Is Your Teen In Crisis?

A Note From the Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

There is an unfulfilled need that is driving a teen’s negative behavior, and my goal is to help you and your teen find more effective ways to address that need. – Sandra

The best time to consult with me is when you have noticed changes in your teen’s behavior — impacting their ability to connect with others and cope with their challenges. As an experienced teen therapist, I can help assess the challenges your adolescent may be experiencing and offer you effective recommendations for solving the problem.

Together, we want to try and understand what is really underlying your teen’s struggle. Is this problem more complex than just an adolescent phase of life issue? Is educational testing indicated? Is social skills coaching a piece of the puzzle? Would parenting support help turn the situation around? Is referral to a medical doctor or other specialist indicated? As a seasoned professional, I can answer these questions.

If your teen is in crisis, I may suggest that we initially meet twice-a-week for about 6-weeks. In this manner, I can do a thorough assessment of the situation. During this time, your family will get an immediate and direct experience of the value I provide–without waiting for long periods of time to decide if I am being helpful.

My goal is to find solutions that will unite your family, rather than assigning blame to anyone.

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.

TV Shows Affect Your Teen’s Values

A Note From the Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Parents of teens are often not be fully aware of video content being viewed by their teen.  – Sandra

Television shows continue to inform the behavior of today’s adolescents. Unfortunately, actors who are older than the teens they portray, can give the illusion that actions come without consequences. Yet this is not so in real life.

Trends in viewing are offering more images of violence, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, misogynistic behavior than ever before. Teenagers are using these shows to model their behavior after–sadly, with dire consequences. Some teens are simply unable to separate reality from fiction, and are acting out this confusion.

Ideally, I think parents should determine age appropriate shows and set limits on viewing for pre-teens. With older teens, try and sit down to watch with them every so often, that you may be able to help your teen digest  and process the information that they are being exposed to.

Teen girls are exposed to at least 180 minutes of media daily. What can parents do? You can teach you teen how to look objectively at media portrayals of contemporary life and society, and invite conversations that create awareness of the unconscious messages they are being given about “normal” teen behavior, counter-balancing it with your family’s values.

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.

Keeping Your Teenager Safe

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Instead of staying in their immediate neighborhood, teens often go to nearby cities to meet up with their friends. – Sandra

Parents may think they know where their teen is, but this is not always the case. Telling a parent that they are spending the night at one friend’s, they get another parent to drive them across town to a party, working out their ride home however they can.

It is important to know who your teen’s friends are. Also get to know who their friend’s parents are, that you might have a sense of the type of values they uphold in their homes. It is a wise parent who gets contact information for any sleep-overs or parties, including the address, phone number and the name of the adult in charge of the event. It is also responsible behavior to call and introduce yourself, verify the details, and get a feel for who that other parent is.

In your home, there may be strict curfews, as well as restrictions around alcohol and other mind-altering substances. But in other homes, parents sometimes turn a blind eye to their teen’s entertainment activities, including drinking, and unsupervised access to bedrooms. The boundaries you set for your teen shows your caring. Do not cave in under pressure when presented with the claim that “all the other parents let their kids …”

I assure you that there are plenty of parents who still expect their teens to earn their trust.

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.

Surviving The Teen Years

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Here are some practical steps to help you and your adolescent have a better relationship. – Sandra

Start by creating an “open door” policy with your teen where they can come to you with any questions. Don’t be afraid to address topics with your teen such as drugs, alcohol, and sexuality. Stay informed on who your teenager’s friends are, as well as your child’s interests and hobbies. Ask your teen questions, but also understand that ultimately, sharing is their choice.

To help your teenager learn to take responsibility for their own actions, you’re going to need to grant them some privacy. In a perfect world, their phone calls and room would be off limits to snooping. However, if you suspect something serious is going on with your child, like substance abuse or other illegal activity, it is your responsibility is to keep your teen safe.

As teens mature, they begin forming opinions and strive to become independent. Parents of teens can find it frustrating when their teen suddenly begins asserting themselves. The key is to listen intently to your teen’s feelings, trying to understand their experience. It is important to allow space to develop their own opinions, even if it differs from yours.

With all the emotional changes taking place with adolescence sometimes your teen may feel depressed, lonely, or upset. Remember, you do not need to fix their feelings or tell them that they should not feel that way. Give your teen permission to feel exactly what they are feeling and work through your discomfort about their feelings with a trusted partner, friend, or therapist.

If your teen wants to color their hair pink, paint their fingernails green, or wear a unique combination of clothing choices, think twice before you say no. Teenagers need to assert themselves, and it’s far better to allow them do things temporary and harmless. Save your objections for things like substance abuse, character values, and safety.

Even though they may not show it, teens want and need the approval of their parents, despite acting frustrated with their parent’s rules. They actually understand and appreciate that their parents care enough about them to expect certain things such as good grades, acceptable behavior, and adherence to family’s values. Reward their good efforts by consistently noticing and acknowledging the things you think they are doing well.

Finally, a unified parental front is crucial during the teenage years. Decide as a team what your expectations are and then stick to them. If you tell your teen they’re grounded for the weekend, and then forget to follow through the next day, you are teaching them to not take you seriously.
Consequences and Punishment are not the same thing. Consequences are not about yelling or getting angry with your teen. Consequences are simply the act of imposing a restriction or requiring a task for a period of time.

Warning Signs to on the lookout for:

  • Sudden change in eating patterns
  • Isolation from peers and family
  • Brushes with the law
  • Sudden change in grades
  • Joking/talking about suicide
  • Regular disobedience at home and/or with teachers
  • Significant loss or sudden change of friends over a period of time
  • Suspicion of substance abuse

Keep your eyes open for these warning signs and seek consultation when you see them.

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.

Teach Your Teen To Argue “Respectfully”

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

In your relationship with your teenager, it is important to be open to hearing their point of view. – Sandra

First, it is essential to really listen while your teen is talking, instead of formulating your response in your head. Also, try to stick to topic you are discussing and not jump around by bringing up past hurts or misunderstandings.

The foundation of any respectful argument involves avoiding: raising your voice, swearing, name calling, or pointing your finger in their face. You never want to use threats or taunts, which will only escalate the tension between you. A healthy relationship is based on honesty and trust, so you also don’t want to exaggerate to make a point.

You should never be placed in a position where you fear an argument could get physical. Laying a hand on anyone in anger is not okay. Therefore, it is wise to agree upon a safety phrase or gesture that indicates it might be helpful to take a “time out” from an argument which has gotten too heated.

You become a role model for your teen by being willing to apologize if you realize you are wrong. These recommendations will obviously work best if you and your teen can both agree to use them. Remember, you are teaching your teen that it’s easier to “hear” and “be heard” when opinions are expressed thoughtfully and respectfully.

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.

A Note From the Santa Monica Family Therapist

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

If your teen or young-adult child is struggling, I can help you discover the cause, and remedy it. – Sandra

I imagine that you found this website because you, or member of your family are experiencing some challenges. I’m here to tell you that you are not alone–help is just a phone call away.

I invite you to take that critical next step to heal your child’s pain and create a better future for your family. Reach out and schedule a free parent consultation, and allow me to demonstrate the support I can offer to you and your family.

I look forward to speaking with you!

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.

Understanding the Teenage Brain

A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Have you noticed that Adolescence is now starting at younger ages than in previous generations? Read on to learn how these changes may be affecting your teen. – Sandra

Teenagers are going through a transitional time where their brain is rewiring itself for emotional attachment, reproduction, and ultimately the creation of a stable family structure, thus ensuring future generations. There can be a noticeable gap between your child’s intelligence and behavior during the teen years. We used to attribute this to the assault of a “hormonal hurricane.” However, there is actually a lot more going on in the different structures of your teen’s brain, that end up having long-term consequences.

Did you know that the myelin sheathing, which insulates nerves, increases by 100% in teenagers? Myelin sheathing is responsible for the conduction of nerve impulses to the brain. Thus, as the nerves become twice as efficient, this feeds the intensity and speed of your teen’s reaction. 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 your teen becomes more susceptible to stress and overwhelm.

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 around age 16, through the mid-20’s, it starts eliminating connections based on how frequently they are used. The remaining connections determine who a person feels they are for the rest of their life. Have you ever heard that the teenage brain does not complete development until close to age 25? It’s true. Something called the pre-frontal cortex, responsible for impulse control–operating much like the CEO of a company, is not fully developed until your child’s mid-twenties.

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.

Free E-book for Teen Girls

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**Suggestion: Try sitting down with your daughter and reading a few pages together. Then discuss the challenges identified and how those issues might be affecting your daughter.

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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.

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.

Maximize Your Teen’s Cooperation

A Note From the Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Despite some bumps in the road, teens really do want to feel connected to, as well as gain their parent’s approval. – Sandra

Worst Mistakes Parents Make When Talking to Teens:

*Talking Too Much

*Nagging and Giving Multiple Warnings

*Using Guilt and Shame to Get Compliance

*Not Listening

*Yelling on issues which could’ve been handled with a straightforward tone.

(acknowledging Melanie Greenberg)

The foundation of effective parenting is leading by example. When children observe how we treat them – and others – they learn how to behave. Here are some practical questions to consider in your relationship with your teen:

Putting Love into Action:

1. How and when do you interact with your teen?

2. When and why do you smile at your teen?

3. How do you talk to your teen?

4. When do you choose to hug and kiss your teen?

5. Do you tolerate your teen’s upset or do you try to understand why?

6. How do you set limits with your teen?

7. Do you allow your teen to experience some frustration?

8. In what ways do you allow your teen to explore and to make their own choices?

9. Do you ever tell your teen how you are really feeling?

(acknowledging Magda Gerber)

The key to maximizing your teen’s cooperation lies in your connection with them. Your teen needs you to be their anchor, and not lose your balance when they lose theirs. And when you do lose it (being human), they need for the connection between you to be repaired. By making a conscious effort to repair your relationship following emotional upheavals, you model the self-regulation skills that they need to support them during life’s challenges.

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.

Teens: Making Friends At A New School

A Note From The Santa Monica Family Therapist

It’s often difficult getting started at a new school. It may seen like everyone already has their friends, and some people just aren’t open to meeting new people. Here are ideas on how to talk to your teen about this. – Sandra 

“I just moved to a new school and nobody wants to be my friend. I’ve tried everything! What can I do to get at least one friend?”

Start by noticing who in your class looks interesting to you. Pay attention to what you like about them. Try to notice who has friendly eyes, a kind smile, and is generous to others. Pick out at least 5 people who you think might make a good friend. Try saying hello to them every day for a week and see how they respond. What you are doing is showing them that you are interested in getting to know them. How they respond back to you will let you know who might be interested in getting to know you.

Once you have gotten a pleasant response from someone to your saying hello, you can approach that person and find out more about them. Begin by introducing yourself and saying where you moved from, and asking them a question. The question can be about anything, but ideally, you want to find out what they do in their spare time. The secret to success is to find someone who you can have a fun conversation with. You do not have to settle for someone who just doesn’t seem that interested in you.

Good friendships are often based on shared interests, meaning that you like to do similar things that they like to do. It’s okay if not everyone is a match for you. Don’t worry about it. Just move on..

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.