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For Teens

Lots of teens come into my therapy office totally stressed out! One of the first things we work on is self-care (not selfish, self-care). So if you're feeling stressed you might want to ask yourself the following questions:
1. Am I spending time with people who make me feel good about myself?
2. Have I held on too long to relationships that used to bring me happiness, but now are bringing me down?
3.Could I shut off my cell during times of the day when I need to focus on homework or just relax?
4.Could I ask for what I need from my friends and family? Example: "I need you to just listen and not give me advice...I had a bad day."
5. Can I work-out, walk, dance, swim....something to keep my body active and get rid of stress at the end of the day?
6. Can I try to focus on TODAY. Not worry about the future or spend time stressing about the past.
Your boyfriend's moodiness
Your best friend's break-up
Your sister or brother's crazy behavior
Your parent's worrying about you all the time
(Not when it's at the expense of taking care of YOU!)
Ask for what you need, in a calm, mature way--you might be surprised what happens.


I was born in New Jersey. My mother would read books to me and my younger sisters (Amy and Jill) every day. Our dad had three jobs to support our family so my mom could stay home with us girls. No one in our family had ever gone to college, but my parents always told me that if I studied really hard that I could do anything.
I have always loved to read. You could say I was a read-aholic. The library was the most special place in the world to me, and because I was so shy, books became my best friends. My favorite books growing up were A Wrinkle in Time, To Kill A Mockingbird, and Gone With the Wind. I admired authors who helped transport me to other worlds and made me think.
I must admit that I wasn’t ever part of the popular crowd, and by junior high, I felt pretty much felt alone much of the time. Even though I tried to dress cool with mini-skirts, and my long, straight hair, other kids liked to bully me. I remember getting a note from one of the popular girls one day that said, “Don’t eat at our lunch table ever again. No one likes you!” That really hurt--but something good came out of it. I decided that I wanted to help kids who were having problems. I wished someone could have told me that: “No matter how bad it seems everything will turn out okay.”
After first becoming a teacher, I went back to Rutgers University and got a masters degree in social work and became a therapist specializing in working with kids and families. For the next ten years I spent my time listening to many teenagers’ stories, but I never wrote seriously until my youngest son entered kindergarten. That’s when my writing exploded. I wrote poetry at first, then personal essays, a novel that never sold, a parenting book, and then finally, my first young adult novel, RETURNABLE GIRL
For fun, my husband and I like to walk our dog on the beach by our house. I also like to cross-country ski and snorkel whenever I get the chance.