wall street journal

Children Put ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ on a First Name Basis

Hayden Mathias digs for her buzzing iPhone, and taps the FaceTime icon. “Oh, hey Dave,” the tall, blond haired eighth-grader says to the face filling her screen. read more

Underage on Facebook

What are millions of children under 13 doing on the social networking giant? Their parents aren’t exactly sure—and that’s what’s so frightening. read more

time magazine

Hit the Brakes! GPS Mom Is Watching

New big-brother devices for tracking teen drivers are meant to keep accidents and deaths among teen drives down. read more

real simple

The Best Parenting Advice On Living With Teenagers

a cup of joe

Trying Out Slow Parenting

After work and on the weekends, I often take our boys on neighborhood adventures — to the playground, to the carousel, to the bookstore, to the deli to get popsicles. read more

Huffington Post

Dr. John Duffy is a regular contributor to Huffpost Parents. Read his latest article “Parenting the Long Game“.

chicago tribune

The Road To Dadville

​”Change diapers, lie on the floor and be part of their lives. You have to adapt to what evolves. You’re set in your ways and get selfish with your time — now you have to be generous with your time.” read more


Cyrus Webb Presents “25 Books Every Man Should Read”

Conversations book club is excited to announce its first-ever reading list designed specifically for men. read more

your teen

When Sports Go Wrong For Teenagers (and Parents)

“There is an awful lot you can learn in sports that you will use the rest of your life,” explains John Duffy, a Chicago-area psychologist and author of The Available Parent. “You learn to play on a team. You learn to handle challenges. You learn to deal with adversity. read more

she knows

How to Deal: Your Teenage Daughter is Pregnant

“Pregnant teenage girls do not need lectures about ‘carelessness’, ‘stupidity’ or ‘disregard for family rules or values.‘ I have witnessed a lot of this type of shaming from parents, and it makes things worse.“ read more


What Should You Do When You Don’t Like Your Teens Friends?

“If a parent can lay aside his or her judgment, they may learn some valuable information not just about the relationship, but also about the core nature of the child.”   read more


Therapists Spill: How Being a Clinician Changed My Life

“I have the privilege of learning from the processes of change my clients go through. One client, for example, devised an affirming mantra for himself in session. He decided that, within each decision each day, he would “write the better story.” I have adopted this nearly daily in my life since then.” read more


Therapists Spill: The Hardest Part About Therapy

“I find the toughest part for me, and perhaps my clients as well, is creating movement among long held, maladaptive patterns of thoughts and beliefs. We create our deeply held thought patterns at a young age, and undoubtedly they serve a purpose for quite a while, sometimes years, even decades.” read more


Therapists Spill: 12 Ways To Accept Yourself

Dr. Duffy helps his clients hone in on their strengths and abilities by writing them down. “If you’re having a tough time coming up with your list, name one strength each day.” read more


Therapists Spill: My Mental Health Hero

In honor of World Mental Health Day today, five practitioners reveal the heroes who’ve influenced how they work — and even live their lives. read more


Therapists Reveal What Therapy Can do For You

“At times of high stress, even the most highly functioning among us loses perspective on the issues we suffer. Talking these issues through with a caring, attentive professional can provide immediate perspective,” read more

SheKnows Parenting

Teaching Children About The Presidential Election

“Make this a teachable moment,” says Dr. Duffy. “It’s the perfect opportunity to discuss how we treat others and want to be treated by them.“ read more

SheKnows Parenting

When Teens Cut: The Scary Truth Teens Can Easily Hide

“I’ve talked to many kids who have cut themselves, and the reasons vary quite a bit, from self-loathing to attention-seeking,” he says. “The most common explanation I hear, however, is that the cutting is a marked relief, a physical release of psychic pain. Most say they feel little or no physical pain at all.” read more

Augusta Family Magazine

Frenemies: Love-Hate, Hot-Cold, Pinkie-Promise Best Frenemies Until We Both Grow Old

Children who exhibit what John Duffy, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist and author of The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens, calls emotional lability are prone to gravitate toward relationships with bouts of turmoil, crisis and strain. In addition, they may exaggerate frenemy tensions to a greater degree. read more

SheKnows Parenting

Parenting Guru: How Available Are You?

What’s the radical way to parent your tween or teen? Being unconditionally loving and accepting, says Dr. John Duffy, author of The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens. That means no lectures, criticizing or getting emotional. Can you do it? read more

SheKnows Parenting

Is MTV Reality TV Bad For Children?

“Most kids are just curious,” explains Dr. John Duffy, author of The Available Parent. You can be curious, too, about why your child finds the shows so enthralling. read more

Good Housekeeping

Answering The Trickiest Questions

Job loss, divorce, disease — they’re difficult topics to discuss with anyone, but with kids, special finesse is required.

read more

Your Teen Magazine

Ask The Parenting Expert

read more

Redbook Magazine

Underage On Facebook

The younger the child, says John Duffy, the more brutal the language she may use. “A girl 9, 10, 11—she’s too young to understand the repercussions,” he says. Girls lob words the way they slingshot Angry Birds, but what comes crashing down is another girl’s confidence. “At that age, her self-esteem is just being established,” Duffy explains. “She has nothing to stand on.” read more

SheKnows Parenting

Parenting A Gay Teen

“The best you can do is talk to your kids about sex and sexuality, and make homosexuality a part of that discussion. And keep that discussion open and ongoing. “Glee, for example, provides opportunities to talk about sex,” says Dr. Duffy. “Listen in a non-judgmental way to what your child has to say.” read more


Admissions Letters Week: Parent Insights

Dr. John Duffy, clinical psychologist and author of The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens, has helped many families through the anxiety-ridden maze of college application, acceptance and rejection over the last 15 years.“I find that this process goes most smoothly when parents keep their own anxiety about the process in check, so that they can be more present and available to their already-anxious child,” he believes. read more


How Clinicians Practice Self-Care & 9 Tips for Readers

John Duffy, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and author of the book The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens, defined self-care as “attending to your own needs such that you are content, focused, motivated, and ‘on your game.’” read more

Can You Ask Him To Man Up?

“Modern men are taking cues from women about how to be more sensitive and aren’t spending as much time obsessing over being the man of the house.” On newsstands now!

SheKnows Parenting

Teach Your Teen How To Talk Again

The loss of regular language among our kids is a growing concern for Dr. John Duffy. “We will never be able to ‘beat’ the texting revolution, but we can control the way we communicate with and relate to our kids,” says Dr. Duffy, who offers these communication tips: read more


Adventures In Private Practice: Parenting Expert Dr. John Duffy

When it comes to parenting and family relationships, particularly during the tween and teen years, Clinical Psychologist Dr. John Duffy has become the go-to expert. Learn more about how Dr. Duffy’s parenting niche found him, how he manages the stress of being “the boss” and how he’s built a thriving private practice. read more


When Grown Kids Return to the Nest …

Before boxes are unpacked, it’s important to establish separate living areas to allow for privacy, says John Duffy, Chicago-based family therapist and author of “The Available Parent.” “Privacy becomes a greater issue now, for both parents and adult child, than it was even a few years back,” Duffy said. “All of them are, after all, adults now.” read more


Would You Marry a Man like Tim Tebow?

“First, he is a highly talented and successful and strong young man,” adds psychologist Dr. John Duffy, author of The Available Parent. “Regardless of your beliefs, he also stands shamelessly and openly by what he believes.” read more

SheKnows Parenting

Character Education for Parents

“The greatest influence on the behavior of our children is our own behavior as parents,” says Dr. John Duffy, clinical psychologist and author of The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens. “Our role modeling is a more powerful influence on our kids than many parents realize.” read more


4 Teen-Parenting Strategies That Don’t Work — And What Does

The teen years tend to foster fear: fear that our child will fail, over-experiment, embarrass us [and] become depressed. But parenting from a place of fear rarely works. It leads to poor parenting decisions, Dr. Duffy said. Below, he shares his insight on outdated approaches, why they don’t work and what does. read more


Letting Go of Control

Are you and your spouse clashing over parenting duties? Find out how to co-parent in peace!  read more

Teen Vogue‹

The Social Network

Thanks to sites like Facebook, it’s now easier to than ever for you – and everyone else – to see when you’re excluded.

In the November issue on newsstands now!


Happy Parents = Happy Kids

“I’ve had many an ashamed husband or wife on my couch admitting to a modicum of bitterness at the loss of attention and affection from their spouse,” Duffy said. “I’ve heard more than once the fear that the child will ‘take my place in the heart of my partner.’” read more

Enough Time Moms

Busy Mom Saved By the Books

A book written by Dr. John Duffy always grounds and reassures me.  It is called: The Available Parent Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens. I use parts of his book as mantras. “Remain available to your child through the teenage years and you lay a foundation for a healthy loving relationship.”  Amen. â€â€‹read more


Therapists Spill: Why I Love Being a Clinician

There are a few reasons I love being a psychotherapist. First, I find it to be a singular honor and privilege to play a part in the stories of my clients. read more

The Family Groove

Hit The Road, Jack

Don’t Get Tripped Up When Hitting The Highway On A Family Road Adventure

Ah, the great American road trip—it’s a handy way to get from here to there, and it’s practically guaranteed to create the kind of stories your family will tell again and again. But if the thought of being trapped in a metal box for long periods of time with restless kids makes you rethink road-trippin’ it, you’re not alone. read more

Man of the House

How to Talk With Your Teenager

To those of you who still have cute, little kids who think you’re the greatest thing since their pacifier, I bring bad news. read more


Letting Go: How to Give Your Child More Independence

With Halloween approaching, is it a safe idea to allow kids to go out on their own? read more


The Empty Nester’s Guide to Kids & Money

When Pam Boutelle moved from her home in Kansas City to marry her once high school sweetheart who now lives in Virginia, she left behind far more than her life-long home – she left her grown kids and grandkids too. read more


What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting A Private Practice

If you’re considering going into private practice, it’s always smart to talk to other clinicians who have been there. When I opened my practice years ago, I had very little business experience. Luckily, I did a few things right that allowed me to be profitable… read more

Natural Choice Directory

Ten Years Later: How 9/11 Changed Our Nation

The morning of September 11, 2001 is forever seared into our nation’s collective consciousness. Horrific loss of life, massive destruction of landmarks, and infiltration of our air travel system rocked our very foundation, shattering any sense of security we may have had. read more

Santa Barbara Independent

Avoiding the Custody Shuffle

My parents split up when I was a toddler, and I’ve always felt lucky that I was too young to feel the full sting of my “normal” being torn in two.

While divorce alleviates the intolerable tensions of a sour marriage, the children of divorcing couples rarely feel the same relief. Mom and dad’s breakup rocks their notion of “family,” and ping-ponging between dual residences upends their sense of “home.” read more

Natural Choice Directory

Ten Years Later: How 9/11 Changed Our Nation

The morning of September 11, 2001 is forever seared into our nation’s collective consciousness. Horrific loss of life, massive destruction of landmarks, and infiltration of our air travel system rocked our very foundation, shattering any sense of security we may have had. read more

Keen Reader – Interviews

Q: How important is reading for building empathy?

A: In my experience, two things happen when teenagers read, either fiction or non-fiction. First, they do learn to empathize with the people they read about, and many teens choose to read about people they feel they can relate to. It’s so healthy for kids to lose themselves in the stories of others for a while. Also, teens often understand themselves ever-more-clearly, and feel better understood themselves, when they read. read more


The School Year: Riding the Emotional Roller Coaster

When Christine Hammond picked up her first-grade daughter from school one day, she sensed that something was wrong. Her suspicions were confirmed when her daughter cried uncontrollably for 20 minutes while sitting in the car. As a concerned parent of three, Hammond patiently waited for her child to reveal that she did not earn a sticker for the week because she talked out of turn in the classroom. read more

sacramento parent

When Your Child’s The New Kid

Your child walks into the crowded cafeteria and scans the room looking for an open table. Suddenly all eyes are on her. The room goes quiet. Her peers have stopped mid-sentence, mid-bite, to stare at “the new kid.” Face flushed, cheeks turning red, it appears she may have forgotten how to breathe.  No, this is not a nightmare. It’s your child’s first day of school–or maybe just her worst fear of how it might go. read more


Taking Your Teen to a Therapist

It’s hard enough knowing when you need to see a therapist and navigating the entire process from picking a professional to making the most of your time once you do. read more


Are You Living Vicariously Through Your Kids?

In his book, The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens, psychologist John Duffy, PsyD, talks about an adolescent client named John, who’s a star football player. He’s so good that the local paper predicts that he’ll play in Division I football, and college scouts have already started contacting him. read more

Parent USA City

When You’re the New Stepparent of a Teenager

Parenting a teen can be a daunting task no matter what, and stepparenting adds unique challenges. But with a little flexibility and a lot of patience, the relationship will develop for your blended family. read more


Got a Shy Kid? Here’s How to Help Him Make Friends

Make Friends with Fellow Parents
Getting involved with a parents’ group can help you and your child make friends, says clinical psychologist John Duffy, author of The Available Parent. When parents become friends, they are able to model positive relationship-building for their children. Of course, kids to connect on their own terms, too. “Even though parents may introduce their kids to their friends’ kids, the children still need to drive that connection,” he says. read more

eHow Family

The World of Parents and their Tweens

The tween years can be an exciting yet treacherous time for a child. Beyond an increased awareness of physical and emotional changes, these 8- to 12-year-olds clinging to childlike innocence are pushed into the world of adolescence. read more

SheKnows Parenting

Helping the introverted child make friends

Some children are loud and boisterous, quickly making friends. But others are more introspective, losing themselves in their thoughts and taking pleasure in the company of books, art supplies and other solitary activities. They aren’t necessarily shy, but they are different — introverted. read more

Santa Barbara Independent

The Brand Canyon

What To Do When Your Kid Wants Brand Name Clothing. read more


Parenting Predicaments 101

The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens is a refreshing take on parenting. Dr. John Duffy, family counselor, life coach and “top teen expert” (an honorific all the more remarkable for its near impossibility) proposes proven techniques to negotiate the ever-changing, seismic shifts of puberty and beyond. read more


Taking Your Teen to a Therapist

According to Duffy, the time to take your teen to a therapist is “when you note a marked change in either her affect, her behavior, or both,” especially “if the changes are sudden.” read more


Dr. John Duffy, author of The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens

Chicago teen therapist Dr. John Duffy has written a book that gives parents a new strategy for helping their adolescents become competent, resilient, connected adults. read more


TMI Parenting Anxiety

When less information online is more

Dr. John Duffy, author of The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens, argues that the glut of product and Internet-induced knowledge is not just hurting parents, it’s hurting kids. read more


Does Legislation Guarantee Our Children Online Safety?

Under the proposal, social networking sites would have to allow users to establish their privacy settings–like who could view their profile and what information would be public to everyone on the Internet–when they register to join the site, instead of after they join. Sites would also have to set defaults to private so that users would choose which information is public.” read more


Be The Available Parent

I can’t believe I’ve got a teenager, a tween, and a nine-year old. Lately, my 13-year-old son has seemed a little “off,” and other adults have said, “Oh, he’s just being a typical teen. I don’t want that. I want to continue to be able to talk openly and honestly with him. read more


Connecting with Teens in a Small Screen World

We are on vacation in Florida with another family. Three young teenagers are on board, my 13-year-old included. A number of times over the past week, I have peered over to see each of their beautiful faces lost in a 3½ inch screen: a Nintendo DS, iPhone, iPod Touch, or any other iThing! read more


Excerpt from “The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens”

The Good-Enough Teenager

“Love me like you would have if I had turned out the way you pictured.”

—Amy, 15

The challenge for you is to acknowledge and accept your children right now, where they are. Too often, we expect our children to be different than they choose to be. We judge them, and the clear message they receive, far too often, is “You’re not good enough.” I work with many a parent who will present a laundry list of changes a teenager needs to make to graduate to the “good enough” category. If this scenario resonates with you, consider a life with your teenager that is peaceful, where you choose not to judge her, where you support and accept and love her. You need to know that you can decide, right now, before you finish this paragraph, that from here forward, your child will always be good enough in your eyes.  read more


10 Tips for Raising Teens and Tweens

Let’s be clear here about one very important point. Your teenager will screw up. Your teenager should screw up. Your teenager needs to screw up in order to learn, to grow. read more

Chicago Parent

How to get siblings to get along: 8 tips to do the trick

We’ve all dreamed of them. Many of us have actually seen them. But how do we actually raise them? I’m talking about siblings who get along. Those mysterious brothers and sisters who enjoy being together and have each other’s back. read more

Mybitsandbleeps’s Blog

Connecting with Teens in a Small Screen World

We are on vacation in Florida with another family. Three young teenagers are on board, my 13-year-old included. A number of times over the past week, I have peered over to see each of their beautiful faces lost in a 3 ½ inch screen: a Nintendo DS, iPhone, iPod Touch, or any other thing! read more

eHow Family

Your Turn: Games to Foster Better Sibling Relationships

A squabble over toys or a disagreement about house rules may seem pretty typical between a brother and sister. However, when the arguing escalates and disrupts home life for the entire family, it may indicate that sibling rivalry is rearing its ugly head. read more

SheKnows Parenting

Why Parents Allow Kids to Drink

Underage drinking is against the law and can lead to dangerous behavior and tragedy. Yet many parents are not only aware that their kids drink, they allow it. read more

Huffpost Living

Avoiding the Parent Trap: How to Change Your Thoughts About Parenting Teens

It’s hard to say how it started.

I know for a fact that we parent teens today with more fear, ego and judgment than calm, confidence and openness. There are countless theories as to why. read more


9 Ways to Make the Most Out of Therapy


Clients also worry about what others will think. They wonder what’ll happen if their co-workers or friends find out they’re going to therapy. They might automatically assume others will think they’re “weak, flawed [or] crazy,” comments Chicago psychologist and life coach John Duffy, Ph.D. In reality, though, “More often than not, people tend to be very supportive,” he says. Plus, it’s up to you who you tell about your therapy, and confidentiality laws protect your privacy.

The therapy process itself can get confusing. According to Duffy, people might have questions like: “Is it brainwashing? Will it change my personality? What if focusing on my problems will make them worse, not better?”

These myths and concerns stem from various sources, including therapists themselves. Howes says: “…no two therapies/therapists are alike, the media does a lousy job of portraying realistic therapy, many people are still too ashamed to talk about it and therapists don’t always do a good job of teaching clients the best ways to get the most from their therapy.”

Read more

AOL Health

Excerpted from

Sex, Teens and the TV ‘Situation’

by Mary Beth Sammons,

The more effective response to parental concerns about teen sexuality is parenting that opens parent and teen discussions, said Dr. John G. Duffy, a clinical psychologist who specializes in teen and parent relationships. He said television merely mirrors life and that the reality for parents is that these uncut shows are unavoidable.

“Adolescents already interested in sex are more likely to be consumers of sexually explicit material,” said Duffy. “Let’s face it. Teens will be interested in sex. It is entirely appropriate developmentally. So I would encourage parents to watch TV with their kids and discuss it with them. Although counterintuitive for many, that is a great deterrent to early sexual activity.”

Read more at AOL Health

The Responsibility Project by Liberty Mutual

Excerpted from

The Pushy Parent Trap

by Alyssa Giacobbe,

First, experts say, talk to the child. “The most important thing you can do as a teacher is listen,” says Dr. John Duffy, a Chicago-area clinical psychologist and author of the forthcoming book, The Available Parent. “Say to a student, ‘You seem overextended. Do you feel like you have too much to do?’ If they trust you, they’ll tell you.” Raise the issue at the next parent-teacher conference or, if it seems more problematic—if the child is consistently disruptive, or falling asleep in class, for example—call the parents and gently explain your concerns. “Give them the good news first,” says Duffy. “Johnny is a great kid, but it seems like he’s got an awful lot going on, so much so that he’s having a hard time focusing. Remove the accusation and replace it with observation.” Parents might not respond immediately or may even be dismissive, but, Duffy insists, they’ll hear you.

Duffy recalls a 12-year-old patient whose parents pushed her hard in a number of activities: advanced classes, violin, piano, dance, soccer. “So many of these activities would be squeezed into a day she had little time to sleep,” he says. “All of the pushing and excelling served a need of the parents, and actually led to a high degree of anxiety for the girl. She was as anxious a person as I’ve ever met, and for what? So her parents could say their daughter is an incredible achiever.” How to tell the difference between pushing and encouraging? Duffy suggests parents take a step back and focus on their child’s strengths. “Parents need to exercise self awareness and insight,” he says. “If you’re fulfilling your own needs, you’re probably pushing.” Teachers might gently remind parents that school’s not just about academic success and that every after-school minute needn’t be packed.

Read more

Excerpted from

Piedmont Author Enriches Lives Through Gratitude

The Oakland Tribune

By Rin Kelly

Among Lesowitz’s favorite exercises is a practice, developed by psychologist John Duffy, that helps parents of teenagers recapture the capacity to appreciate their children uncritically. A mother of two, Lesowitz credits this exercise with also improving her relationship with her children.

Living Life as a Thank You

Viva Publishing

By Mary Beth Sammons and Nina Lesowitz

Dr. Duffy’s blog, “Leaving Funky Town,” comprises the basis of the Chapter entitled “Shifting Gears: Leaving Funkytown and Gearing Up to Gratitude.” Pick “Living Life” up at a bookstore near you.

Excerpted from

Toughening Your Teen Up for the Real World

By Dr. Kemi Oguntala


Your teen needs you. This cannot be emphasized enough. It is what a colleague of mine, Dr. John Duffy calls Available Parenting. You have to be there when they need help without making them feel like that can only happen when they are in crisis. You see, if you are only able to really make time when your teen is in trouble (they know you HAVE to leave work to get them from the principal’s office or jail), well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out, get into a lot of trouble and my parent will give me time.

Read more at www.theteendoc.com.

Excerpted from

How to Effectively Parent Your Teens

By Kara Tamanini


Parenting in today’s times has become very difficult and parents often do not know what the right answers are and how to effectively parent their tweens and teens. I recently had the pleasure of being introduced to John G. Duffy, clinical psychologist, who is a parenting expert on tweens and teens. He recently completed a book, The Available Parent: How to Connect with and Empower Your Teens and Tweens, which will be in bookstores in the next couple of months. His concept, Availability, which has its core or premise that parents need to be truly available to their children without judgment and a willingness to simply listen and be there for them.

Read more

Radio interview

Available Parenting and the Gift of Goodbye

Hosted by Armin Brott

Positive Parenting Radio

Discussion on Availability, a new approach to parenting teens. Armin Brott, known worldwide as Mr. Dad, is a nationally syndicated columnist who has sold millions of books on parenting.

Excerpted from

Why So Mad?

By Andrew Santella

Notre Dame magazine

John Duffy ’86, a Chicago-area psychologist and life-coach, says many of the teenagers he works with use text-messaging and social networking sites such as MySpace to lash out at classmates or authority figures who have crossed them. Part of the appeal is being able to spew bitter thoughts at targets without having to confront them and deal with them as human presences.

Read more

Excerpted from

Bring Out Your Inner Child This Spring: Fun Activities for You and Your Kids

By Stephanie Elliot


…Dr. John Duffy, a prominent psychologist and parenting expert, mentions in his book, The Available Parent: Lessons From An Insider On Parenting Teens, that children laugh an average of 185 times a day to a parents’ 15 times a day.* “Laughter contributes greatly to the richness of your relationship with your child,” says Duffy in his book. “I think it is important, perhaps critical, that we enjoy our children; that we play with them and celebrate with them. If we lack this connection, I think we also lack the ‘juice’ to have influence in their lives as well, to provide guidance, structure and discipline. This would be a significant loss all around.”

Excerpted from

Teaching Tweens and Teens How to Be Self-Sufficient

By Stacey Nerdin

Root & Sprout

…Dr. John Duffy, clinical psychologist and certified life coach, suggests “Let him decide what time to do homework. Allow her to set her own alarm, and be responsible for getting up on her own. Talk to him about whether to go to that party, but let him make the decision.” It will be in these moments that we help our teen to segue from the isolated environment of home and chores to the larger experiment of experiencing how responsibility affects outcome. Dr. Duffy explains, “We need to provide our teens real-world opportunities to demonstrate their success, to themselves. We need to de-regulate at least part of their lives, providing them a wide enough berth to make good decisions and, just as importantly, mistakes. . . Allow teens the space to make mistakes, and to problem-solve their way through them. No doubt, rough waters build more character than smooth sailing any day.”

Excerpted from

Teen Therapy: 4 Common Pitfalls And How To Troubleshoot Them

by Liz Logan


“My therapist understands me, and you never will.”

While it’s essential for a teen to feel a strong connection with a therapist in order for the therapy to be effective (see our article on finding the right therapist), the relationship can get too close. Sometimes the teen idealizes the therapist, demonizes the parents and tries to engage the therapist in an alliance against the parents, according to Dr. John Duffy, a psychologist with private practices in Evanston and Hinsdale.

Excerpted from

Therapy For Your Teen

19 Specific Questions To Ask During The Search

by Liz Logan


Bring your teen into the selection process.

If therapy is your idea and not your teen’s, be firm about your decision, but then give him or her some choice. Hopefully, the teen will feel some ownership and buy in. After you’ve screened some candidates over the phone and have a few that you like, give the phone numbers to your teen and let him or her screen further.

Good therapy cannot be done without a strong connection between the therapist and the teen, so parents need to be attuned to the teen’s vibe, says Dr. John Duffy, a psychologist with private practices in Evanston and Hinsdale.

It may take a couple of sessions to determine whether or not your teen will be comfortable talking to a given therapist. If a trusting connection does not begin to form, it may be time for a referral elsewhere.

Radio interview

Relationships: What a Trip!

The Lite Show, AM 950

Hosted by Fr. John Cusick and Dr. Kate DeVries

This Valentine’s Day show addressed the joys and struggles of relationships.