A community psychologist, Louise’s works help adults develop new tools and strategies to bolster social, emotional and mental health that equip youngsters to navigate 21st century challenges.
For more than twenty-five years, she helped tens of thousands of parents improve communication, increase cooperation, and decrease drama and conflict.
She is author of The Bullying Antidote: Superpower Your Kid for Life,The Winning Family: Increasing Self-Esteem in Your Children and Yourself, and On the Wings of Self-Esteem. She also republished two bestselling children’s books by Dr. Pat Palmer: Liking Myself, and The Mouse, the Monster and Me.
Louise’s Personal Story:
As a child in a hardworking German family, Louise vowed to raise her children differently. Determined to not pass on the harsh, fear-based upbringing she had experienced, she pioneered a respectful, love-based leadership style. Her books and presentations help others do the same.
In Louise’s thirteen years as a stay-at-home mom, she learned first hand about nurturing, protecting, and developing social and emotional well-being at different ages and stages. She enjoyed the opportunity to be fully present to the ups and downs of child development while learning how to be a mother. There was plenty of time to get acquainted with her three youngsters, to learn from mistakes and get smarter, to play and work together. Mothers around the world and throughout the ages have always worked: mostly near their children and often with their children.
Louise has an adventurous life. For example, when her children were young, she was affiliated with the Peace Corps in Guatemala; when they were teenagers, the family biked in Europe meeting relatives and visiting castles. Her greatest triumph was trekking in the Himalaya Mountains of Nepal; after trudging over the Kumbu Glacier for many days, she reached a peak just 10,000 feet below the highest point in the world—Mount Everest. It was the biggest peak experience of her life!
When the first of her three grandchildren was born thirteen years ago, Louise moved from Boulder, Colorado to Oakland, California, to be “Grama Lulu.” She loves living close to her extended family and participating in the lives of her grandchildren. One of the greatest joys of her life is watching her children be good parents.
Dr. Hart’s Professional Story
Louise’s first career was as an elementary school teacher in Michigan. Her second career was as a full-time-stay-at-home mom to her three children. During those thirteen years, she was fully committed to changing her family patterns, determined not to pass on her own harsh, fear-based upbringing. Although diminished by many as “just a housewife,” her in-depth experiences have been foundational throughout her life.
Her passion for family and commitment to prevention (as well as a divorce), led Louise to graduate school to deepen her knowledge of healthy family systems. Her studies pointed to self-esteem as a key ingredient for mental health in individuals and in families. When parents’ self-esteem and knowledge improves, the behavior, mental health and self-esteem of their children also improves. Her goal thus became to enhance parents’ ability to raise healthy children—and have more fun in the process.
Graduate school accelerated her knowledge of psychology and sharpened her focus on prevention of mental and behavioral disorders. Since most problems begin in homes, in order to save children, primary prevention must reach parents and childcare providers. Though traditionally “prevention is the last funded and the first cut”, Louise was true to her mission and earned a doctorate in the prevention-based field of Community Psychology.
- A variety of experiences were woven into her life during these times, as Louise took on many different roles:
President of the Weld County Association for Mental Health (Greeley CO)
- Coordinator of the Rocky Mountain Regional Conference of the Association of Humanistic Psychology (attended by 600 participants)
- Director of a large women’s dormitory at the University of Northern Colorado
- Student Development Program Coordinator, developing and implementing educational programs
- Community School Coordinator for an inner city in the Denver Public Schools, in charge of community education programs
- Developer of a resilience training for Neighborhood Watch Program Block Captains (through a grant from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Department)
- Adjunct faculty member for several California Universities
- Advisory Board Member of the National Council for Self-Esteem
Later, Dr. Hart revised her dissertation—inserting real-life stories, and crafting an accessible, uplifting guide for parents—into her first book, The Winning Family. She developed presentations on positive parenting and resilience, and spoke at more than 400 conferences, hospitals, school districts, communities and army installations across the country and abroad. During that time she wrote her second book, On the Wings of Self-Esteem, which uses the metaphor of the Monarch butterfly’s metamorphosis as a guide to human transformation. Her daughter, writer/artist Kristen Caven, illustrated both her books and her presentations and collaborated on her books.
Dr. Hart’s two most exciting professional experiences were delivering a keynote address at the Second Annual Russian Self-Esteem Conference in Moscow, speaking at nine Army installations in Germany, and keynoting at The Winning Family Conference in Phoenix AZ.
Committed to developing social and emotional well-being in children, and saddened that her two favorite children’s books were out of print, Louise created Uplift Press to republish Liking Myself, and The Mouse, the Monster and Me. These bestselling books were written by her colleague and friend, therapist Dr. Pat Palmer.
Dr. Hart is working on a new book about positive parenting that will provide more uplifting solutions to family and societal problems.