Coping Strategies

Dear Mom, 6 facts for Mothers of Teens


On this Mother's Day I am beyond numb from missing my mom for over 16 years. A lifetime. The unfairness of cancer knows no bounds. The torture of watching the most important person you'll ever know seeps into a memory so painful it's impossible to clear from trauma and loss. In the history of life nothing is sadder than watching a mother die.
And yet.
Here I am. Managing two teen girls without a guidebook or a roadmap.
As a...

Coping Strategies

My Ex is Killing Me – Teen Angst 101

He dubbed me.
Just like that.
Stopped liking my posts.
Took me off his snap.
Told his friends he's moving on.
Then he did move on.
BUT I DID NOT.
Now what do I do?
My friends don't want to hear that I feel numb/upset/empty/worthless one month later.
My parents don't have time to take me to therapy.
I feel hopeless; like it's never going to end.

Now my parents take my phone away because my grades are slipping.

Now my parents want to know...

Coping Strategies

Chaos, Confusion and Control – 3 Simple Truths

Things have been a bit chaotic here in my world.  First I got bit by a dog (not mine, thank god), which is not something you ever expect to happen to you.  It hurt and was shocking most of all.  It's one thing to try to control things in your immediate life, it's another to be attacked out of the blue.  It was weirdly comforting to have my neighbor take care of...

Coping Strategies

How to Make a Change in 4 Easy Steps

Making big changes is hard.  Making little ones, well, why not.  They say to gain a habit takes 30 days.  The older you are, the harder it is.  But right now the young people have it right.  Do not accept the status quo.  Whether it's sensible gun regulation or stopping biting your nails, the trick seems to be in baby steps.

For example, I have a client who wants to stop her OCD hand washing.  So according...

Coping Strategies

What is Self-Sabotage and How do I Stop?

We all do it. Not just teens and young adults but all of us. I don't know if it's fear of success, fear of failure or just plain impulsivity that drives people. Then again, it could be boredom. I think channeling your destructive impulses is one of the main goals of DBT. If only we could focus our energies to something good, like a fierce marshal artist or a flame thrower or a meditator.  But alas...

Coping Strategies

A Little Story about 3 Big Teen Problems…

Last year I wrote about Teens Living in the Age of Fear. It was about tragedy, PTSD, trauma and the long legacy of Columbine. I have recently learned from this must read article from the Washington Post that over 100,000 teens have now been witness to the gun violence in our midst. They write, “They were born and raised in a society where mass shootings are a thing.” How will their resilience hold up. How will it shape a...

Coping Strategies

6 Ways to Stay Ahead of Procrastination


Are you a teen or young adult lost in your work?

I feel you.

I think I may have ADD, however I have always compensated by completing my work AHEAD OF TIME so as to minimize anxiety.  This works for me.  It could work for you too!  I am so ahead of schedule that I often buy birthday presents months in advance and then lose them!

Still.  I talk with teens and young adults...

Coping Strategies

Girls Demand More – 5 Ways to Strengthen Our Boys

All my writing is about girls.  More girls come to therapy.  So what is going on with our boys these days?  From dating to gun violence we seem to be at a loss.

I met a new patient who is a 17 yo boy from the 'burbs.  He was cute in that awkward kind of way, lanky and unsure of himself, athletic.  His parents were in shock that he was struggling with such strong emotions as...

Coping Strategies

The Children Speak – #NeverAgain

As a therapist I read threads on how to speak to your children about the FL school shooting.

I can't hear it.

I am paralyzed.

All I can do is post stupid memes on FB that do nothing. I can't find the words professionally or personally for myself, let alone my children, or any children that I see in practice.

     "I would rather not be alone" they said
     You've Done Nothing (said one...

Coping Strategies

Hook-Up Culture Shock – 10 Ways to Fix it Right Now



Let's get rid of it. The hook-up culture. I don't know when it started. But let's stop it. I'm guessing it began as a feminist thing. We want casual sex too! We don't care. But we do. In the last 15 years of my practice never once have I heard a young girl tell me that she liked being dumped in the morning. NEVER ONCE. As I was watching these confident olympian girls and women,...

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