My Teen Isn’t Thriving

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

If a teen isn’t thriving, it’s important for parents to reach out and consult with a professional — that they might understand why. – Sandra

Often, parents contact me expressing concern about their child’s behavior. Some complaints I’ve commonly heard are:

* Isolating in their room
* Angry all the time
* Explodes at the drop of a hat
* Swings between happiness and hopelessness
* Too shy to make friends
* Not able to keep up with their schoolwork

Each of these situations may have a different cause, and require a different approach. One of the first things I do after getting the call is to invite the parents in for a free parent consultation to explore the teen’s history. I want to fully understand their journey thus far.

When did the symptoms first occur?
What efforts were made to help the situation?
What worked, and why?
What didn’t work, and why?

For it is only through understanding what has led up to this moment that I can make my best recommendations for putting together a plan that will result in a more permanent solution.

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

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

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 Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Teen depression seems to be on the rise, affecting one out of every 20 teenagers. What is the cause … and what is the solution? – Sandra

During the teenage years, the pressure to conform with their peers can be incredibly strong. If kids feel different, inadequate or deprived in some way, then feelings of self-loathing and depression may be the result. With Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram so prevalent, teens are being bombarded with images that they feel they need to live up to.

There are also increasing concerns about competition for college, and the endless hours that are going into creating the perfect resume with extracurricular activities and advanced coursework. Today’s adolescents are exhausted, overwhelmed and breaking down.

It is important for parents to make a distinction between situational depression: which is a normal reaction to stress or loss, 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 receive support going through these periods from a trained professional.

“The idea that one must be, and look, endlessly cheerful is a destructive and daunting expectation for teens.” says Dr. Andrew Weil, who feels that kids need to learn that happiness is not some end point to be achieved. I teach teens how to discover a sense of peace and contentment through life’s ups and downs, see and accept life as is, and find ways to respond effectively to each situation.

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

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

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 Emotionally Intense?

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Highly sensitive & creative teens are frequently misunderstood, mislabelled and misdiagnosed. – Sandra

Teens who are extremely sensitive experience day-to-day life even more vividly and deeply. With their unique ways of perceiving the world, “emotionally intense” responses to challenges at home, school, work or in relationships are common.

Unfortunately, this emotional intensity is often misunderstood, and these intelligent, caring, and expressive young people are frequently mislabeled and misdiagnosed. There is great value in highly sensitive adolescents learning to manage their vulnerabilities — and harness their strengths.

I help highly sensitive young people to expand their ‘window of tolerance,’ so they are less easily triggered into states of acute stress, rage, and panic. I can teach your teen to harness their strengths and manage their vulnerabilities–so that they can thrive.

Being in the world with a highly responsive nervous system is not a disorder. But it can be challenging for parents and teachers to understand this young person’s hesitancy before trying new things, and their reactiveness to feeling overwhelmed.

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

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

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 Highly Anxious?

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Increased feelings of uneasiness about their body, performance, and peer acceptance are common in adolescence – Sandra

When your teen talks to me about their fears and anxieties, I listen carefully and respectfully, without discounting their feelings. Some adolescents are just naturally more timid than others. As their bodies, voices, and emotions change during adolescence, these sensitive young people may feel even more self-conscious.

In extreme cases, the adolescents can become very withdrawn, unable to overcome intense self-doubt and worry. I work with these teens to trace their anxiety to specific situations and experiences, and teach them techniques to help them reduce the overwhelming nature of their anxious feelings.

While anxiety disorders can cause considerable distress in a teen’s life, the overall prognosis is good. Extreme anxiety in teens may require a combination of treatment interventions that can include meditation, Neurofeedback, or a referral for medication. The most effective plan is one that is individualized to the teenager and their family.

Anxiety carries information. My goal is to help my teen clients learn self-soothing techniques to manage their anxiety, so they can move beyond it to reach their goals.

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

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

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.

Teaching Teens To Resolve Conflicts

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A Note From the Santa Monica Teen & Family Counselor

There is a saying “Give a man to fish, you feed him for the day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for life.” – Sandra

Your teen is in the process of learning how to tolerate and digest their uncomfortable feelings, so be sure to give them the space to do this. One way you can assist your teen is in inviting them to reflect on their day. You can give them the opportunity to expand their emotional vocabulary and practice emotional intelligence by asking them these 3 questions at bedtime:

  1. What happened today that made you happy?
  2. Did anything happen today that made you sad?
  3. Was there anything that caused you to feel frustrated?

Sometimes parents need to act as their teen’s surrogate frontal lobe by helping them name their feelings, explore options, and figure out if solutions agreed upon take both party’s needs into consideration. For your teen to be able to participate successfully in conflict-resolution discussions with you, they must first:

  • Be able to identify and articulate their concerns.
  • Be able to consider a range of possible solutions.
  • Be able to reflect on the likely outcome of those solutions, as well as the degree to which they are mutually satisfactory.

How can you help your teen gain the skills of flexibility, adaptability, frustration tolerance and conflict resolution? By involving them in the decision-making process in a collaborative way. Explosive behavior occurs in teens when the demands of the environment exceed their capacity to respond adaptively.

If you believe your teen is being overly reactive because of lagging skills and unresolved problems, then offering rewards and punishments may not be the best approach. Solving those problems and teaching those skills would make much better sense!

Adolescent counselor, family therapist and respectful parenting coach for over 10 years based in Santa Monica, California.

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

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.

Choosing a Therapist for Your Teen

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

I specialize in working with shy, sensitive and creative teenagers from diverse, multicultural families. -Sandra

I help parents get the whole picture of what’s going on in their teen’s mind, including the neurological changes that occur during adolescence. The reason I offer families with teens a FREE Initial Parent Consultation is to give you the opportunity to get a better sense of who I am–and how I work. In learning more about the symptoms your family is experiencing, I am able to make recommendations on how to address the challenges your teen is struggling with.

Not all family therapists have extensive experience working with the teen population. Along with my Marriage and Family Therapist license, I have advanced training in Child Specialization Studies and Adolescent Psychology, and over 10 years experience as practicing counselor for teenagers. I specialize in coaching and therapy for highly sensitive adolescents and their families. I currently write a Teen Advice Blog and have 2 books on Amazon.com called “What Would Your Teen Life Coach Say?” and “What Would Your Teen Therapist Say?”

Before starting family counseling, it is important for parents to reflect on what they hope to get out of the experience of therapy. It is also essential for you to examine your readiness to embrace the changes that may be necessary for your family to make. Family therapy is a collaborative relationship between you and I, with parents needing to reinforce the work I do at home.

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

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

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.

Discipline vs. Punishment for Teens

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Punishment is designed to control a person’s behavior and is not effective for teaching teens to become responsible and independent young adults. Read on to learn why discipline is a better option. – Sandra

Punishment includes threats, yelling, and verbal insults. If you are frequently yelling at your child, chances are that they may start to pay attention to you only when you raise your voice. Insults are not healthy for anyone, and when teens hear you yelling and using verbal insults, they learn to do that behavior too.

Often parents punish teenagers by grounding them. Many times grounding is not related to what the teen did, therefore they have difficulty learning the lesson you are trying to teach them.

Some parents hit their teen out of anger. Hitting hurts both the teen and the parent, because the teen feels unloved and the parent feels guilty. The teen also learns that hitting is a way to get power or solve their problem.

Discipline is a respectful way of relating to your teen. Discipline teaches your teen to become more responsible and cooperative. Discipline allows your teen to learn from their behavior and the natural consequences of their choices.

Teens need limits, but those limits need to be adjusted as your teen becomes more mature. Many parents are often afraid to let their teen make their own decisions. However, it is very important to allow teens a chance to make and learn from their choices–within certain limits.

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

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

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.

Private Parent-Coaching Workshop

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

I can help you learn how to strengthen your relationship with you adolescent. – Sandra

When teens observe how we treat them and others, they learn how to behave. A parent’s interaction with their teen literally impacts their child’s brain development, and parenting styles are often passed down through generations.

Unfortunately, in our society, shaming is an accepted parenting tool for controlling teens. Many teens hear shaming and humiliating messages all day long: comparisons with siblings or other kids, the mocking of their age and abilities, or comments that make them feel stupid or inferior.

It is important to remember that respect and civility both start at home. As a parent, you are responsible for modeling both self-respect, and respect for others. When you treat your teen with respect, they will learn to treat themselves and others respectfully.

Your body language, facial expressions, the tone & volume of your voice, threatening violence, withholding affection, rejecting behavior, demeaning words or physical punishment all directly impact your teen’s self-esteem and can even teach them aggressive behavior. The foundation of respectful disagreements involve avoiding raising your voice, swearing, name-calling or pointing your finger in the teen’s face.

In my 6-week Private Parent Coaching Workshop, you will learn how to effectively help your teenager become more responsible, respectful, communicative and independent.

Topics will include:

  • Understanding Yourself and Your Teenager
  • Improving Your Response to Your Teen
  • How to Communicate Respect and Understanding
  • Encouraging Cooperation and Problem‐Solving
  • Using Consequences to Build Responsibility

**Recommended for parents with children between the ages of 11 and 19.

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

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

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 versus Younger Children

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

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. – Sandra

Parents need to make the transition from being a parent who provides for all their child’s needs to who coaching their teen to handle their frustrations and needs for themselves. The challenge is how to deal with the stubbornness, clinginess, or demands typical of this phase of life.

Parents need to be able to deal with their teen’s expressed frustration and/or dependence in ways that affirm the dignity and power of both you and your child. If you cannot tolerate your teen choosing to defy you by asserting their independence, they may come to fee feel as though the price of their autonomy will abandonment and the loss of your love.

Successful navigation of the adolescent phase of life involves setting boundaries and enforcing consequences without your becoming punitive, angry, or judgmental. Respectful parenting involves seeing the frustrations your teen is encountering when pushing against your imposed boundaries as opportunities for them to learn self-control, self-respect, and respect for others.

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 at it’s core: fair, flexible, and has learning, rather than submission as its ultimate goal. Every word, facial expression, gesture, or action on your part gives your teen some message about self-worth.

Allowing them choices, while setting fair and clear limits on unacceptable behavior, is a healthy balance to strive for. Some parents use authoritarian strategies that do not allow the child an independent voice or sense of autonomy. Other parents overcompensate with overly permissive parenting that doesn’t teach their kids about limits and self-control. Research shows both extremes can interfere with kids’ ability to regulate their emotions.

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

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

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 in Today’s World

A Note From the Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Parenting has changed drastically since parents were children, with today’s parents literally having to make up the rules as they go. – Sandra

With rapid advancements in technology speeding up the pace of our lives, parents are being asked to evolve far beyond the parenting skills they saw demonstrated by their own parents. It’s no wonder so many parents are feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

It is important to remember that in each family there are unique circumstances, and you can only do your best with the cards you’ve been dealt. If you teen has learning challenges, or your personalities significantly differ, you may need to adapt your parenting responses. Having more than one child or being a single parent adds even more layers of complexity.

Setting aside the time necessary for you to stay in balance and manage your emotions, as well as model kind and respectful responses in challenging moments, is a gift you give your children. Like on an airplane, you must remember to put on your oxygen mask first.

Ultimately, parenting is about is about preparing your teen to meet the challenges of life, recognize and maintain healthy relationships, and love and accept themselves. Do not allow yourself to get derailed by your teen’s demands for the latest trends. What is essential are the lessons you are teaching them about character, family, contribution to society, and self-love.

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

Menu of Services Offered:

Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation!

Click to Call:

(310) 951-5678
.

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.