Title: ‘Let’s Talk About It’
Author: Dr. Tara Doaty-Mundell
Release Date: April 9, 2014

Dr. Tara Doaty-Mundell holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Howard University, and has obtained certifications in evidenced-based practices for parent and child attachment and has worked with parents and families for 15 years. She has developed curricula on family dynamics, parenting, and recovery from addiction.

In 2012, she founded Sage Wellness Group, and provides program and staff professional development, and clinical groups for clients and families. She has partnerships with corporate businesses, non-profit organizations, churches, hospitals/medical centers, and institutions of higher learning.

Dr. Doaty-Mundell has been the keynote speaker and facilitator of trainings on Mindfulness, Trauma, Parenting, Client Engagement, and Bereavement and currently works as an adjunct professor at Notre Dame of Maryland University.

She serves on the board of directors for Mosaic Community Services and on the Advisory Board of The Carpenter’s House.

Dr. Doaty-Mundell resides in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband and three children.

What was the impetus for writing this book?
I wrote this book as a way to begin the conversation between parents, caregivers, and teachers and children about their emotional well-being. One of the things I have learned from my work with parents is that there is a strong desire to connect with our children emotionally, however, sometimes we don’t know how. This book is a way to get the conversation about our children and their feelings started. A lot of children’s books place emphasis on physical activity, and academic achievement and while those issues are of great importance, this is a way that lets us know that their mental health is just as important.

What’s the overall theme?
The overall theme is exploring our feelings. The book contains five short stories, covering Mindfulness meditation, bullying, peer pressure, feeling shy, and self-esteem, and in each of these stories, the goal is to allow children to understand that their feelings, along with the feelings of others should be recognized and validated.

What surprised you about the development of the book?
I was surprised to learn that there is much more material to cover as it relates to providing children with images and storylines that they can relate to, especially as it pertains to their emotional well-being. From this observation, I made the decision to take each of the themes presented in ‘Let’s Talk About It’ and turn them into their own separate books, which is exciting!

For what audience is your book written?
My audience is children up to age 11/12…and the adults who love them! I feel as though we can all learn to express our feelings, and by having our children express how they feel about certain situations, we, as adults have the opportunity to create a safe space by relating to those shared emotions.

What one thing do you most want the reader to learn?
I want readers to learn that their feelings are important—they matter. I also want them to learn the connection between their bodies and their emotions. In the Mindful of Me story, I introduce readers to the practice of Mindful meditation, which calls for us to become in tune with our bodies and notice and honor those “butterflies” we may feel in our stomachs which signal anxiety or feeling nervous, and different techniques we can use to calm ourselves.

What did you learn during the writing process?
A lot! I learned that done is better than perfect. A lot of time we delay the process because we want it to be perfect. If it is done, we can then re-submit it and make the necessary changes.

Any advice for aspiring writers?
Do it….people need to read your work and get lost in your words.