Speaking to the World
Boston | Chicago | San Diego | Atlanta
Psychotherapist & Parenting Expert
Katie Hurley, LCSW, is a child and adolescent psychotherapist, parenting expert, and writer. She is the founder of “Girls Can!” empowerment groups for girls between ages 5-11. Hurley is the author of The Happy Kid Handbook, and her work can be found in The Washington Post, PBS Parents, and US News and World Report, among other places. Hurley is also the author of The Depression WorkBook for Teens: Tools to Improve Your Mood, Build Self-Esteem, and Stay Motivated (Althea Press). In her new book, A Year of Positive Thinking for Teens, a #1 new release on Amazon, families and educators will discover how teens can overcome anxious thought patterns, and build a happier, more positive mindset to achieve their goals. Read More >
For middle school students, she focuses on defining relational aggression, why it happens, and how it affects other kids. In addition, she explores the many versions of cyberbullying kids face, and how middle school students can tap into empathy to affect meaningful change in school culture on campus. She offers examples of things middle school students are doing across the country as inspiration. She practices psychotherapy in the South Bay area of Los Angeles and earned her BA in psychology and women’s studies from Boston College and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. She splits her time between Los Angeles, California and coastal Connecticut with her husband and two children. Read Less ^
Iceberg of Emotions
Raising Resilient Kids
This presentation helps parents and educators understand the role personality type plays in how children interact with the world around them, process stressful situations, and cope with obstacles. How can parents and educators understand the difference between stress and anxiety? Symptoms and triggers are discussed in great detail. The audience will walk away with specific strategies to decrease stress and anxiety in their children’s lives.
This presentation begins with an overview of bullying and cyberbullying, then quickly moves into taking a proactive approach to empowering empathy and resilience in our children. Barriers to both are discussed. The audience leaves this presentation with concrete strategies to increasing empathy, kindness, and resilience.
This presentation aims to change the narrative of girlhood by raising awareness about relational aggression among girls, including causes and proactive steps to steer girls in a more positive direction. This covers everything from social interaction skills to barriers to empathy and kindness among girls to toxic competition and achievement pressure to empowering girls to work together toward a brighter future for all. Actionable steps are provided to help parents and educators build girls up and decrease relational aggression.
It's no big secret that depressive disorders among teens are on the rise. Research shows that between 2009 and 2017, rates of depression by kids ages 14 to 17 increased by more than 60%. Suicide is the second leading cause of death between the ages of 10 and 24. And yet, depression among teens is largely misunderstood. Read More >
This talk helps parents learn to identify the symptoms of depression in teens, understand how to help at home, and when and what kind of help to seek when teens struggle. Read Less ^
Katie Hurley runs interactive assemblies (using both audience participation and slides) for elementary students in grades 3-6 understand relational aggression, cyberbullying, and how empathy is the secret sauce to helping all kids feel valued and included. She begins with her crinkled heart story and asks the kids to help her think about events and comments that can cause kids to feel deflated. Later, Hurley “uncrinkles” her heart by thinking of ways to help others feel cared about, even on a terrible day. This leads into approximately 10-15 slides that teach kids about relational aggression and cyberbullying. She concludes with an interactive discussion about what kids can do to change the culture at their school. It runs about 45-60 minutes, depending on the school.
Katie Hurley runs staff trainings to help educators learn to spot the signs of childhood stress, anxiety, and depression. She discusses ways to decrease stress in the classroom and teaches coping strategies that kids can use right at their desks. Hurley also runs staff trainings that focus on teaching with empathy.
"She is so well-versed in the subject matter and is a knowledgeable, confident speaker."
"Katie Hurley opened our eyes to the realities of what girls (and boys alike) are managing in today's new world. She taught us how parents can help navigate a world quite foreign to us and build stronger kids for kinder communities. Her books should be mandatory reading for all new parents!"
"The parents, faculty, and administrators who attended your ‘Tackling Childhood Stress’ presentation found your talk to be captivating and full of concrete, practical advice. Often times, people leave a program like this feeling somewhat overwhelmed and unsure where to begin, but there were so many small things you suggested that are easy to implement in the home or the classroom."
"What a great night we had in Ridgefield CT with Katie. She showed us there is much we, as the village, can do to create a greater community of kindness, self-confidence and inclusion for both boys and girls. We will definitely have her back in the future."
"Katie Hurley’s presentation on ‘Tackling Childhood Stress” was captivating and full of practical, easy-to-implement tools for opening dialogue with children and adolescents about emotional well-being. In an increasingly busy and achievement-driven world where children spend more time in managed activities rather than free play, Hurley’s message was full of positive interventions to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety they are facing. Her sense of humor and relevant personal stories were flawlessly intertwined with statistics and data, which kept the audience engaged in the wealth of information presented. Hurley stressed the importance of helping children develop ‘soft skills’ such as empathy, compassion, and grit – the fundamental characteristics of successful and happy people."
"As a school for girls, we were particularly interested in bringing Katie Hurley to campus for one of our community outreach events. Katie didn't disappoint and had the audience eating out of her hands within moments of hitting the stage. She has that wonderful mix of compelling personal narrative, commanding expertise and genuine concern for others. I mingled with the people who attended the presentation and received dozens of positive comments about Katie's message and thanking us for bringing her to Maine. I know we will have even more participants at our next community event because our participants had such a positive experience with Katie. Over 100 people bought her book at the event and she generously signed books and interacted in a highly personable manner with participants well after the end of the presentation."
"Katie Hurley is FABULOUS! She came to speak at our school in Playa Vista, CA about how to build empathy, resilience and coping skills for kids to thrive in a modern world. Every parent there learned something, no matter the sex or age of their children. She gave us so much valuable information and did so in an entertaining way. She was relatable with her stories and her visual presentation was so helpful. Most every parent walking out of the room was raving about her and asking when she could come back. I highly recommend Katie to be hired as a speaker and we hope to have her back again to our school!"
A Year of Positive Thinking for Teens: Daily Motivation to Beat Stress, Inspire Happiness, and Achieve Your Goals
No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls
The Depression Workbook for Teens: Tools to Improve Your Mood, Build Self-Esteem, and Stay Motivated
The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World
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