishness or generosity or no preaching at all.

A control group simply played the game without a “teacher” demonstration or commentary. Following the game they were asked if they wanted to donate some tokens to a needy family and this established a baseline of giving.

When the experimental students were given an opportunity to play the game to collect tokens and were then asked if they wanted to donate, results were surprising. When the teacher modeled generosity whether preached to or not, students gave 85% more than the control group. Moreover, when the teacher acted in a generous manner but preached about the value of selfishness, students still gave 49% more than the control group. This certainly suggests that actions speak louder than words.

In all the studies above it is likely that negative bias played a strong role. Negative bias is the concept that behavior is more strongly influenced by the desire to avoid negative emotions than by a desire to make another happy.

Importance of Parental Influence
This leads us to consider the importance of personalizing praise and direction when teaching young kids about generosity. For example, directing your child by saying “don’t lie” is less effective than saying “don’t be a liar.” Likewise repeated statements of “good job” have minimal impact whereas statements like “you are a kind person” when a young child shares or “you are a good helper in the kitchen” send a strong message of ownership and increases displays of future generous behavior. Research suggests that by the age of ten, praising a child’s character or praising a precise action have equal effect.

Additionally the experience of shame or guilt impact the growth of pro-social behaviors like caring and generosity. Multiple studies conclude that when parents express excessive anger at children, withdraw love or exercise frequent threats of punishment, child learn to internalize shame. These children often withdraw socially and curate few prosocial behaviors. Conversely, children who experience guilt rather than shame about poor choices often become more generous as they mature.

While genetics does play a role in how we manifest generosity, kindness, compassion and mercy, the nurture aspect of the nature/nurture dichotomy plays an equally important role. And research indicates that parents have a strong influence from infancy to adulthood. Modeling generosity, helping children associate feelings to actions, personalizing accomplishments and avoiding shaming children all contribute to pro-social behaviors and produce individuals who cheerfully offer generous responses as adults. ###

Daniel Trussell, Ph.D., MBA, LPC, NCC, CPCS is author of The How Families Flourish Workbook and How Families Flourish. He is a certified Professional Counselor supervisor and conducts training for both professionals and families in incorporating the findings from positive psychology into daily life. He can be reached at drdanieltrussell@gmail.com. [website]


Can Our Children Carry on the Family Values? (Dr. Daniel Trussell)

BTAboutThemWhile most parents don’t expect that their children will become carbon copies of their parents, they likely want their children to live “the good life,” one full of integrity, honor and justice.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThoughtful parents put a great deal of effort into instilling their own values, attitudes and a solid moral framework for their children to take into young adulthood. But how do parents know they are really “getting through” and that their children will embrace similar values, attitudes and an ethical frame of reference to pass on to their own children?

Children who can easily articulate the values that belong to the family and who have had these values reinforced through action over words tend to fare better in living out these values as they leave home and go out into a world full of competing choices.

DTrussellResearch suggests that children who are taught age appropriate self-determination (as defined by Deci and Ryan as supporting one’s natural or intrinsic tendencies to behave in effective and healthy ways) are better equipped to understand why a family has certain attitudes toward family attitudes and values around justice, family loyalty and respect, the role of the individual in community, social, school and work life, health and wellness goals, spiritual or religious affiliation and other values the family has honored over generations.
Likewise, teaching your child to think critically can strongly reinforce similar values in him or her. As the youngster becomes more independent in the world, this tool will serve them well.

Engaging with your child not just about what your values are, but why you find them important and the natural consequences of violating them, improves adoption of the values you think your child will need to carry into adult life.
Piaget and developmental psychology expects that children are typically unable to perform functional critical thinking before around the age of eleven. Fully independent reasoning, judgment and prudence are exhibited around 25 to 30 years of age. Nonetheless, it is never too early to explain why you have rules, values and attitudes, and to explore with your child a way to manifest those values.

Both self-determination and critical thinking are building blocks toward helping to establish your child’s desire to not only embrace the values you find important but to act upon their own value system to pass on to the next generation. ###

Daniel Trussell, Ph.D., MBA, LPC, NCC, CPCS is author of The How Families Flourish Workbook and How Families Flourish. He is a certified Professional Counselor supervisor and conducts training for both professionals and families in incorporating the findings from positive psychology into daily life. He can be reached at drdanieltrussell@gmail.com. [website]



The Science of Happiness & Positive Family Psychotherapy (An Interview with Dr. Daniel Trussell)


The Changing Behavior Network caught up with Dr. Daniel Trussell to ask him about his very successful approach to family therapy. Here is what he shared with us.

Daniel, you practice positive psychotherapy and positive family psychotherapy. How is that different from traditional forms of psychotherapy?

Rather than looking at the pathology of the family and treating symptoms like behavior or attitude problems, the focus in on teaching the activities and behaviors that flourishing families exhibit. This changes the family dynamic and reduces the likelihood of future mental health problems.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, is positive family therapy your invention?

Not at all. All the work I do is scientifically based on leading academic research found in the discipline of Positive Psychology – the Science of Happiness.

You practiced within a CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) model before shifting to Positive Psychology. Why did that happen?

I still find a lot of value in using interventions embedded in cognitive behavioral therapy and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) as well. But over time I saw the limitations of CBT. A lot of my work has to do with attachment, family system dynamics and increasing family life satisfaction. I understood the importance of including a richer therapeutic experience than just diagnosis, symptom management and support to maintain treatment compliance if I wanted to help a family acquire the skill set to build resiliency, improve well-being, support self-determination and reduce tension.

What is the focus of positive family psychotherapy?

The Science of Happiness demonstrates that those who report optimal well-being and highest life satisfaction share common characteristics. Seligman found that optimal well-being only occurs when there are an abundance of positive emotions, engagement, positive relationships, meaning and purpose and accomplishment. Langer determined that people with highest life satisfaction share the traits of being generous, loving, authentic, direct and open to new experience. Emmons et al show the health benefits from expressing gratitude. Altogether there are eight primary themes in positive psychotherapy.

What is a typical course of treatment in positive family psychotherapy?

First I help the family identify the activities that support optimal family functioning and those that cause the family to flounder. Next, we explore parental expectations and family attitudes along multiple dimensions and push aside barriers that keep the family from functioning well. This requires careful negotiation from each family member. Typically this includes an analysis of family rules, consequences for not following the rules, tasks that each member routinely performs to maintain household harmony and a reward system for successful outcomes. We look at how each individual’s unique strengths contribute to healthy family functioning and insure that activities are set up so each family member thrives.

How can our readership learn more about the Science of Happiness and positive family psychotherapy?

UC – Berkeley provides a fantastic free online course on the Science of happiness. You can go to www.EdX.org to register for this self-paced course. You might also want to pick of a copy of the How Families Flourish Workbook by Daniel Trussell for step-by-step instructions on optimizing family functioning.

Dr. Daniel Trussell can be reached at drdanieltrussell@gmail.com for more information on positive family psychotherapy. [website]
To access Dr. Trussell’s radio-style interviews and articles on The Changing Behavior Network, use the search box on the right, typing in “Dr. Daniel Trussell.”


In The Spotlight (Christy Ziglar and Dr. Daniel Trussell)

BTSpotlightChristy Ziglar

Christy Ziglar, CFP(r) is an experienced personal financial advisor by training. While developing a financial literacy program for young students in the Atlanta Public Schools, she discovered that many of those youngsters lacked the basic skills of goal-setting, delayed gratification and the self discipline required to make good choices in general. She was inspired to launch the Shine Bright Kid Company and to write the Shine Bright Kids stories to help children ages 4 to 8 learn to focus on things that matter most.

ChristyPhotoIn addition to being an experienced financial planner, Christy is the mother of twins and niece of the late Zig Ziglar, legendary speaker and motivator. Her books incorporate a favorite Zig Ziglar word of encouragement to highlight the wisdom and message of the story. Ideals Children’s Books loved the concept and agreed to be the publisher.

Can’t-Wait Willow was the first Shine Bright Kids picture book. It’s about making good decisions and learning how to put off the good in order to have something better in the end (delayed gratification).

RaiseBrighterKids_270 squareWillow exceeded all expectations, going into reprint much earlier than expected and was names a “Most Beloved Bedtime Story of 2013” by Red Tricycle, as well as the “Children & Teens Book of the Year” by Book Gateway.com. The second book, Must-Have Marvin, is headed for reprint and was named one of the “Best Books of 2014” by Atlanta Parent Magazine. It stresses relationships and valuing people over possessions. The third book in the series, Whatever Wanda, is scheduled for release in April of 2015; it will emphasize the importance of a positive attitude.

It certainly looks like Christy, the Shine Bright Kids and Ideals Children’s Books are moving in a direction that would make Uncle Zig very proud, indeed.

For more information about Christy and the Shine Bright Kids, visit the website [link], where you’ll also find free materials and activities for children and families. (Check the free materials page here on the Network, also.)

To access Christy’s radio-style interviews and articles on The Changing Behavior Network, use the search box on the right by typing in “Christy Ziglar.”


Dr. Daniel Trussell

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADr. Daniel Trussell is a Licensed Professional Counselor, positive psychology coach and author who has spent his career helping individuals and families reduce and prevent mental health concerns and problems. Currently CEO of WebStar Behavioral Health, he comes from a background in clinical and senior executive positions in managed care, non-profit and governmental agencies. Dan has a clear picture of the concerns and the costs.

But he also has a vision for solutions, especially when it comes to the health and vitality of families. Dan’s most recent work, How Families Flourish: A workbook for family optimization, is a compilation of 50 years of research findings in the fields of psychodynamics, family structure therapy, behavioral analysis, attachment theory and positive psychology (the science and study of happiness).

DTrussellHow Families Flourish: A workbook for family optimization, written to be both informative and interactive, is divided into three sections. The first section identifies 18 characteristics of families that flourish and experience highest levels of life satisfaction. This section also explores common mistakes made by families that are floundering and languishing.

The second section of the book introduces a taxonomy of universal character strengths that broadens and builds positive emotional experience, increases resiliency to life’s challenges and deepens healthy family attachment, respect and communication.

The third and final section, “The Family Charter,” is a step-by-step guide for constructing an action plan for creating and sustaining optimal family functioning.

How Families Flourish: A workbook for family optimization will help any family and its members improve as they strive to flourish. The book is a must-have for any professionals working with families.

Dr. Trussell also provides workshops, webinars and individual consultation with parents seeking to overcome oppositional behavior problems in the home and create more family harmony.

To learn more about Dr. Trussell and his work, go to his website [link]. He has also provided an excellent and generous resource to our page of free professional materials here on the Network.

To access Dr. Trussell’s radio-style interviews and articles on The Changing Behavior Network, use the search box on the right, typing in “Dr. Daniel Trussell.”

Identifying and Cultivating Your Child’s Core Strengths (Dr. Daniel Trussell)

(Email subscribers: Go to the website to see the many “freebies” offered by our guest experts and to listen to radio-style interviews on the podcast player.)


Most parents want to help develop their child’s strengths but don’t know where to start. It can be overwhelming to determine what your child’s strengths are and then to set up experiences where your child is challenged to activate those strengths.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I ask parents to describe their child’s strengths, I get answers like, “He’s good at getting his way,” or “She excels in soccer” or “He’s a natural artist.” While these are all skills worth cultivating, I want to challenge you to think differently about strengths. In their landmark book, Character Strengths and Virtues ( Oxford University Press, 2004), Peterson and Seligman developed a taxonomy of universal virtues and the strengths associated with each of those six virtues.

Six Virtues
The six virtues found in all cultures include Wisdom, Courage, Humanity Justice, Temperance and Transcendence.

Acting on these virtues not only defines an individual as living a superior life, but also leads to greater life satisfaction both individually and collectively.

Peterson and Seligman assigned different strengths that embody each of the universal virtues. They are listed below.

Wisdom and Knowledge— acquiring and using knowledge



Judgement and critical thinking

Love of learning



Courage— accomplishing goals in the face of opposition






Humanity— strengths of befriending and tending to others



Social and emotional intelligence


Justice–strengths that build community





Temperance–strengths that protect against excess

Forgiveness and mercy





Transcendence— strengths that connect us to the larger universe

Appreciation of beauty






While some of these strengths become evident in the first years of life, others do not develop until adolescence. Although young children can express forgiveness, for example, it is almost always conditional and typically includes an element of revenge. It requires emotional and intellectual development, along with an abundance of life experience to be able to show mercy, forgiveness without revenge.  Young children can  tell jokes and be funny, but humor, the capacity to change another’s affect through bittersweet observation, is often not cultivated until much later in life.

Cultivating Core Strengths

To cultivate a child’s core strengths, that child must be exposed to activities that align with their strengths. No child will have all the virtues and strengths; a good rule of thumb is to determine the top five and the lowest five.  Plan abundant activities that allow a child to use their top strengths and limit activities that require use of their lowest strengths to maximize life satisfaction and general well-being.

If you child is high in appreciation of beauty, you could attend art exhibits, hike to beautiful places or find environments that allow her to get in touch with her appreciation and awe. Conversely, if your child is low in persistence, assign chores that don’t pay great attention to details.

To download a list of activities associated with each strength mentioned here, send me an email to drdanieltrussell@gmail.com or go to 264 Character Building Activities for Kids

 Daniel Trussell, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, CPCS is author of How Families Flourish, a parenting guide using the constructs of applied positive psychology. To learn more about his program go to http://www.howfamiliesflourish.com


Encouraging Families to Flourish (Guest: Dr. Daniel Trussell)

What is the secret of families that thrive and do well? Actually, it’s no secret at all. Families that flourish do well because they work at it. These families stand in sharp contrast to others that seem to be barely hanging on. For them, the goal is simple: survival.

Since no family really WANTS to flounder and fail, what are the characteristics of successful families, and how can they be achieved? Can families actually learn to improve and experience positive purpose and growth? Yes, they can.

Dr. Daniel Trussell, the guest on this program, has been studying flourishing families for years. He will share how positive individual traits like respecting others, communicating effectively and exercising coping skills and resilience apply to family units, also. Families CAN improve, and even flourish, and Dr. Trussell will offer his thoughts and experiences for making it happen.

Dr. Trussell is a Licensed Professional Counselor and positive psychology coach. He has spent his career helping individuals and families reduce and prevent mental health problems using a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, applied positive psychology and mindfulness training. From his deep experience, he has a clear picture of the concerns and the costs, as well as a vision for solutions.

Dr. Trussell is the CEO of Webstar Behavioral Health and author of the new book, How Families Flourish: A Guide to Optimal Family Functioning Using Applied Positive Psychology. (29:18)


TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Target as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK

Creating a Family Charter (Guest: Dr. Daniel Trussell)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFamilies that flourish do well because they work at it. These are families that demonstrate love and respect for all family members, right down to cherished pets. They manage the ups and downs of life with a stability that keeps the family on solid ground. There are rules and guidelines for each family member that are understood and respected.

More often than not, however, these rules and guidelines are verbal; they are not written down.

But why shouldn’t a family have WRITTEN rules and guidelines? If they were committed to a written document, couldn’t this make a strong family even stronger? Our guest on this program, Dr. Daniel Trussell, certainly believes it does. He’s here to tell us about The Family Charter. A good Family Charter explains, clarifies, directs, protects, encourages and empowers each family member. For a family, it’s both a job description and a map. Whenever there’s an issue, decisions aren’t made on the fly or hastily contrived in a moment of frustration and anger; it’s right there in The Family Charter. Dr. Trussell will walk us through the steps of making a Family Charter that benefits everyone involved.DanielBook

Dr. Trussell is a Licensed Professional Counselor and positive psychology coach who has spent his career helping individuals and families reduce and prevent mental health problems using a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, applied positive psychology and mindfulness training. He is the CEO of Webstar Behavioral and author of the new book, How Families Flourish: A guide to Optimal Family Functioning Using Applied Positive Psychology. (28:16)


TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Target as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK

COMING SOON: GPS Your Best Life (Guest: Charmaine Hammond)