The HALT method for tantrums

Watch Maureen Donley, MA, MFT's video on The HALT method for tantrums...
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The HALT method for tantrums

If your child is having a meltdown, one of the most effective responses I've come across is using the acronym, HALT. HALT means that, first, you stop and take a breath and ask yourself: Is my child hungry? Is my child angry? Did something happen at school today that I don't know about that is manifesting now in this meltdown? Is my child lonely? Have we just gone through a transition that we are having difficulties with? Is my child tired and just not able to deal anymore? If you find yourself saying, yes, to any of those questions -- sometimes you'll say, yes, to all of them. Address that issue. Don't worry about the content or whatever the transgression was or whatever triggered the meltdown. Go for, hungry, angry, lonely, or tired; and address that. Once everybody calms down, you can deal with whatever was the presenting issue later.

Watch Maureen Donley, MA, MFT's video on The HALT method for tantrums...


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Maureen Donley, MA, MFT

Adoptive Mom & Therapist

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Maureen's practice spans all ages and holds a focus in creative professionals, adoption and trauma work.  She earned her MA in Clinical Psychology with a Child Studies specialization from Antioch University in Los Angeles. She has also worked as a Counselor in both K-8 and high school settings and is finishing her third year as a Counselor at the Southern California Counseling Center working with individuals, families and couples. She completed the Family Training Program Certification there, and will hold both TRM and EMDR trauma certifications in July 2013. In addition, she is working with Jeanette Yoffe in a monthly adoption support group on the Westside, as part of her new non-profit, The Celia Foundation, dedicated to all members of the adoption constellation. Maureen also facilitates both parenting and adolescent groups at Dr. Bonnie Goldstein’s Center for Psychological Services on the Westside. 

Before joining the psychology field, Maureen's first love was the arts.  As a producer and studio exec, she was part of the Feature Animation team at Disney during the Renaissance years of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Toy Story. Maureen subsequently had a production deal at Fox under which the animated feature Anastasia was released. Prior to moving to Los Angeles to join the Mermaid team, she was based in New York City.  While there, she was on the faculty at The Juilliard School (Drama Division), and was a visiting professional for the Yale School of Drama. Maureen worked on many theatrical productions as a stage manager including the Broadway production of The Glass Menagerie with Jessica Tandy, the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Pump Boys and Dinettes and the 1st and 2nd National Tours of Cats in Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles. She says, "being part of telling timeless tales was great preparation for helping people discover the true stories of their own lives."


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