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Coping Strategies

Dipping, Dabbing and Dubbing


Dipping, Dabbing and Dubbing are potentially alarming behaviors that I learned about recently from teens in therapy.  I make no claim to being an expert in these matters. What I do know is that when they come up, we have to define our terms. As part of therapy, kids are exposed to so much information they can hardly sort it out. Texting and sexting in digital real time means there's...


Coping Strategies

Why Did I Become a Therapist?

I once read something by a famous divorce researcher that stuck with me all these years. Blakeslee and Wallerstein surmised that for some children it might have been far better if a parent had died than divorced because at least there’s a beginning, middle and end.

Blakeslee and Wallerstein went on to say that the long-term relationship effects on children of divorce can sometimes be more damaging than...


Coping Strategies

Letting Go of Your Teen

How come every time my 17 year old leaves the house I get a panic attack?

Protecting my investment I guess.

As these teens march forward after years of bills, laundry, camp, school, fights, flights and more, how do we suddenly let go?

Teenagers are not necessarily...


Coping Strategies

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Why do teens stalk each other's phones?  They think of themselves as mini detectives like on TV searching for proof of cheating.  Yet adolescents who have had their phones grabbed for scrutiny say the following: If she thinks I'm such a big cheater, I might as...


Coping Strategies

Why Cheat?


Stalking your boyfriend or girlfriend gets you what exactly?  When I talk to adolescents and young adults in therapy they often want to show me their texts that they're saving (for what?) as "proof" that their boyfriend or girlfriend has betrayed them. What is gained by this?  Adults also save stalking texts of ex's and etc. presumably for the judge (?) in a divorce case. Sometimes they want to spend the whole session reading it.  That's ok....


Coping Strategies

Hook-Up Hell

I wrote a professional article about my 20-something support group which hypothesized that young adults don't like the hook-up culture.  While this is only based on my anecdotal experience, I'd like to explore it.  Not one young woman stated that it was fun/exciting/freeing or feminist to decide to use and be used for sex.  It was terrifically disappointing/confusing/incomprehensible and rude the way young men failed to negotiate even a simple meeting, nevermind a date, appointment, event or hang-out.  It seemed they were...


Coping Strategies

Feelings Come and Go –


Teaching CBT or DBT to teens and young adults is a little like teaching surfing. You have to learn to ride things out.

Feelings come and go. It's no longer getting through it, or dealing with it or coping with it; it's TOLERATING it. The number one thing I've learned after seven years of yoga, besides being able to do a "plank," is being able to hold a pose just an extra moment.  You think you will break; but you...


Coping Strategies

Terrible Teens: What Scary Stuff They See

During my teen group the other evening the kids started telling all their tales.  Tales of hospitals, cutting, stalking, drinking, pregnancy, suicide, fears, predators, rape, vape, hookah, cleaning fluid, hand sanitizer, dabbing, sexting and overdoses. These kids are 14.

No longer am I completely shocked.

However, it makes me sad, mad and powerless to hear these harrowing tales.  I wonder how they will survive at this rate.  We discuss how they handle the absolute barrage of inputs they face on a daily basis:

One girl...