Covid-19 Announcement

Office Safety Measures I am Taking to Protect Your Teen:

Santa Monica Teen Therapist — Sandra Dupont MFT
  • Temperatures taken with non-touch infared thermometer
  • Masks worn throughout session (provided if client doesn’t have)
  • Screening clients for Covid-19 symptoms prior to visit
  • Free-standing hand-sanitizer for clients and their families
  • HEPA air-sanitizer always running to constantly clean the air
  • Frequently sanitizing all surfaces that are touched
  • Sterilizing room with a UVC Germicidal Ultra-violet light
  • Remote sessions for clients sneezing or coughing
  • Large office space easily allows for 6-feet distancing between us
  • High ceilings/open windows offer cross ventilation ocean breeze

The CDC is allowing all health-related essential procedures, and I am actively scheduling appointments during normal business hours for in person and tele-health.

Are Your Daughter’s Friends Dating?

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

It can be hard when your daughter’s friends start dating, and she feels left behind. Read on to learn how to address this issue. – Sandra

Growing up is filled with changes. New schools, body changes, meeting new people, saying goodbye to people you liked, and starting to date …. Change, although challenging, can also mean exciting new beginnings.

The time when girls and guys start dating does not happen exactly the same way for everyone. There are some girls that jump right in, and others that prefer to take things slower. But eventually, everyone seems to move into enjoying this new phase of life.

Something that could be helpful during this time of transition is to encourage your daughter to be a very good listener to her friends. I would imagine that they have a lot to talk about regarding their adventures in dating. There could be a lot to learn from their experiences. It is a way for her to stay connected and show that she cares.

Friendships, like any relationship, evolve over time. The key to keeping a relationship alive and healthy is to give each other the space to grow and change. I would suggest you encourage your daughter start putting time into activities she really enjoys doing, and give her friends time to find their way.

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.

What Are Your Teen’s Unique Talents?

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

I find that many teens use their music, writing, and art to express who they are and what is in their hearts. – Sandra 

In the movie “Avatar” the natives of a garden planet greeted each other with the words “I see you.” It was the deepest form of respect that one person could show another. What they were saying is that I see you for who you really are. How often do you feel seen in this way?
It seems to me that each of of us has something unique to share with the world. For those of you who are artists, are you finding ways to honor your gift of creative expression? Perhaps your music or writing will help someone along their journey.

Not everyone is meant to be a performer or artist. Sometimes, being a good listener, or lending a helping hand can make all the difference in someone’s life. Volunteering to assist others less fortunate than you is one of the most generous thing you can do with your spare time.

We are all dependent upon each other. Someone else grows your food, makes your clothes, and builds your homes and schools. In the teen years,  you are old enough to start reflecting on how you would like to contribute in the world.

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.

Emotional Dysregulation Disorder in Teens

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

“Is your teen struggling with emotional dysregulation? They may need support in learning to cope with their very intense feelings.” – Sandra

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), also known as Emotional Dysregulation Disorder, is a diagnosis that describes a group of symptoms. This is a common label being attached to emotionally intense people.

Some traits include:

* Fearing abandonment and/ or rejection
* Having series of intense and unstable relationships
* Not having a strong sense of self-identity, ‘Who am I?’
* Impulsive self-harming behaviors
* Recurrent suicidal ideation and attempts
* Severe mood swings
* Chronic feelings of emptiness
* Sudden, uncontrollable rage
* Feeling dissociated from reality during stressful times

Sometimes people with BPD seem to view the world in a black-or-white, ‘all good or all bad’ fashion.

Often, the most painful part of this diagnosis is being misunderstood by and feeling isolated from those close to you. It’s hard not to push people away in a moment of upset, despite their craving closeness and connection.

Teens struggling with emotional dysregulation are NOT ‘bad people’. They are NOT manipulative or attention seekers. They are are often born with a highly responsive nervous system that requires a certain level of care, like a finely tuned sports car. But it may feel like they’re driving a Ferrari “with bicycle brakes.”

Even with the best intention, a childhood environment where there might not be a ‘temperament fit’ between the parents and the intense child, can result in an emotional gulf. Unless these individuals are supported in learning the tools they need to thrive, their sensitivity and intensity will be perceived as something being grossly wrong with them, and they could end up misdiagnosed and struggling for years.

(acknowledging Imi Lo)

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.

When Teen Friends Grow Apart

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

It can be hurtful when friends change, leaving their old friends behind. – Sandra

“At school my best friend ignores me because she is friends with the “popular kids.” I tried to tell her one time how I am feeling but she walked away, crying.”

Sometimes friends make choices that can create distance between the two of you, like your friend trying too hard to fit in with the popular kids at school. On one hand, your friend obviously likes spending time with you. On the other hand, she also dreams of being popular.

Each person must ultimately learn whether they prefer to have just a few close friends, or many acquaintances. Acquaintances are friends of convenience, who are around in the good times, but are not always around when you need them. Although you can’t help your friend to make up her mind, it sounds like you have a clear idea of what kind of friendship you want.

It is understandable that you are bothered by her ignoring you. Her crying the last time you mentioned how you feel seems to indicate she is struggling with some feelings of her own. Ideally, it would be good if you could both sit down together and talk about your enjoyment of being friends. In a perfect world, the two of you would then come to some understanding of where you want to go from here.

It would be nice if you could come up with an agreement that she would stop ignoring you, and that she could still make new friends. Juggling two sets of friends, however, requires a lot of maturity on everyone’s part. Unfortunately, this level of maturity may not yet be present with all the people involved.

Another option is for you to decide to patiently wait until after school to spend time with her. In this way, you could still be friends while she explored whether the experience of being popular is really what she thinks it is. If this is your choice, it would be important to not ruin your time together by complaining.

The last option is let her move on, knowing that sometimes people just grow in different directions. Although this is a very sad decision, you need to ultimately take care of yourself. If her ignoring you is too painful, then this could be a good choice..

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 Having “Best Friend” Problems?

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Does your teen have a best friend that she don’t get along with? Read on to learn how to address this issue. – Sandra

“My best friend Anna, I like A LOT. But another friend Hannah, who is Anna’s best friend, I don’t really trust, because she has lied to me or just plain ignored me. I am thinking about avoiding Anna because of Hannah, but I don’t want to hurt Anna. What can I do?!?”

You mentioned that you and Hannah are best friends with Anna. Often, when someone is best friends with more than one person, their other friends may get competitive for their attention. In this case, Hannah may be competing with you.

It sounds like it hasn’t been pleasant for you to spend time with Anna when Hannah is also around. Given that she has ignored you and has even lied to you, I can appreciate that you don’t feel like you can trust her.

In situations like these, you always have options. You can, as you suggested, not be Anna’s best friend anymore. But as you said, you don’t want to hurt her, and she isn’t the one you are having problems with. So, perhaps there are other options you may want to consider.

Sometimes, it is less intense when you add more people into the group. Whereas with only 3, if Hannah is talking to Anna, you may be left with no one to talk to. But with even one other person present, the equation becomes more balanced.

A second option is to invite Anna to spend time alone with you. At school, this may not be as easy to do, but after school and on weekends, she may be willing to set aside time to be with you.

Although perhaps not your first choice, another option is to find a way to get closer to Hannah. If you are both competing for Anna’s attention, you may not have even given your friendship a chance to grow. If you could figure out a way to make Hannah a friend of yours, this could solve your problem.

We will not necessarily like everyone. Not everyone will like us. People can change over time. Which is why our friendships also can change over time. If you are enjoying Anna now, and are not ready to give up your friendship, then you need to find a creative way to work with the choices she is making about other friends in her life. Perhaps you might want to add a new friend to your life…

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 Jealous Of Her Older Sister?

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

It may feel so unfair when an older sister gets to do things that you are not yet allowed to do. Here are some ways to support your daughter. – Sandra

“My older sister gets to do so much more than me, which I don’t think its fair!  How can I feel happier with what I have?

I think the first thing we need to establish is that your sister is not to blame for the privileges she gets for being older.  This has nothing to do with their love for either of you. It has everything to do with their trying to make wise decisions about their children’s  safety.

So getting angry at your sister is not the best idea. Because she is older, she will be able to teach you a lot of things that will make your life easier. At the very least, you can learn by watching her. Ideally, she will be a friend of yours for the rest of your life.

The following are a list of some stress reducers when you find yourself feeling jealous and upset:

1. Politely ask your parents when they think you will be able to participate in the activity you are feeling jealous of. (This may reassure you that your time is coming soon, but just be careful not to nag them.)

2. Start a gratitude journal where you write down at least 5 wonderful things that happened in your day, each night before you go to sleep. (you could even share this with your parents if you wanted to)

3. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are loved very much by your family, and that when your sister was your age, she had the same limitations that you do now.

4. Try to avoid comparing yourself to anyone, and live every moment of your life enjoying what you have.

If you were to fill a glass of water halfway, someone might tell you it is half empty. Someone else might say it is half full. The half full person is focusing on the positive. I suggest that you do too. Life definitely tends to be much more fun that way!!

Also, remember that younger sisters still get cool perks that older sisters don’t have anymore! (like having your laundry done for you) Soon enough you’ll be old enough to get the privileges that your older sibling gets.

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.

Encouraging Your Teen’s Creativity

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

There is a whole population of creative children gifted with the ability to dance, sing, paint, draw, write music, play instruments, and express themselves. – Sandra

Some adolescents are academically oriented, and can thrive in the classroom. But others perceive life through colors, sound, images and movement.

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?

Supporting your teen in finding ways to develop their creative expression is giving your child the gift of a lifetime. This could look like guitar classes, a standup comedy workshop, painting, dancing, singing, and writing lessons.

If your child shows interest in expressing themselves through the arts, be sure to give them the space to do so. Remember, academics are only part of the equation in building a fulfilling life.

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.

High School Means New Opportunities

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Is your teen daughter  starting at a new school this fall? Read on for tips on how to help her cope. – Sandra

“I am starting high school next month and I’m a little nervous! Can you give me any tips?”

Going to a new school can mean new beginnings. If there was anything challenging for you about your previous school, you have a chance to make some changes.

Have you ever noticed when some people come back from their summer vacation, they may look or act differently? Everyone grows through their experiences. How have you grown in the last school year? What would you like to do differently this school year?

Do you want to be a better student? Do you want to try a new sport? Would you like to meet some new people? This is an opportunity to set some new goals you would like to accomplish.

Sometimes, your friends go along with you to your new school. Sometimes, you need to make new friends. Think about what you liked about the friends you had last year and look for similar qualities in the people at your new school. But if you experienced a lot of drama with your friends last year, you may want to thing about choosing new friends.

If you find that after the first couple of weeks you are still feeling uncomfortable, ask for support! Express your feelings to your parents. Speak to a teacher you feel you can trust. Talk to a friend. You don’t have to go through this alone. Changes are not always easy. Sharing with someone about what you are going through begins the process of finding solutions to help you feel better.

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.

Helping Your Teen Daughter Feel Beautiful

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A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

It is important for teens to understand that a person’s physical appearance is only a small part of who they are. Read on to learn how I might approach this subject with your daughter. – Sandra

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? 
It’s not uncommon for young women to compare themselves to the airbrushed images of today’s fashion models. The media is full of photos of girls who appear to look flawless. Without make-up, perfect lighting and good camera angles, the girls teens see on television and on billboards do not really look the same as they do in the advertisement. They have pimples and have bad hair days like everyone else.
Everyone 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 everyone needs to learn how to work with what they’ve got. Have you noticed that people who eat fresh fruit and vegetables, and drink plenty of water have good skin? People who exercise regularly have a nice muscle tone and fit well in their clothes.

Before you decide to change, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions. Who are you changing for? Who are you comparing yourself to? What do you like about yourself? What can you realistically change?

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

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.