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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

How Do You Get Your Teenagers to Go to Therapy?

I’ve got a better question…how do you get your teenagers to do ANYTHING?  Here are some typical complaints by parents.  “My son thinks I am the crazy one who needs to go to counseling instead.”  “My daughter does not want to sit in front of a stranger and tell them all about her personal problems.”

Here are some ways to encourage your teen –


1.  Introduce your teenager to a counselor BEFORE major problems arise.
2.  Promise that you will go into therapy with them.
3.  Empower your teen to take ownership of the sessions.
4.  Negotiate.  We will postpone therapy if I see a marked progress in your behavior.

If all else fails…take control!  That IS your job after all.  Call me for a consultation.  I am a New Jersey child psychologist who has dealt with the challenges of teenagers for decades.  I have even developed a special teen-friendly technique.  My name is Dr. Steven Sussman.  Call me today to meet in my Mountainside, New Jersey office at (908) 217-8106.    

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Dramatic Effects of Technology.

You can ignore it, deny it, or accept it for what it is, but technology has altered the human race.  It makes us think differently…even dream differently.  Our memory, our sleep patterns, and our attention spans are perceptibly changed.  You know what it does to adults, so what does it do to younger minds?

Here are some ways that technology has completely “re-wired” us –

1.  FOMO…fear of missing out
2.  PVS…phantom vibration syndrome.  You THINK that your cell phone is ringing
3.  Younger people are remembering less and less personal info. as it is “stored”
4.  Studies show that kids are more likely to react with unchecked hostility
5.  Falling asleep with the glow of laptops becomes more and more challenging

Inquiring minds want to know, and developing minds NEED to know!  Generation Z (people born in this century) will soon account for a third of the population.  Dr. Steven Sussman wants to help you navigate these swirling waters.  Dr. Sussman is a child psychologist who serves Mountainside, NJ and the area.  Please call him for an appointment at (908) 217-8106.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

On the Spectrum.

These are three words that we never heard together just a generation ago.  Today being “on the spectrum” implies autistic spectrum disorder, but knowing where your child falls within that spectrum is vital.  The huge misconception is that all children who are diagnosed with ASD have virtually the same symptoms.

In fact, about the only similarities children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder have in common are symptoms which are a direct result of the neurological disorder itself.  You may be looking for a lack or absence of communication skills, stereotyped or repetitive behaviors and difficulty or lack of interpersonal or social skills.  Does any of that sound familiar?

As the concept of autistic spectrum disorder has changed and its treatment methods have evolved, Dr. Steven Sussman has evolved as well.  Over the decades he continues to understand more and more about ASD as studies become more advanced.  A noted New York and New Jersey child psychologist, Dr. Sussman wants to help your family.  If you have experienced the issues listed above call him today for a consultation at his Mountainside, NJ office.  That phone number is (908) 217-8106.

Monday, April 1, 2019

What the Adults are Saying.

Oh this younger generation, they are spoiled and entitled and hopelessly glued to mass media.  A gentleman named Bruce Gibney even wrote a book about them entitled, 'A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America'.  That’s right Baby Boomers!  This is what “The Greatest Generation” said about US.

Now, the other side.  Author Sally Kane wrote that Baby Boomers were competitive, goal-oriented, and career-focused—and also nonconformist and willing to question authority.  Compared to their parents’ generation, Boomers were more likely to protest policies and social practices they saw as unjust.

I bring this up for one specific reason.  Everything they said about us (and other generations) are the same basic challenges that we face today.  Substitute the television for the Smart Phone and just listen to the criticism.  I am New Jersey child psychologist, Dr. Steven Sussman.  For decades I have heard it all.  The problems are not new…just the solutions.  Call me at (908) 217-8106.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Oh My!

We have come a long way in a short time.  These days trolls are lurking everywhere.  You don’t need to see a new study which shows that teenagers who spend hours a day on social media are at an increased risk of suffering from poor sleep and symptoms of depression.  Recently, the British released a study of 14 year old girls who were found to have a 50% increase in depression when they used social media at least five hours a day!

Among boys, the heaviest social media users showed a one-third increase in depression and its related symptoms.  The gender difference has been noted among psychologists as “alarming”.  The bottom line here is this…teens that reported using social media most (especially girls) almost universally have problems sleeping and suffer from some type of depression.

New York area child psychologist Dr. Steven Sussman is NOT trying to change the world…just help your kid(s) cope with the “social media bombardment”.  Growing up you could not possibly have seen this coming.  Dr. Sussman has dealt with it for years.  Please call him for an appointment at his Staten Island or Mountainside NJ office at (908) 217-8106.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Your Complicated Teen.

Maybe we should say just teenager…which one is NOT complicated.  Come on, think back to your own teenage years!  The parents of today’s Baby Boomers rarely sought out therapy for their complicated teen.  It was a completely different time.  If they did, the sessions were generally done privately and not in groups.

Why do today’s teens with social problems often fall behind from individual therapy?  The Journal of Clinical Psychology did an interesting study on this problem.  Over a 20-year period they reported that group therapy was more effective with children and teenagers than other forms.  It reports that the average child or adolescent treated by group treatment was better off than 73 percent of those who were not.

Dr. Steven Sussman believes in group therapy for teenagers.  It is not “one size fits all,” but over the decades he has discovered that kids who suffer from things like bullying, shyness, anger management, and many other issues are better off in a group setting.  Contact New York/New Jersey child psychologist Dr. Steven Sussman to discuss a session at (908) 217-8106.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Here Kid, Memorize this and Go Home.

Have you ever felt that way about your child’s school?  Schools in the New York City area and throughout the country are established to turn out students and send them back into the real world.  As a child psychologist I often hear about “the shutdown learner”.  A child simply shuts down rather than doing classwork or homework.

When I hear about these traits, I look for some of the signs such as –

1.  Unusual obsession with the computer
2.  Instructions are meant to be disobeyed or completely ignored
3.  Can’t understand the written material presented
4.  Plenty of negative self-talk
5.  Simply giving up academically

Please do me and, more importantly, yourself a favor.  Go to my website sussmankids.com and visit the ODD tab.  Here, you will find an article on “shutdown disorder”.  It may be one of the most helpful reads you have ever had.  After that, please give a call at (908) 217-8106 and we will talk about it at my Mountainside NJ or Staten Island NY office.