Teens Coping With Anxiety

Teen doing yoga

A Note From The L.A. 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.

The Benefits of Teen Therapy

handonshoulder

A Note From the L.A. 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.

How Is Your Teen’s Body-Image?

A Note From the L.A. Teen Therapist 

Do you know anyone who looks beautiful from the outside, but are really not nice people? Have you noticed others who are not beauty queens, but you love being with them?

Its not uncommon for teen girls to compare themselves to the airbrushed images of today’s fashion models. The media is full of photos of teens who appear to look flawless.

Without make-up, perfect lighting and good camera angles, the teen girls you see on television and billboards do not look the same as they do in real life. They get pimples and have bad hair days–like everyone else.

Each person is born with a unique look. The size and shape of one’s facial features as well as one’s body shape is usually a combination of genetics. Thus teens needs to learn how to work with what they’ve got.

Have you noticed that teens who eat fresh fruit and vegetables, and drink plenty of water seem to have good skin? Teens who exercise regularly also seem to have nice muscle tone and fit well in their clothes.

Before your teen decides to change, you may want to ask them a couple of questions. Who are they changing for? Who are they comparing themselves to? What do they like about themselves? What can they realistically change?

If they decide to make some changes, make sure they come from a place of loving themselves … for their physical appearance is just a small part of who you really are. (And hopefully, the friends they choose to surround themselves with are wise enough to know this)

If your teen is struggling, 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.

Is Your Teen Depressed?

depression teen girl cried lonely isolated on white

A Note From The L.A. 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.

.

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.

Encouraging Your Teen’s Creativity

A Note From the L.A. Teen Therapist & Life Coach

How do you support your teen’s creative expression? – Sandra

There is a whole population of creative children gifted with the ability to dance, sing, paint, draw, write music, play instruments, and express themselves. Not everyone is meant to be a dentist, lawyer, engineer, scientist, or accountant. Yet, the drive is to prepare teenagers to enter college, and artistic endeavors are considered less worthy of classroom time or school funding.

Some adolescents are academically oriented, and can thrive in the classroom. But others perceive life through colors, sound, images and movement. For them, the highlight of their day may be watching an amazing sunset, dancing to a fantastic musical arrangement, or singing the lyrics of a song that speaks to them.

All teenagers want and need to feel masterful in some way. How are we honoring a teen’s authentic self-expression if we are asking them to fit into a mold that does not value their talents? What message are we giving to these artists?

In this fast changing world, future jobs that today’s youth will hold may not as yet exist. If teens are not forced into a mold of their parent’s or society’s design, then I believe their natural inclinations towards exploration and resourcefulness will be maintained. Parents who support their child in finding ways to honor their creative expression are giving their child the gift of a lifetime.

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 L.A. 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.

A Cure for Teen Bullying



A Note From The L.A. Teen Therapist

Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Read on to learn effective options for dealing with bullying. – Sandra

Did you know that feelings are our body’s way of keeping us alert to our safety? The primitive reptilian part of our brain needs to be guided by the reasoning part of our brain. Emotion gets our attention, but then what we do with that information determines the success of the outcome.

Teens, although highly vulnerable to slights, are quick to dish them out. Testing each other, and the world, they are often uncensored in their expression. It is important to help teens process and digest their experiences, that they might grow from them.

Teachers, parents, classmates and siblings have all been known to say things that were experienced as hurtful. By teaching teens how to slow down and tolerate their immediate discomfort, they can begin to understand what they are feeling, and think about how they want to respond.

Unless a fellow classmate is pathologically disturbed, simple techniques like using humor or walking away have turned around a good number of “bullying” situations. By helping the teen understand what the taunting means to them, we also have an opportunity to address underlying self-esteem issues that existed long before a particular insult was delivered.

Bottom line, life is not always fair and not everyone will like us. The capacity to accept oneself and to be comfortable in one’s own skin is invaluable in living in a world of diversity–where differences in preference and opinions abound.

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.

Spend Quality Time With Your Teen

A Note From the L.A. Teen Therapist & Life Coach

To improve your parent-child relationship, I recommend this 20 minute daily activity. – Sandra

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Set aside 20 minutes a day where there are no interruptions. Turn off cell phones and try to pick a time when you do not have other things that either of you need to be doing.

2. Let your teenager know that this time will be your special time together, and that you have no expectations on how this time will look.

3. Follow your adolescent’s lead. Talk about whatever they want to talk about. Discover what they want from you during this time. Do they want you to admire them? Respond to them but do not take over and direct them.

4. Watch, wait and wonder about what your teen is telling you. Enter their world and reflect on their experience of life.

5. Avoid giving advice or showing displeasure with what they are offering to share with you.

6. Instead, make observations and/or ask questions about what you hear. (”You sound proud of yourself. What are you planning to do next?”)

7. Have fun. Try to give yourself over completely to the enjoyment of a glimpse into your teenager’s life. You will only find it boring if your mind is stuck in the adult world. Try to be entirely present with your teen. Your adolescent will tell you a lot about themselves and their world if you allow yourself to be receptive.

8. Remember this is not a teaching time. Try to avoid praising or criticizing. You want the motivation of making good choices to ultimately come from within the teenager rather than through praise or punishment.

9. Sometimes, these conversations may elicit strong reactions or uncomfortable feelings on the part of the parent. These reactions may be helpful to reflect on in a supportive setting, like with a parent educator, therapist or another parent you feel safe with. It is important to understand what your feelings mean in regards to your relationship with your child.

10. Try to spend quality time every day, particularly during times of stress in the teen or family’s life.

Last, but not least, make sure to also leave 20 minutes a day for yourself to rest, relax, and do something just for you. (Catching up on household tasks does not count) This time allows you to restore yourself.

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 L.A. 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?

bullyorbullied

A Note From The L.A. 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.