Teens Designing Their Future Life


A Note From The L.A. Teen Therapist

What if you could create a life that suited your personality, creative gifts and unique style of expression? Can you relate to any of these descriptions? – Sandra

•    Trying to be perfect
•    Wanting to please everyone, and losing oneself in the process
•    Feeling isolated and alone
•    Feeling angry, but not having the skills to express oneself productively
•    Feeling socially awkward
•    Comparing oneself to “air-brushed” photos of celebrities and feeling inadequate

If you notice, the focus is outside yourself.

Being a child means being dependent upon your parents and needing to follow their rules.  This is also true for being a student, as well as a member of society. But at some point, you must learn to provide for your own needs. This requires that you be aware of your needs (which are different from your wants).

What do you like to do in your spare time? Are you comfortable being alone? Do you like to have music on while you study, or do you prefer silence? Do you enjoy hanging out with many friends, or just a few close ones? Does exercise relieve your stress? Do you need a full night’s sleep to avoid feeling irritable?

High school (and middle school) can be an intense time, filled with competition and the pressure to perform. For some of you, this translates into thinking that you are your grades, your looks, or who you hang out with. But honestly, you are not these external measures of success. You are a person with feelings and dreams of how you would like your life to be.

My encouragement is to honor that part of you that longs to find people with whom you can relax and just be yourself. I understand that your parents may have expectations that they wish you to fulfill. Part of the process of parenting is about providing opportunities for their children to experience new things and become self-sufficient. But if your parent wants you to go to medical school and you feel called to be a journalist, then there needs to be a heartfelt discussion where you can feel seen and heard.

Living life by your design is not meant against anyone, but rather as a pathway to your mental and emotional well-being. It takes an act of courage to be yourself without apology. It takes self-love to look in the mirror and see the precious person that you are. It takes self-awareness to speak your truth. These qualities are earned through making time to reflect on who you are and where you want to go with your life.


“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:


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.