Shy, Sensitive Adolescents

family problems

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

Have you noticed that your teen seems to be highly reactive to external stimuli? – Sandra

Highly sensitive adolescents have a tendency to get easily overwhelmed, or obsess over something said by a peer to them. These intelligent, caring, and creatively expressive kids are frequently mislabeled as fearful, fussy, and introverted. For parents that have a teenager who is highly sensitive, there is great value in your teen learn to manage their vulnerabilities and harness their strengths.

Outside of North America, HSP’s have been accepted for who they are and seldom teased. But within our culture, it’s not unusual for them to be given the message they’re “weak” and need to “toughen up.” Given that they feel things intensely, highly sensitive adolescents frequently respond strongly in the face of a challenging or negative situation.

Not all sensitive adolescents are introverted. Many can function very well in team environments, helping other people to see the larger picture, and bridge differences of opinion. In my own experience, when parents can supply understanding to support to their adolescent, it enlarges their toleration for group tasks and activities.

Parents of sensitive adolescents need to find a balance between shielding them, and holding them back from encounters that would enhance their growth. The goal is to help your teenager develop trust in themselves, as well as their abilities to rise to the challenge of whatever situation they find themselves in. They also have to learn how to self-soothe, take time to recharge their batteries, and reach out for support.

Early childhood experiences may have an enduring effect on highly sensitive teen’s self-awareness and experience of life. They’re also generally more prone to anxiety as well as melancholy, and sensitive to criticism. If your adolescent is having trouble flourishing socially or academically, I would be happy to think together with you about how best to support your child.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Emotionally Intense Teens

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A Note From The Los Angeles Teen Therapist

Sensitive, creative and independent thinking teens can often be misunderstood, mislabelled and even misdiagnosed. – Sandra

Teens who are extremely sensitive experience day-to-day life even more vividly and deeply. Because of their unique ways of perceiving the world, they may express very “emotionally intense” responses to challenges at home and at school.

I help highly sensitive clients to expand their ‘window of tolerance,’ so they are less easily triggered into states of acute stress, rage, tension, and panic. I also teach teenagers who do not fit in nicely into society’s mold how to find their tribe, and discover the place where their gifts are actually celebrated, and not merely tolerated.

A secure attachment with their parents is also essential for these teens to develop the ability to regulate their emotions and a healthy sense of self …. and it is not too late to deepen your connection with your teen. I offer a 6-week private parenting workshop where I coach parents on how to strengthen their relationship with their adolescent. I will help you understand the challenges LA teens face today, and how to communicate more effectively with your teen.

If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.

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For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teens Struggling With Anxiety

Teen doing yoga

A Note From The LA Teen Therapist

If your teen stressed out or anxious about school or friends, I can help them learn to self-soothe and self-reflect. – Sandra

When a teen is willing to talk about their fears and anxieties, I try to listen carefully and respectfully, without discounting their feelings. I help them understand that increased feelings of judgement and/or embarrassment about their body, performance, and peer relationships are fairly common in adolescence.

Some teens are naturally more shy and quiet than others. As their bodies, voices, and emotions are going through changes, this population may become even more self-conscious. In extreme cases, the adolescent may isolate themselves, unable to overcome their intense feelings of self-doubt and worry.

By encouraging your teen to examine their situations and experiences, I help them reduce the overwhelming nature of their feelings. Although their concerns may be real, there are techniques I can teach them to better manage their stress and anxiety.

Extreme anxiety in teens often benefits from a therapeutic intervention. Talk therapy, role-playing, conscious breathing exercises can help turn this painful situation around. An effective treatment plan is individualized to your teenager and family. While anxiety disorders can cause considerable upset in your teen’s life, the prognosis is very good.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Initial Consultation.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

What Is An Atypical Teen?

Atypical

A Note From The Los Angeles Teen Therapist

The term atypical teen refers to an adolescent whose path of development is a little more complex than others. – Sandra

Is your teen paralyzed by anxiety, hypersensitive to criticism, or refusing to go to school? Do they struggle in social settings due to ADHD, a learning disorder or high functioning form of autism?

Parents often notice small indications that their child may have a different style of expression and/or learning than some of their peers when their child enters elementary school. But if their child is also highly intelligent, they may be able to compensate for these differences by excelling in their classes and other areas of interest. And so it goes, until adolescence comes into the picture. Then everything changes …

I often meet families with atypical teens in high school. The increase in academic responsibility, together with the heightened expectations that they blend in socially, can tip these young people over. Parents may find their once cooperative child becoming highly reactive, isolating in their room, not turning in assignments, complaining about their friends, and in extreme cases, self-harming.

Clearly, as a parent, you want what is best for your child. At the same time, it is terrifying and painful to watch your child struggle. It may even kick up unresolved negative feelings about your own high school experience. This is where a consultation with a teen therapist can make all the difference. As a seasoned professional, I help parents uncover the problem underlying their teen’s symptoms. I also guide parents on effective next steps, as well as help them contain their own anxiety as they go through the process of healing their child’s pain.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Initial Consultation.

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

The Benefits of Teen Therapy

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A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

Is teen therapy a necessity, luxury, or perhaps a stepping stone to well-being and success? – Sandra

It is not uncommon for parents to seek that cutting edge experience that will boost their teen’s self-esteem, motivation and character. From private tutors, to semesters abroad, parents look for ways to provide their child everything they need to succeed.

In the time of Freud, talk therapy was available only to the select few who could afford it. Self-reflection, through the process of talking to a trained professional, resulted in greater self-awareness and self-acceptance. Symptoms that had long plagued clients were eliminated, as clients came to understand the purpose those symptoms served, and integrate their life experiences.

Today, many parents hesitate to take their teen to a therapist to address the issues that may be impacting their teen’s performance, or quality of life, afraid that they will be labeled problem kids or emotionally disturbed. Yet, if your teen is struggling, a specialist in teenagers can help you to discover the cause and address it.

The reason I offer a free initial parent consultation is to assess the challenges your family is dealing with, and offer my best recommendations on how to remedy the situation.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Is Your Teen Depressed?

depression teen girl cried lonely isolated on white

A Note From The LA Teen Therapist

Teen depression seems to be on the increase. What is causing this epidemic in our teenagers? ~ Sandra

During the teenage years, the pressure to conform with their peers can be incredibly strong. Social media, advertising and television are all telling kids how they are supposed to look and feel, and what is important in life.

A teen’s natural expression, talents, achievement and character can look inadequate next to trends being promoted through social media. Kids who feel different or deprived may spiral down into self-judgement, and loathing. Depression has been the result of changes in our society where a teen’s needs for companionship, healthy goals, responsibility, connection to others and life-meaning are not being met.

Parents are often distressed by their teen’s pain, and lack of interest in activities. Yet, pushing for a different outcome without addressing the cause simply creates more pressure, and distance between the parent and their child. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, “The idea that one must be, and look, endlessly cheerful is a destructive and daunting expectation for teens. In actuality, it is perfectly normal to experience “the blues.” He went on to suggest that kids need to learn that happiness is not some end point to be achieved, but rather something that occurs in moments … and that more a more effective goal is to seek a sense of peace and contentment through life’s ups and downs, learn how to see and accept life as is, and find ways to respond appropriately to each situation.

It is important for parents to make a distinction between Situational Depression; a normal reaction to stressful situations or losses, and Clinical Depression; believed to be caused by brain chemistry and not related to external situations. Regardless of the cause, it can be beneficial for teens to work through these periods with help from a trained professional. Emotional well-being means learning how to find resilience, contentment, comfort, and serenity among the various expressions of one’s moods. This is a journey that occurs as one matures. If your teen is in crisis, I would be happy to asses the situation and help remedy it.

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Worried About Your Teen? FREE Initial Consultation

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

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Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Conscious Teen Parenting

teen-parent-talking

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

The foundation of effective parenting is leading by example. – Sandra

A parent’s interactions with their child literally impact their teen’s brain development, with parenting styles often passed down through generations.

In our society, shaming is considered an accepted parenting tool for controlling kids. Yet, body language, facial expressions, the tone and volume of your voice, threatening violence, withholding affection, rejecting behavior, using demeaning words or physical punishment negatively impact a child’s self-esteem and teaches them how to behave in an aggressive behavior.

When you demonstrate respectful interactions with your teen, they learn to treat themselves and others respectfully. The foundation of any respectful disagreements involves avoiding raising your voice, swearing, name-calling and pointing your finger in the other person’s face.

Conscious parenting involves pausing before reacting to evaluate whether your words or actions will actually help the situation. Your child will learn the lesson you are attempting to teach them if you avoid demeaning them in the process.

“Effective Parenting of Teens” Class

Learn more
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Worried About Your Teen? Schedule a FREE Parent Consultation.

ADOLESCENT THERAPIST | PARENT COACH | TEEN MENTOR

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Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

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Parenting Teens With ADD

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A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

It can be challenging to keep your teen on course with all they need to learn in order to become an independent young adult. – Sandra

Unfortunately, angry and irritated responses on your part do nothing to motivate your teen, and only serve to damage your connection with each other. You are both better served by trying to understand why your teen is giving up so easily, such that you might help remedy the problem.
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It is important for your teen to discover how to harness their strengths, to help him/her move towards their dreams. Teens often do not understand the reasoning behind the general education classes, assignments and tests they are required to complete. For teens with learning challenges, it can be like trudging through molasses to turn in assignments. Your teen desperately needs you to understand why he/she is struggling, accept that they are doing the best they are able to do in this moment, and guide them in how they can do better.
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A goal in my working with teens with ADD is to assist your teen in moving beyond their frustrated or defiant stance about school. A tough love approach usually does not work because frustration, not love, is speaking. Teens do best when they feel supported and connected. also, please know that ADD is not a quick fix. Patterns of reaction may be in place between the two of you, as well as with your teen and their schoolwork, that will need to be turned around.
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Parents need to be able to enter into open discussions with their teen where they can discover what their child is feeling, as well as help their child explore their feelings of frustration and upset. Perhaps it’s time for you and your teen to have a chat with the academic counselor at their school about their homework challenges, that the counselor might help you explore options for making up any missed work. Your teen may need to go early to school, stay late, or miss lunch break to complete those assignments.
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It is also not your fault that your teen is struggling. You do not have to feel you must act angry in order to express the seriousness of your concern. Anger can feel like a retaliation for not pleasing you, and confuses the issue altogether. His/her not doing their homework is not a personal defiance of you. It is a cry for help.
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Your teen’s hope and enthusiasm, as well as his/her sense of capability need to be intact as they leave school to finally enter the world. Battles over homework will not accomplish that. There is a better way…..

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Is Your Teen A Perfectionist?

 A Note From The Los Angeles Teen Therapist

Highly intelligent and creative teens can find themselves struggling to fit in with their peers. – Sandra

The National Association of Gifted Children came out with a list linking characteristic strengths of gifted children with possible problems that might develop.

Because of the difference between their conceptual abilities and their actual development, highly intelligent teens are able to envision outcomes that they are, as yet, unable to perform. Therefore, they frequently end up feeling frustrated and discouraged when learning new things.

By projecting “perfectionism” onto everything they do, these unrealistic self-expectations can result in feelings of inadequacy. Able to anticipate the challenges in new experiences, they can become hesitant to try new things for fear of failing.

Gifted teens can also be hypersensitive to noise, light and the emotions of others, sometimes causing overreaction and difficulty in social settings. These teens often find it easier to be in the company of people older than them.

HELPFUL HINTS:

  • Common interest groups can be helpful for meeting other teens with similar experiences.
  • Parents can help their children to understand and digest their life experiences.
  • Professionals can help normalize your teen and family’s experience.

RESOURCES:

**Note: If your teen is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it. I invite you take that critical next step, and allow me to demonstrate the support I can offer to you and your family.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Your Teen Struggling Academically?

Father Helping Daughter with Homework

A Note From The Los Angeles Teen Therapist

Psycho-diagnostic testing is used to determine the cause and nature of a teen’s difficulties with academic performance. – Sandra

COMMON LEARNING DISORDERS INCLUDE:

Once it has been determined that your teen would benefit from an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), your child becomes eligible for special accommodations at school. Some of these include, but are not limited to:

  • Being moved to the front of the classroom.
  • Receiving extra time on tests and quizzes.
  • Written instructions from the teacher regarding homework assignments.
  • Extra time with the teachers.

Clarifying the problem is the first step towards getting your teen the support they need. It is important that school personnel understand that your teen’s challenges are not originating from a behavioral problem. (although frustration stemming from unaddressed learning challenges can result in “acting out” behaviors)

While learning disorders do present a challenge to your teen’s academic success, they do not need to derail their educational process. With emotional and educational support, teens with learning disorders can have a positive and successful high school experience.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Raising Emotionally Resilient Teenagers

A Note From The Los Angeles Teen Therapist

Children learn early on that in order to please others, they sometimes have to give up being who they are. I help teenagers re-discover their true self-expression. – Sandra

Since it is their natural inclination to want to feel connected, children may put aside their feelings to “belong.” As children try and mold themselves to fit an image that their parents, teacher or friends want them to be, they may suppress their needs to the point where they are no longer in touch with what they really feel.

Adolescence, with all the changes that accompany it, can be an intense time where teens are overwhelmed by new feelings. If teens believe that they are responsible for making other’s happy, or that others are responsible for making them happy, they become a victim of others’ choices.

While it is not uncommon for parents to have expectations that they wish their teen to fulfill, it is essential that parents also provide their children with the space to truly be seen and heard. Ultimately, the lessons you want and need to teach them are:

  • Love and appreciate yourself.
  • Stand strong in what is true for you.
  • Trust and believe in yourself.
  • Don’t waste time looking for other’s approval.

Parents typically teach what they know. If you came from a household where your parents were absent or pre-occupied with their own challenges, you may have be left to grow-up on your own. Depending upon the age difference between you and your child, you may also not yet have had the opportunity to master all of the life skills you want to teach.

In closing, it has been said that it “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” In reality, there is great value in reaching out for support during the process of laying a solid foundation for your child’s future. You are not required to do it alone. Through enlisting the help of professional resources, family, and friends, you can provide your child with the experiences necessary for them to become strong, successful and emotionally healthy young adults.

… EMPOWERING TEENS TO BE THEIR BEST SELVES.

“The best example of Sandra’s work is in my daughter’s renewed enthusiasm and attitude towards life. My daughter now sees every problem as one that can be solved, every uncomfortable experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Sandra’s work with my daughter has helped her become a more secure, confident and happy individual.”

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Teens At Risk For Drug Addiction

Help

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

Negative feelings aren’t always comfortable. Self-medication is often an attempt to avoid uncomfortable emotional states. – Sandra

Many people strongly dislike feeling sad, anxious, angry or insecure. So much so, that they will do anything to avoid these feelings, such as taking or drinking mood altering chemicals. People who are at high risk of actually becoming addicted to these substances often lack a feeling of deep connections to others. Meaning, they are emotionally cut off from most of the people in their life.

Adolescence, with all the changes that accompany it, can be an intense time where teens are often overwhelmed by new feelings. Substance abuse in teenagers may be used for attention seeking, escaping feelings of social isolation, and/or fitting in.

Reaching out in times of challenge is always a wise decision. If you have noticed changes in a yourself, your child, or a friend’s behavior that leads you to suspect that drugs are involved, I have numerous resources available to help you to help yourself/them.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Is Your Teen Being Bullied?

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A Note From The LA Teen Therapist

A solid anti-bullying campaign starts in the home – with loving parents. – Sandra

“As a father, I will serve as the champion defender for my son. I do not want him to be the target of a bully’s reckless comments, but I cannot isolate him in a protective bubble. He will, one day, feel the sting of someone’s deliberate arrows of cruelty. And to prepare him, I will spend plenty of time coaching my son on how to neutralize the comments from an angry peer.” ~ Nick Vujicic

UNDERSTANDING BULLIES:
Many times a bully is seeking power. If they don’t receive a sense of having some legitimate power at home – because they are in an environment where they are constantly being told what to do, as well as how and when to do it – they may seek power outside the home which can present in the form of bullying.

I also think it is important for us to understand that kids who are bullied may be attracting the attention of the other kids in ways that make them feel uncomfortable. Perhaps they are smaller, acting in unusual ways, suffering from mental or emotional challenges, or lacking maturity and/or social skills. The bully then exploits these other kid’s discomfort by leading them to pick on the victim – or simply react out of their own discomfort.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PARENTS:
We live in a world where differences in preference and opinion abound. Teaching your teen self-love and acceptance, and helping them to be comfortable in their own skin will enable them to respond in ways that will prevent the bullies from deriving the satisfaction they are seeking from their bullying behavior.

There are also ways to handle insults from bullies that can remove their sting. For example, if someone makes a mocking comment about one’s clothes, hair, accent or physical features, a simple response could be to say: “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Thank you for sharing yours.” For the bully is seeking a particular response from their victim, and when they fail to get that response, the bullying stops being fun for them. Unless the bully is pathologically disturbed, simple techniques like using humor or walking away can resolve the situation.

Of course, physical violence must be dealt with through adult intervention, with the intention of creating a corrective experience (i.e., anger management classes for the bully and emotional support for the victim). However, I want to caution parents to not get caught up in rejecting attitudes toward bullies as this can create humiliation and shame, a contributing factor behind bullying behavior.

It is up to parents and teachers to truly listen, as well as keep the lines of communication open with the children in their care. It is essential that kids to realize that they do not have to handle being bullied – alone. Working together, we can find a way for victims and bullies alike, to safely get assistance.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Parenting Teens After Divorce

depression teen girl cried lonely isolated on white
A Note From The LA Teen Therapist

It’s often difficult for teens whose parents have split apart. Read on for helpful tips. – Sandra

A teen doesn’t like the feeling that he or she must act as a messenger between hostile parents. Adolescents want parents to talk with each other so that the messages are communicated the right way, and don’t feel like they are going to mess up. It is unfair to make your teen carry messages to your “ex” because you find it too awkward or aggravating to do so yourself.

Avoid arguing and discussing child support issues in front of your teen. Most teens upon hearing these things feel that their existence is a burden on their parents. Do not put your teen in the middle of your child support disputes.

It hurts your teen very much to hear one loved parent criticize the other loved parent. When teens hear bad things about one parent, they hear bad things about half of themselves. Even if you are sure you’re right, try to avoid criticizing the other parent around your kids.

DESTRUCTIVE REMARKS THAT YOU SHOULD AVOID:

  • You’re lazy/stubborn/bad tempered, just like your mother/father.
  • Your mother/father put you up to saying that.
  • Your dad/mom doesn’t love any of us or he/she wouldn’t have left us.
  • You can’t trust her/him.
  • He/she was just no good.
  • If she/he loved you, she/he would send your support checks on time.
  • Someday you’ll leave me too, just like your father/mother.

All of these remarks raise fear and anxiety in your teen.

It is very difficult for the teen of divorced parents to cope with feeling “caught in the middle.” If they want to tell you about time spent with their other parent (and they usually don’t), listen closely and politely, and then stop. Encourage your teen to love both parents.

Asking your teen to take your side in any situation regarding your ex-spouse can create a tremendous amount of stress for your teen. Your teen wants to love both of his or her parents. Avoid putting teens in the position of having to take sides.

Complaining to your teen about how lonely you feel makes them feel guilty and sad. It’s not healthy for a teen to be consumed with worry for their parents’ ability to survive. Let your teen be a teenager.

Your teen will have the best chance of growing up to be a functional human male or female with both parents as role models and nurturers. This means that there should be some way of them having access to the good each parent has to offer.”

(Acknowledging Ruben Francia)

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Parenting Emotionally Explosive Teens

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

Does your teen tend to come unglued when things don’t go their way? – Sandra

According to Dr. Ross Greene, a pioneer in the treatment of kids with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges, highly reactive teens have not yet made the skills of flexibility, adaptability, frustration tolerance and conflict resolution their own.

Explosive behavior occurs in teens when the demands of the environment exceed their capacity to respond adaptively. Many popular explanations for explosive behavior place blame on the kid– or his parents. In Collaborative Problem Solving it is believed that if a teen had the skills to exhibit adaptive behavior, he wouldn’t be exhibiting explosive behavior.

VIDEO TUTORIALS FOR WORKING WITH EXPLOSIVE TEENS:

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1. Kids Do Well if They Can — The most important premise of Collaborative Problem Solving is the belief that if kids could behave better they would.

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2. What’s Your Explanation? — Your explanation for your teen’s explosive behavior has major implications for how you respond and whether you’ll try to help.

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3. Three Options for Solving Problems — There are three ways in which adults try to solve problems with reactive kids: Plan A (which is unilateral problem solving), Plan C (dropping the problem completely), and Plan B.

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4. Collaborative Conflict Resolution a.k.a. Plan B — Tips on identifying the unresolved problems that are precipitating challenging episodes, and how to implement Plan B.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Your Teen’s Academic Success

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

When children become teenagers they embark upon a journey of forming a separate identity. – Sandra

The following tips will help you support your teen in embracing the learning experience as well as developing a love of learning and the strength of character to persist beyond failures.

LEARNING STYLE
People learn differently. Some learn from listening to lectures or reading, while others learn best with visual aids or hands-on projects. If a teacher’s style doesn’t match your teen’s learning style, students can supplement learning by using flash cards or sketching diagrams to aid in memorizing new material.

When taking notes, it may be useful for your teen to draw a sketch of something that helps the information stick in their mind. During class, students should listen for key words or phrases the teacher emphasizes, write them down, and highlight them so they are easily recognizable when reviewing their notes.

PLANNING
It is important for teens to understand their homework assignments and write them in their phone notebook, daily planner or notepad. Include specific details about what is expected and the assignment due date.

If your teen devotes enough time to do good work, they’ll have greater means to succeed. Estimating how much time is needed to read a book, write a paper or prepare for an exam will help your teen establish an effective study schedule.

ORGANIZATION
Organizing study notes helps students find information quickly when preparing for exams. This can be accomplished with highlighters, colored pens and post-its. Flagging information while reading makes it easy to return to. Highlight or write important topics, phrases or terms in a new color pen so they stand out.

Nobody benefits from completing an assignment, but forgetting to turn it in. At this stage, teachers have little patience for the excuse, “I left my homework at home.” After homework is finished, teens should put homework in their binder or backpack, and set it next to the door so they can grab it and go the next morning.

COMMUNICATION
If your teen can develop a good relationship with each teacher, they’ll feel more comfortable asking questions and clarifying expectations, even if they don’t personally like the teacher.

STUDY SPACE AND TIME
Some people prefer a quiet study environment while others benefit from listening to soft music. A comfortable study space should reflect the student’s style, but it should also be free of distraction. I recommend that cell phones and social media be off limits during study time.

Teens can optimize learning by getting adequate rest, taking breaks, and being physically and emotionally healthy. Establishing bedtime limits and a nightly routine of reading or listening to relaxing music prior to bed helps teens get the sleep they need.

Test prep involves more than just studying. Teens need to be rested, alert, calm, confident and comfortable. Plan ahead to avoid distractions such as hunger pangs or feeling cold. It is also important to learn how to manage the time given for an exam and allot a certain number of minutes to each section of the exam.

HOMEWORK HABITS
Instead of watching television or plugging in to the Internet upon arriving home from school, I recommend using them as a reward for after homework has been completed. Consider establishing healthy homework habits such as:

• Homework is done immediately after school.
• Take short breaks every 45 minutes or so to re-focus attention.
• If self-discipline is an issue, homework can be done in the kitchen or common areas instead of their room.
• All social media is off-limits until homework is finished.
• Cell phone is only accessible when homework is finished.

CHECKING IN
As the new school year begins, check in with your teen by asking what they think of their teachers and how they are feeling about the subjects they are studying. Once school is underway check in daily or weekly by asking about their assignments and what they are learning. If, as time goes on, your teen expresses continuous feelings of helplessness or hopelessness this could mean a couple of things:

• They need assistance beyond the time spent in class to understand new information, and thus a tutor may prove helpful.
• They may have a learning disorder that needs to be better understood like ADD, dyslexia, or a sensory processing disorder. (There are tests as well as treatments designed to help address these challenges.)
• They could be struggling with depression, bullying, low self-esteem or even substance abuse.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Improving Teen’s Self-Esteem

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A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

Having healthy levels of self-esteem means teens do not need to determine their self-worth by looking to others for validation. – Samdra

Ideally, a teen’s self-worth should be determined by how well they live up to their desired self-image, which hopefully aligns with their beliefs and vision for their life.

    • Does your teen dress to impress?
    • Does he or she pretend to be someone that they are not?
    • Does your teen say things that don’t represent how they really feel?

Where we are born, and where we go to school does not necessarily determine who we are meant to be. We come into this world with unique gifts and talents. We have our own physical expression, as well as our own personality and style. Add to that your life experiences, and areas of interest, and we become an individual like no other.

High school is a phase of life when teens will feel pulled to fit in with the crowd. Yet, by doing this, are they being true to themselves?  The teen years are a time to start thinking where your son or daughter would like to go with their life. By trying on many types of different behavior, they are discovering their authentic expression.

Are they the athletic type? Are they the scholar? Are they an entertainer, or an artist? Are they the peace-maker? These are questions only they can answer for themselves. For some, this may mean raising a family–in a home filled with love. For others, this may mean becoming an educator with a focus on changing the world.

Anything is possible, but first, your teen must get to know themselves, and then find the courage to be themselves in all their magnificence.

… EMPOWERING TEENS TO BE THEIR BEST SELVES.

“The best example of Sandra’s work is in my daughter’s renewed enthusiasm and attitude towards life. My daughter now sees every problem as one that can be solved, every uncomfortable experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Sandra’s work with my daughter has helped her become a more secure, confident and happy individual.”

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Understanding the Teenage Brain

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

Here is some important information that describes the developmental changes that occur in teenager’s brains. – Sandra.

  • Has your teen ever felt blue for no obvious reason?
  • Do they ever do things on impulse that they later regret?
  • Have they ever overreacted to a situation and later wondered why?

Adolescence is now starting at younger ages than in previous generations. The average age that girls go into adolescence is between 10 and 11, when they reach 17% body fat. Boys go into adolescence between 12 and 13.

Teenagers are going through a transitional time when the brain rewires itself for emotional attachment, reproduction, and ultimately the creation of a stable family structure. 

There can be a noticeable gap between intelligence and behavior during the teen years. We used to attribute this to the assault of a hormonal hurricane. There is actually a lot more going on in the different structures of the teenage brain that end up having long-term consequences.

The myelin sheathing, which insulates nerves, increases by 100% in teenagers. Myelin sheathing is responsible for the conduction of nerve impulses to the brain. As the nerves become twice as efficient, this feeds the intensity and speed of a person’s reaction, contributing to the experience of mood swings.

The teen years are also time of the lowest levels of Serotonin in the human brain during human life. Serotonin is the primary transmitter in the limbic system, having to do with morale and moods. Low serotonin levels create a state in which a teens are more susceptible to feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

The brain does not grow in an orderly fashion. It first over-produces a bunch of connections that go to new parts of the brain. Then, in the later teen years-around age 16 through the mid-20’s-it starts eliminating connections based on how frequently they are used. The connections that remain determine a person’s sense of identity.

Did you know that the teenage brain does not complete development until close to age 25? Yes, something called the pre-frontal cortex, which is responsible for impulse control and operates much like the CEO of a company, does not complete development until your mid-twenties, leaving teens vulnerable to impulsive behavior.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Preventative Therapy For Teenagers

teenandworld

With residents from 140 different cultures, speaking over 200 languages, LA has become one of the most dynamic cities to raise a teen. – Sandra

Due to managed care, treatment options for adolescents who are struggling often fall short of a full assessment, and a holistic approach grounded in wellness and prevention. Teen Therapy needs to not only provide symptom relief but empower teen clients with emotional intelligence, social intelligence, and attachment building exercises, to meet the rapid changes they are encountering.

Emerging science now offers us an inside look at how imbalances in the teen brain affects their moods, behavior, relationships and academic performance. Studies also show that the experience of being empathically understood in therapy can literally change a teen’s brain; building new neural networks in the teen’s pre-frontal cortex, and increasing the size of the memory storing part of their brain.

Did you know that much of what insurance companies refer to as “mental illness” can be prevented, by educating families about the complex connections between mental health, and diet, neurobiology, environment and culture? Effective therapeutic treatment of teenagers must therefore include multi-disciplinary approaches that can help address emotional challenges unsuccessfully resolved by talk therapy alone.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.

Defining Healthy Family Rules For Teens

A Note From the LA Teen Therapist & Life Coach

Ideally, family rules should honor the relationship between parents and children. -Sandra

It is important to consciously identify your rules for dealing with your teen as well as their rules for dealing with you.

EXAMPLES OF UNSPOKEN PARENTAL RULES:

  • “I’ll give you anything you want if in return you will love and respect me.”
  • “I need to raise my kids the exact opposite of how my parents raised me.”
  • “Since I am your mom, I know what is best for you.”

TEENS ALSO HAVE THEIR OWN RULES:

  • “Whatever trouble I get into, my dad will get me out of it.”
  • “It’s my parent’s job to do everything for me.”
  • “Everything should go my way. If not, I get to throw a tantrum and disturb everyone around me.”

We usually make up rules based on experiences we have had in life. Their purpose is to help direct the interactions we have with others. These rules, although neither right or wrong, and may be helpful–or not.

You should only keep using your current rules if you are getting positive results.

You ultimately need to try and bring hidden rules out into the open. If there are hidden agendas, the people involved may feel they are trapped, and unclear about what is expected of them. This can lead to rebellion and/ or power struggles.

Hidden rules can ultimately sabotage a relationship. By putting the rules on the table, they can be talked about, honestly dealt with, and if appropriate, changed.

An example of naming the rules would be “the reason I can buy you the things you want is because I worked overtime. The reason I can do this is because you help out at home with the chores I normally do. By your helping me, I can help you.”

Teenagers then understand that there is a cost for what they are getting. By communicating this, you help teens become more aware and grateful. Adolescents then know that they must take part in the exchange, if only to say “thank you.”

It can be very helpful to use the approach of asking your teen “What is it that you want from me?” and then clarify exactly what that means to them. Then you can ask the big question…”And what are you willing to give to get that?”

As a parent, remember, you are the one in charge–not your child. Your power, used wisely, can eliminate power struggles, allowing you to focus attention on creating dynamics with your teen that work.

Worried About Your Teen? FREE Parent Consultation

For more information, please visit my website:

SandraDupont.com

verified by Psychology Today

Adolescent Therapist|Parent Coach|Teen Mentor

Providing service for: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock Park, West Hollywood.