Adulting, College, Parenting, Positive Psychology

10 Ways to Build Resilience

teen and young adult therapist los angeles

Did you know that one in four college students struggles with their mental health? This is not a surprise, given how stressful college can be. Students leave behind the familiarity of home and their established support systems to live and learn with a bunch of strangers. This is why I speak at conferences and write about the importance of preparing for the transition to college. It’s also why building resilience is so important. Continue reading “10 Ways to Build Resilience”

Adulting, College

Graduation is Nearing, and I’m Freaking Out!

Graduation is Nearing, and I'm Freaking Out!


I originally wrote this article for an undergraduate newsletter and thought it would be fun to share here as well. Enjoy! 

Graduating college can be a thrilling accomplishment, and it can also be the cause of a lot of stress. You were independent in college… but you’re going to be Independent (yup, with a capital “i”) once you graduate. Ugh, that sounds really heavy, right? Continue reading “Graduation is Nearing, and I’m Freaking Out!”

College, Depression

Is it Depression or Just Normal College Stress?

depression vs college stress- therapy for college students


We thought it was just normal stress from being in college…

Unfortunately, precursors to a major depressive episode and depression often masquerade as “just normal college stress”. Sadly, the parents quoted above learned this the hard way. If they or their daughter had known what to look for, she could have gotten the help she needed and avoided withdrawing from college. Learn what signs to look for and get help before things get bad.  Continue reading “Is it Depression or Just Normal College Stress?”


Top 10 Things Colleges Look for in Applicants

College application time can be very stressful for the whole family, especially because sometimes it’s hard to predict what college are looking for. With the help of the Independent Educational Consultants Association’s (IECA) survey, let’s demystify what colleges are looking for in applicants. Below are the top ten strengths and experiences colleges look for (with my added commentary below each point). Continue reading “Top 10 Things Colleges Look for in Applicants”


Study Skills Backed by Science

As a psychologist that works with lots of college students, I see how important study skills are. Many of my clients discover that their high school study skills didn’t set them up for success in college. Even though they are capable students, they find themselves struggling in class. They become demoralized, their self-esteem takes a hit, and they may even find that their academic struggles stir up anxiety or trigger a depressive episode.

Fortunately, as a clinical psychologist, I studied learning and memory. If my clients are struggling, I give them a few research-backed study tips and refer out to a great educational therapist or skilled tutor if they need more specialized support.

So what are my favorite scientifically-grounded study skills? Continue reading “Study Skills Backed by Science”

"Failure to Launch", College, Parenting

Ensuring a Smooth Transition from High School to College

The transition to college comes with lots of excitement… and usually also a hefty dose of anxiety. College is often the first time your child will live away from home and be entirely responsible for his or her life. Not only will he or she be handling more rigorous academics, but he or she will be navigating a new social scene, juggling more competing responsibilities than ever, and managing higher levels of stress. Without proper planning and support, your child may struggle or flounder. Continue reading “Ensuring a Smooth Transition from High School to College”

College, Parenting

Pick the College that Fits You Best

As someone who works with emerging adults (18-20 year olds) already in college or graduated from college, I know how important college fit is. I’ve seen how a poor fit in terms of academics, campus community, and supports can really hurt a person’s ability to thrive in a college environment. I’ve also seen students who transferred to somewhere that’s a better fit were able to really flourish and make huge progress.

I don’t want to perpetuate the myth that there is a perfect college for everyone. However, I do think it’s important that people understand that not every college (no matter how prestigious or well known) is a good fit for every student. Picking a college that fits you best encompasses more considerations than just reputation and finances.

Here are some questions to consider when deciding if a college if the right fit for you: Continue reading “Pick the College that Fits You Best”

"Failure to Launch", College, Parenting

Is Your Teen Ready for College?

is your teen ready for college?

Transitioning from high school to college can sometimes feel like a precarious leap, instead of the manageable next step in the journey to independence. Oftentimes, students who are successful in high school find the transition to college to be a challenge because the work is faster paced, the instruction is less specific, and the academics are more competitive. College requires students to be more independent, self-driven, and organized. Additionally, the social scene can feel intimidating and more stressful than in high school. Continue reading “Is Your Teen Ready for College?”