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.

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.

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.

Tips On Parenting Teenagers

A Note From The L.A. Teen Therapist and Life Coach

Parenting teens is an entirely different job than parenting small children. – Sandra

Parents must make the transition from being a parent who provides for all their child’s needs to one who coaches their teen to handle their frustrations and needs for themselves. The challenge is how to deal with the willfulness, clinging, or the demands typical of this period.

Parents need to be able to respond to their teen in ways that affirm the dignity and power of both parent and child. The parent who cannot tolerate their teen choosing to defy them, by wanting to do things independently of their parents, will make that child feel as though the price of their autonomy is the loss of love.

Successful navigation of this phase of life involves setting boundaries and enforcing consequences without becoming punitive, angry, or judgmental. Respectful parenting involves seeing the frustrations teens encounter when pushing against imposed boundaries as opportunities for them to exercise the muscles of self-control, self-respect, and respect for others.

The parenting role must shift during the teen years to supporting their growing independence and preparing them to meet the challenges & frustrations of daily life. Your responsibility as a parent is to teach your child the skills they will need to succeed in the world prior to leaving your home. Respectful, conscious and positive parenting is fair, flexible, and has learning, rather than submission as its goal. Every word, facial expression, gesture, or action on the part of a parent gives the child some message about self-worth.

Hearing and respecting feelings, allowing choice, yet setting fair and clear limits on unacceptable behavior is the healthy balance that we should all strive for. Some parents use authoritarian parenting strategies that do not allow the child an independent voice or sense of efficacy. Other parents overcompensate with overly permissive parenting that doesn’t teach kids about limits and self-control. Research shows both extremes can interfere with kids’ ability to regulate their emotions and form healthy relationships as adults. Learning to cope with uncomfortable feelings is a crucial part of developing into a mature adult. 

… 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.

L.A. Teen Therapist’s Book Reviewed

 A Note From The L.A. Teen Therapist and Life Coach

I gently guide teens in a direction that gets them thinking about who they truly are, what they want, and how to express themselves with kindness and grace. – Sandra

In her book, What Would Your Teen Therapist Say?: A Workbook For Discovering Your True Self-Expression (Volume 1), Los Angeles-based teen therapist Sandra Dupont presents weekly tasks and then provides space for her reader to work through the process in writing.

Thought-provoking themes in the workbook include listening closely to your conversations to make sure you’re saying what you really mean; paying attention to how you spend your time to determine the worthiness of those activities; examining your belief system to see if it still fits; or asking if your friends support you and your dreams.

She also asks the reader to identify inspirational or teachable moments in their own lives, challenges them to find success in their failures, and encourages them to share the gift of their own wisdom with others.

Each weekly lesson prompts the reader to answer questions or imagine various scenarios, some of which are designed to focus on the positive or help the reader develop courage and confidence. The exercises are not always introspective. The teen therapist also asks her readers to find ways to give from the heart, and think about how they can make a difference in the world.

For teens in need of guidance during one of the most difficult transitions in life, this book will help them to become independent, self-aware and self-fulfilled young adults.” by Cameron James–Freelance Writer

… 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.

Finding Solutions To “Best Friend” Troubles

teenbestfriends

Q: I’ve been having been fighting a lot with my best friend recently, and am not sure if this relationship can be salvaged. Any suggestions?

A: I imagine that you have invested a lot into your relationship with your best friend, and would be sorry to lose it. At the same time, people change during high school, therefore it’s important to reevaluate your relationship, and your participation in your relationship, from time to time. The following questions can help you reflect upon whether your relationship can be healed, and how to go about doing so:

1. Do you truly like this girl?
2. Do you believe she truly cares about you?
3. List 3 major things that you believe would improve your relationship.
4. Would you be willing to calmly and non-judgment ally communicate this information to her?
5. How do you imagine she would respond to a calm and non-judgmental discussion about your friendship?
6. Is there anything you would be willing to offer to do differently on your end to help your relationship further grow and evolve?
7. Are you truly able to see and accept her for who she is?
8. Are the things you want to change in her perhaps a part of what makes her who she is?
9. Are you willing to negotiate and find a middle ground in your differing opinions about your relationship, or would you rather be right about her not living up to your expectations?
10. Are you taking her needs into consideration as well as your own, when you think about your frustrations with her?
11. Why do you imagine she acts the way that she does? What purpose does it serve for her?
12. Is fighting with her the most effective way to encourage her to be the friend that you want her to be?
13. Are you perhaps asking more of her than she is able to give?
14. Are you perhaps looking to her to fulfill needs that might be better fulfilled by your family, a boyfriend or your therapist?
15. What would need to change for you to want to continue this relationship?

Sometimes, talking to a trusted adult, like a parent, teacher, aunt or therapist, can help you gain a different perspective and find your way through troubling experiences – like these.

… 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.

Is Your Teen A Perfectionist?

 A Note From The L.A. 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.

Raising Emotionally Resilient Teenagers

A Note From The L.A. 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.

Get Teen Boys To Treat You With Respect

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

Teen girls need to decide what types of behavior they are willing to tolerate from teen boys.  – Sandra

I know that it can be aggravating when guy friends tease you, but did you know that teasing is a very common form of play among guys? If you observe groups of guys who are friends, whether they be young or old, you will often hear them teasing each other. The fact that they are teasing you probably means that they like you.

At a certain age, being treated with respect becomes very important to a girl. Adolescence is a time when girls and guys start practicing more grown up behavior. During this time, however, girls tend to mature a faster than their male friends. Thus, they may still treat you like one of the guys, instead of the way you would prefer.

If the teasing is getting to be too much for you, you may want to consider setting boundaries. This means that you politely excuse yourself from situations where you don’t feel comfortable. Essentially, you are giving them a clear message that their behavior is not okay with you.

Only you can decide what types of behavior you are willing to tolerate. The good new is that as guys get older, you will discover that your male friends will put more effort into trying to please you. The key is to communicate your feelings in a polite and open manner.

Girls and guys often see the world differently. It is important to remember that during adolescence, you are learning about each other through your interactions. Patience, kindness, and forgiveness go a long way towards building a bridge between you. At the same time, you have a right to decide how you want to be treated, and its up to you to choose your friends wisely.

… 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.