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Cool, Calm & Connected

A Workbook for Parents and Children to Co-regulate, Manage Big Emotions & Build Stronger Bonds

Martha Straus, PhD
Publication Date:
Oct 01, 2021
PESI Publishing
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Decades of research on human development conclude that our kids learn how to self-soothe only after having plenty of experience with the supportive engagement of a caring adult. They can’t calm down unless we show them how it’s done.

When you learn to become a co-regulator for your child, you get to be the loving parent you aspire to be and have a child who feels better. It’s a win-win!

Over 50 worksheets and interventions will help you to:

  • Understand your triggers and how to manage them
  • Discover your role in escalating conflict
  • Respond more intentionally
  • Make use of “adult time out”
  • Build safe communities of support
  • Learn how to ask for help and apologize
  • Breathe, ground, and regulate together before and during a conflict



Martha Straus, PhD's Profile

Martha Straus, PhD Related seminars and products

Martha B. Straus, PhD, is an international trainer and speaker on topics related to child, adolescent, and family development, attachment, trauma, and psychotherapy. Straus’s postdoctoral years were spent in the department of psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She’s the author of seven books including the highly acclaimed No-Talk Therapy for Children and Adolescents.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Martha Straus maintains a private practice and is an instructor at Antioch University New England Graduate School and Smith College. She receives royalties as a published author. Dr. Straus receives a speaking honorarium, recording royalties, and book royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Martha Straus has no relevant non-financial relationships.


What I find amazing is how simple Martha Straus makes it to become cool, calm, and connected if you fill in the worksheets, do the exercises, and practice the steps that she so clearly outlines in this workbook. Whether your child or teen challenges you with outbursts of anger, intense anxiety, or sullen silences, here is the path to help them regulate those states while maintaining your own calm. Dr. Straus provides easy-to-follow worksheets that help you:
  • Analyze your temperament and compare it with your child (you may be different!)
  • Identify when (and, even better, how!) to take a break or draw closer
  • Find (and use!) good helpers among family and friends
Even better, she provides several simple-to-apply methods for parents and children together to become cooler and calmer in moments of high temper, such as ways to breathe, get grounded, and verbalize distress. This workbook is chock-full of activities that are calming – and even fun – for parents and children to do together as they find the best steps to calm down when emotions run high.

Dr. Straus writes with a unique voice, filled with such humor, wisdom, and love, that readers will find it easy to listen to her suggestions and believe they, too, can accomplish their goals to have a more peaceful household. This is a book I wish I had available as a young therapist and mom!
Dr. Margaret Wehrenberg, author of The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques and You Can Handle It: 10 Steps to Shift Stress from Problem to Possibility

Cool, Calm & Connected is an engaging resource that can help parents and caregivers concerned about troubled children, as well as a great tool to supplement trauma-informed, evidence-supported treatment programs. Marti Straus goes beyond most guidebooks by sharing her own feelings and experiences as both a parent and a therapist, making the workbook at once relatable and realistic. Using the activities and thought-provoking exercises in the book helps caring adults become aware of their own reactions and how they can use their feelings to help themselves and their children stay regulated in stressful situations and prevent frustrations, disagreements, and anger from tearing them apart. Straus helps caring adults step back, recognize their own needs and reminders of past traumas, and use their enhanced capacity to help their children. This includes thoughtful and do-able guides for what is often so difficult for parents: to choose what to repeat from their own upbringing, determine when and how to apologize for mistakes, learn how to get support and help, and appreciate the value of thankfulness for the joys of parenting, even in stressful times. Cool, Calm & Connected is “relational healing for relational traumas” at its best.
Richard Kagan, PhD author of the Real Life Heroes: Toolkit for Treating Traumatic Stress in Children and Families and The Hero’s Mask Guidebook: Helping Children with Traumatic Stress

Martha Straus masterfully talks to parents about the importance of modeling emotional connection and regulation, and then shows them how to do it. With empathy, warmth, and a clear understanding of the challenges all parents face, she dives straight into what feels overwhelming and chaotic to families, and then gives the concrete skills and exercises families need to change patterns for the better. We need such a book now more than ever.
Lynn Lyons, LICSW co-author Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents

Cool, Calm & Connected is an excellent parent-friendly workbook! Activities are carefully crafted to empower parents as they help their children build healthy communication, strengthen self-regulation capacities, and develop mindful routines. The workbook also taps into the creative abilities of children (and adults!) with a great hands-on section. This is a must-have resource for parents and clinicians.
Lisa Weed Phifer, PhD author of CBT Toolbox for Children and Adolescents

This workbook has simple, thought-provoking activities to help adults create a home life for their families that encourages healthy emotional development. The focus on self-regulation for adults is so essential because when we can be calm, we can model and help the kids in our lives learn to regulate as well.
Janine Halloran, LMHC author of the Coping Skills for Kids Workbook


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