Welcome! I am an author, clinical psychologist, and member of the Columbia University faculty, where I direct a clinic aimed at helping children, adolescents and adults overcome their worries and anxieties.

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Time Out Works

Posted by: on Sep 27, 2014 | No Comments

Time Out Works. Time Out is an Effective, Supportive Strategy for Helping Children to Overcome Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties

This week, Time magazine published an article using an inflammatory title that only serves to scare parents and could reinforce harsh discipline. The article describes the methods outlined in a popular press book. In response to this article, my colleagues and I from the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology posted a response to Time. I am reposting it below and hope that for sound parenting advice, readers will go to: effectivechildtherapy.com

We are writing to express strong concern with the article “‘Time-Outs’ Are Hurting Your Child” by Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Byrson (9/23/14) which described time-out as “ineffective” and seemingly equated this practice with “physical abuse”. Based on their selective review of recent neuroscientific findings, these authors advocate rejecting the use of time-out in favor of an alternative strategy, “time-in” which they describe a “forging a loving relationship” through sitting or talking with or comforting the child immediately following the child’s misbehavior.
Unfortunately, none of the authors’ conclusions regarding the rejection of time-out or the use of “time-in” are directly supported by research evidence, nor do they reflect a clear understanding of correctly implemented time-out.