Finding the "Right" Therapist for your Teen

Mar 13, 2019

When I was 15, my mom took me to see a counselor. She thought that I needed someone to talk with since I had been, hmmm, let’s call it acting out after she and my dad divorced.

She chose a therapist who was also a teacher at my high school  I was reluctant, but I knew enough about her to feel that she didn’t see me as a pain-in-the-butt teen.

Despite my initial reluctance, I liked her. It seemed like we were a good fit – even though the selection process seemed to be based on complete convenience since she was right next to the school. (My mom says it was that she just “felt right”.)

 Since that time, I have worked with many counselors – either doing my own work (yes, counselors need to do their work) or professionally. Over the years, I have learned two critical things when it comes to choosing a therapist: choose good over convenient and always trust your gut.

 Good and convenient do not often go hand in hand. You want a therapist...

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Three Communication Mistakes Parents Make With Teens (and how you can fix em!)

Jan 10, 2019

Around age ten, (sometimes earlier, sometimes later) communication begins to change.  Without notice, kids may stop hanging onto every word — or sometimes, any word at all. After working with children and adolescents for almost three decades, one thing I have learned with absolute certainty is this: You really need to earn the right to be heard. Yeah, you read that correctly — you have to earn that right.

I know what you’re probably saying, “But I’m the parent, Jules. I mean, come on!” Or maybe you’re the educator and you’re thinking, “But I’m their teacher. Surely that means they need to listen to me.”

I get it. I really do. When you work and live with teens, those moments definitely pop up.

Here’s the truth we as parents, educators and adults need to accept: Assuming that your role in a teen’s life makes you worthy to be heard is a mistake.

A...

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Bring your Family’s Story to Life with this Year-End Activity

Dec 19, 2018

It’s so hard to believe that this year is almost complete. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was wondering what the next twelve months would bring. Today, I’m a little in awe by all that it did bring. Some of it amazingly good, some epically eh and definitely a bit of “I wanna stay in bed with the covers over my head..”  As I journaled about it all, I remembered a mentor who has once said, “Jules, the story of your life is being written every single minute” and “The days may feel long, my friend, but the years are oh-so-short.”

As a mom of three teenagers, I am ever so aware that time goes by too fast. From the time kids are born, it is so easy to get caught up in the chaos of naps, the tedium of tantrums, and drain of schedules. I’m the first to raise my hand and admit that I spent quite a bit of time in their early years wondering if fast-forwarding all the clocks in the house would get them to bed sooner. As they...

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Managing and even Reducing Holiday Stress with Teens

Dec 06, 2018

Hey Julie~

The holidays are both our family’s most favorite and most stressful time of the year. This year I’m extra worried because I feel like I can’t tell what my 15 year old son  is feeling. Is he excited? Is he down? Is he happy? Help! How can I support my son this holiday season so he doesn’t get too stressed?

 L.B., mom of 3, ages 9, 10 and 15

***

 The holiday season is full of trees lit with beautiful lights, bells are ringing, school recitals, parties, and sweet treats are being passed around. Sounds idyllic, yes? For many teens, though, the holidays can be a challenging time of year. The bounce-back that allows teens to manage stress at other times of the year may not serve them now. Academic pressure including finishing projects and studying for finals, completing community service hour quotas, attending team events and competitions coupled with parties and gatherings, gift buying dilemmas and confusion, FOMO (fear of missing out)...

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