About Michelle Puster M.Ed. 

I was thrown into the deep end of mindful parenting from the beginning. My first two kids were twins and just before they turned two I had our third child. Three under the age of two!


 As my kids got older, responding to their big emotions and setting limits became a bigger and more overwhelming task. Not to mention all of the other parts of parenting. Unsure of the best ways to respond to my children in difficult moments, I turned to the internet for support and found it. I found Dr. Laura Markham, Dr. Daniel Siegel, Lawrence J. Cohen, Tina Payne Bryson and more. All amazing parenting experts who share a wealth of knowledge.

The real struggle came when I attempted to implement all of the beautiful strategies I was learning about. I would move in to set a loving limit and my child or children would erupt farther. I would attempt to use the 101 (not quite but almost) strategies I had read about putting my kids to bed without meltdowns. Which would fail, again and again. What I told myself in these moments was I must be getting it wrong. I must be failing.

As time went on I became more overwhelmed with caring for my three kiddos (a baby and two toddlers). One of me did not seem to be enough. The more overwhelmed I became the more off track my children’s behaviors would get and the more clingy they would become. The more clingy and off track they grew the more overwhelmed I became. It was a vicious cycle. 

Thankfully this is about the time I found Hand In Hand parenting. The first thing I learned was my expectation to easily care for three children under the age of three was unrealistic. Of course I was having a hard time. It was not a personal failure. It was an unmanageable situation. This is when I began to untangle my self criticism and sense of failing and shift my focus towards building a deep and meaningful connection with my kiddos as well as healing inner wounds. 

compassionate heart Parenting with michelle puster

I am forever grateful.


Michelle’s Professional and Educational Background

When I am not with my three kiddos, I am a marriage and trauma therapist. I specialize in Emotionally Focused Therapy with couples and individuals. It was in my work as a therapist that I learned about attachment and connection. I learned about the bond between an infant and parent(s). As John Bowlby taught, attachment is wired in and it goes from cradle to grave, meaning we as human beings need connection throughout our lives. 

As a parent I began to focus my search for parenting support towards methods and ideologies which were attachment based, trauma informed, and based in science. 

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist Supervisor and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. I love my work and I am grateful for all I get to learn from my clients every day. 

Before I began my career as a mental health therapist I worked as a special education teacher for almost 10 years. I had the privilege to help kiddos with their behaviors while in the general education classroom setting. Supporting them in getting the most from the classroom environment. I have always wanted to help people in one way or another.

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