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  • Writer's pictureJabeau Lopez

Transformative Tip: Stop Talking. Now.

I've witnessed this scenario on numerous occasions: I sit down with families, and they recount stories, situations, family traditions, behaviors, generational trends, perspectives...

adhd, autism, defiance, behavior change

On the surface, this is truly lovely. It's about individuals feeling secure in sharing their viewpoints and life experiences. Story telling and experience sharing is inherently human and develops deep connection. On the surface, I adore this. I'll get a cup of coffee and spend hours just listening, as I find the human experience utterly captivating.

Our Brain's Storytelling

Think about the tale your parents shared of their school days – initially, it's just a short walk, but as they repeat it, it turns into a long journey through cold and rainy weather, without coats.

Our brain is incredibly imaginative. When we repeatedly recount events, it starts adding new elements like details, characters, insights, or even different stories. In our area of expertise, we acknowledge that memory can be unreliable.


In the realm of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, there is a fundamental belief that language is a source of suffering. Our use of language shapes our experiences, evokes emotions, and ultimately influences our behaviors.

As a Behaviorist

Knowing this very real phenomenon, I listen, then I ask people to stop. From my perspective, the story has been told, let's gather what we can, rewrite it with new lenses, new perspectives, and understand what we can do to support ourselves and our children (in the case of family coaching).

Highlighting What Really Matters

In various scenarios, I guide families to focus on individual trees within the forest. When coaching families to support their children, I encourage them to remove language and dissect situations to emphasize specific actions.

Because the true significance lies in actions.

If you've ever said one of these: actions speak louder than words, walk the talk, don't be all talk, take action, let your actions do the talking, talk is cheap, you know where I'm getting at.

What you can do, now, for yourself and your child.

My call to action for you is to find the action sequences in your scenario, remove the "whys, buts, because" and find guidance in actions.


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