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Today's Teenager

Roy Petitfils, LPC has worked with teenagers for over 20 years. He shares insights and tips to help adults understand, reach and influence today's teenagers.
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Today's Teenager
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Mar 21, 2017

In this episode of Today's Teenager, Roy explains the differences between communicating and connecting with teens. Roy suggests that when adults who work with teens or parents of teens say they want to learn to better communicate with teens, they're really seeking deeper connection. Roy offers three strategies for connecting with young people, which is the fruit of good communication. Roy illustrates how these strategies can be effective and that the attitude adults must adopt for successful connection is a willingness to leave their own comfort zones to engage teens in their own experiences. 

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Roy has established Today's Teenager as a non-profit organization dedicated to covering the expenses of therapy sessions and other mental health services for teens and families that would otherwise be unable to afford them. Visit todaysteenager dot com for more information.

Mar 10, 2017


In this episode, Roy explores the dynamics of blended families with Mrs. Melissa Lowery, a colleague of Roy's at Pax Renewal Center in Lafayette, LA. 

Roy and Melissa delve into the struggles and joys unique to blended families. Melissa offers insight and advice to those who are in the midst of navigating the process of creating new families in light of divorce, separation, or the loss of a spouse. Melissa encourages adults in blended families to recognize they don't have all the answers and to admit this vulnerability to their children. She also encourages adults who minister to or work with children in blended families to provide stability, consistency, and understanding. 

Click here to read more about Melissa and the services she offers as a therapist at Pax Renewal Center. 

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Roy has established Today's Teenager as a non-profit organization dedicated to covering the expenses of therapy sessions and other mental health services for teens and families that would otherwise be unable to afford them. Visit todaysteenager dot com for more information.

 

Feb 17, 2017

In this week's episode, Roy explores how the practice of religion, including elements like ritual and community, can enable teenagers to find comfort and encouragement in the ever-changing world in which they are growing up. 

Roy explains how the predictability and sameness of ritual can provide a sense of stability for young people, despite their attraction to novelty. Religious practice also offers hope for a better future, a sense of relief in the humble realization that there are things we cannot and do not have to change, and the encouragement that comes from belonging to a community of like-minded believers. 

Finally, Roy offers practical suggestions for families looking to introduce or increase ritual and spiritual discipline in their family lives and how certain apps can benefit teens in their spiritual growth. Roy recommends the Pope App, Jesus Calling, Bob Rice's 40 Day Spiritual Workout, The Bible app, and Headspace

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Roy has established Today's Teenager as a non-profit organization dedicated to covering the expenses of therapy sessions and other mental health services for teens and families that would otherwise be unable to afford them. Visit todaysteenager dot com for more information.

Dr. Dore and her staff embrace their orthodontic patients like family. In addition to traditional metal and ceramic braces Dr. Dore enjoys using Invisalign clear aligners, and she is an Invisalign “Preferred Provider." Call her today for a free exam and Live Life Smiling at (337) 267-SMILE, or click here to learn more about Dr. Dore and her practice. 

Feb 2, 2017

In this episode of Today's Teenager, Roy addresses a topic often brought up in his conversations with parents: "how do we handle our teens and social media?" Roy offers practical tips to parents seeking to regulate the use of social media and electronics by their teens. Roy encourages parents to determine and then communicate their values regarding social media use to teens and then use those values as the basis for setting healthy boundaries. These boundaries include issues like time spent on devices, frequency of use, and what parents feel is appropriate for teens to communicate via social media sites and texting. 

This episode of Today’s Teenager is sponsored by Dr Danielle Ardoin Dore’ Orthodontics.

Dr. Dore and her staff embrace their orthodontic patients like family. In addition to traditional metal and ceramic braces Dr. Dore enjoys using Invisalign clear aligners, and she is an Invisalign “Preferred Provider." Call her today for a free exam and Live Life Smiling at (337) 267-SMILE, or click here to learn more about Dr. Dore and her practice. 

Jan 23, 2017

In this episode, Roy welcomes Dr. Amy Cavanaugh, a licensed clinical and medical psychologist in the Acadiana area.  Roy and Dr. Cavanaugh discuss the topic of psychotropic medications and their role in treating teenage mental health issues. Roy and Dr. Cavanaugh address the stigma these medications have in today's culture, the hesitance many parents encounter when this form of treatment is suggested, and that psychotropic medication is most effective when coupled with therapy and other mental health care. Dr. Cavanaugh and Roy also discuss how parents and adults can enable teens and other young people to develop coping and social strategies by allowing teens to encounter hard work and failure. 

Click here for  more information about the services Dr. Cavanaugh and her colleagues at Acadiana Medical Psychological Services can offer you and your teen. 



Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Roy has established Today's Teenager as a non-profit organization dedicated to covering the expenses of therapy sessions and other mental health services for teens and families that would otherwise be unable to afford them. Visit todaysteenager dot com for more information.

Jan 17, 2017

In this episode, Roy continues discussing the epidemic of teenage suicide by focusing on what adults can do when they recognize the signs that indicate a young person is contemplating suicide. Roy encourages adults to broach the subject with teens by first asking permission to discuss the issue, which allows teens to feel a measure of trust and security with the adult. Even resistant teens will be inclined to at least listen to what an adult has to say about suicide using this method. 

Roy stresses that adults working with or parenting teens must understand that broaching the subject of teen suicide does not cause it to happen, but rather, exposes it to healthy discussion and most often, prevention. Roy explains that adults must work through their own discomfort to help reach today's teens, who are struggling with tremendous anxiety and stress. These struggles, Roy points out, are not getting any easier or diminishing for teens and are to blame for the high rate of teen suicide today. 

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Roy has established Today's Teenager as a non-profit organization dedicated to covering the expenses of therapy sessions and other mental health services for teens and families that would otherwise be unable to afford them. Visit todaysteenager dot com for more information.

Jan 12, 2017

In the first in a two-part series on teen suicide, Roy confronts the epidemic of teenage suicide in the United States, beginning with a detailed examination of those mental health disorders that are most associated with suicidal tendencies. Roy also addresses the active and passive types of suicidal tendencies and explains the importance of viewing suicide from a mental health perspective instead of a moral one.

Finally, Roy shares the warning signs that signal a teen or other young person may be suffering from those mental health disorders that may lead to suicide. Roy also offers practical steps that adults can take if they suspect a teen or young person they know is considering suicide. 

Roy encourages adults working with young people to take advantage of the resources offered by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention or AFSP. The AFSP's website can be found here and features a wide variety of resources helpful in addressing suicide as well as contact information for local ASFP charters. If you or someone you know is in crisis, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HELLO to 741-741.

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

AFSP. 

Roy has established Today's Teenager as a non-profit organization dedicated to covering the expenses of therapy sessions and other mental health services for teens and families that would otherwise be unable to afford them. Visit todaysteenager dot com for more information.

 

Jan 3, 2017

In part two of a 2-part series on understanding teens who identify as being on the LGBTQ spectrum, Roy offers practical strategies for helping these teens on their journey of self-discovery. Roy suggests that adults working with teens who self-identify as LGBTQ serve those teens best when they provide a safe place for teens to discuss their experiences, but also, by admitting their own ignorance and fear of the issue. Roy encourages those who works these teens and especially, those who parent them, to reject condescension and judgment and instead see their role as someone accompanying these young people on the journey of their identity exploration and identification. 

To get Roy's newest ebook "Little Book of Questions that Really Get Teens Talking" go to todaysteenager.com and sign up or email Roy at roy@todaysteenager.com.

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Roy has established Today's Teenager as a non-profit organization dedicated to covering the expenses of therapy sessions and other mental health services for teens and families that would otherwise be unable to afford them. Visit todaysteenager dot com for more information.

Dec 30, 2016

In this first part of a 2-part series, Roy begins an exploration of the sensitive and critical issue of the LGBTQ spectrum. Roy begins the series by detailing what each of the terms in the spectrum (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) means and how these terms relate to the experiences of teens who use them to identify themselves. Drawing from his extensive experience with teens, Roy provides valuable insight into the importance of this issue and always remaining mindful that people are at its center, not labels. 

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Roy has established Today's Teenager as a non-profit organization dedicated to covering the expenses of therapy sessions and other mental health services for teens and families that would otherwise be unable to afford them. Visit todaysteenager dot com for more information.

Dec 27, 2016

Roy sits down with Yvette Quantz, a registered dietitian, speaker, and entrepreneur who helps people of all ages to develop a healthy relationship with food through nutrition counseling and other services. Roy and Yvette discuss a variety of topics, including the importance of helping young people build a healthy relationship with food and activity, recognizing the signs of eating disorders, and much more. Click here to learn more about Yvette and the numerous services she provides. 

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Roy has established Today's Teenager as a non-profit organization dedicated to covering the expenses of therapy sessions and other mental health services for teens and families that would otherwise be unable to afford them. Visit todaysteenager dot com for more information.

Dec 20, 2016

A question all people who work with or know young people will eventually hear is "why does God allow bad things to happen?" As Roy explains in this episode, this question is not an intellectual or theological one, but rather, an overture for a relationship with the person being asked. Roy explains that teens already know adults don't have the answer to this question, but are asking it to know that they are being heard and understood. Roy offers practical tips for addressing this question with teens and expanding upon the question to build a meaningful relationship with those who ask it. 

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Roy has established Today's Teenager as a non-profit organization dedicated to covering the expenses of therapy sessions and other mental health services for teens and families that would otherwise be unable to afford them. Visit todaysteenager dot com for more information.

 

Dec 16, 2016

Roy addresses the unfortunate but common reality that for many people, including teens, the holiday season is not 'the most wonderful time of year.' As Roy illustrates, some teens experience grief, loneliness, frustration, fatigue, and deep sadness. Divorce, family strife, loss of of a loved one, and other factors can keep young people from experiencing the rest, peace, and joy that the holiday season can offer. Roy offers practical strategies and insights into helping adults recognize the signs of a young person's sadness or malaise and how to help them combat those feelings. 

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Roy has established Today's Teenager as a non-profit organization dedicated to covering the expenses of therapy sessions and other mental health services for teens and families that would otherwise be unable to afford them. Visit todaysteenager dot com for more information.

 

Dec 14, 2016

In this episode, Roy offers invaluable insight into the art of listening to teens and other young people. As Roy explains, people do not truly become vulnerable unless they feel they are being truly heard. This is especially true of teenagers, who spend most of their time being required to listen to other people during school or other activities. Roy offers practical listening strategies that enable adults to become truly receptive during verbal and non - verbal communication with teens. 

To get Roy's newest ebook "Little Book of Questions that Really Get Teens Talking" go to todaysteenager.com and sign up or email Roy at roy@todaysteenager.com.

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Roy has established Today's Teenager as a non-profit organization dedicated to covering the expenses of therapy sessions and other mental health services for teens and families that would otherwise be unable to afford them. Visit todaysteenager dot com for more information.

Dec 6, 2016

In this episode, Roy continues to discuss the epidemic of anxiety among young people and teens today. As Roy stresses again in this episode, 1 in 5 young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have a diagnosable anxiety disorder. To help adults help the young people in their lives face and work through anxiety, Roy offers seven strategies that enable young people to cope with and ultimately overcome anxiety.

These strategies range from prioritizing and list-making to simple breathing techniques and medication and psychotherapy. Roy encourages adults to take anxiety and its effects seriously and to be open to discovering the best means of helping young people overcome those effects. 

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Roy has established Today's Teenager as a non-profit organization dedicated to covering the expenses of therapy sessions and other mental health services for teens and families that would otherwise be unable to afford them. Visit todaysteenager dot com for more information.

Dec 2, 2016

In this first of a two-part series, Roy explores the alarming degree of anxiety found in young people and teens today. In addition to defining the kinds of anxiety most prevalent among young people today and their causes, Roy offers insight into how societal expectations and goals affect young people, as well as  the role adults can play in teaching young people to cope with anxiety. 

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Roy has established Today's Teenager as a non-profit organization dedicated to covering the expenses of therapy sessions and other mental health services for teens and families that would otherwise be unable to afford them. Visit todaysteenager dot com for more information.

Nov 18, 2016

In this week's episode of Today's Teenager, Roy sits down with Michelle Hernandez of Hernandez Group in Lafayette, Louisiana. Michelle is a licensed professional counselor who works with individuals and families struggling with a variety of issues including anxiety, depression, anger management, and working with children who are in the spectrum of Aspergers and autism. 

Roy and Michelle discuss why it's critical for parents and other adults to provide a healthy context for young people to understand, accept, and move beyond failures and personal struggles. Roy and Michelle agree that adults do a disservice to teens when they continually insulate them from the lessons and character development that come with failure. 

Click here to visit Michelle's website or call Hernandez Counseling at 337 - 501 - 7730. 

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling


Roy has established Today's Teenager as a non-profit organization dedicated to covering the expenses of therapy sessions and other mental health services for teens and families that would otherwise be unable to afford them. Visit todaysteenager dot com for more information.

 

   
Nov 1, 2016

In this episode, Roy shares insight into how parents can effectively broach the subjects of career and future with teens. Roy explains that teens are truly concerned about these issues, despite appearing to parents and other adults as noncommittal or apathetic. Roy explains that today's teens have a vast number of career options to choose from due to social media and other technologies, and that so many options can be overwhelming. Roy encourages parents and adults to use compassion and patience when discussing these issues. 

To get Roy's newest ebook "Little Book of Questions that Really Get Teens Talking" go to todaysteenager.com and sign up or email Roy at roy@todaysteenager.com.

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Oct 21, 2016

In this special episode of Today's Teenager, Roy shares his journey towards giving a TEDx presentation last month in Lafayette, Louisiana. Roy offers insight into his own creative processes and how they were challenged and refined by the strictures of a TEDx presentation. 

Click here to watch Roy's full TEDx presentation. 

To get Roy's newest ebook "Little Book of Questions that Really Get Teens Talking" go to todaysteenager.com and sign up or email Roy at roy@todaysteenager.com.

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Oct 10, 2016

Roy welcomes Catholic educator and author Jared Dees to Today's Teenager to discuss a variety of topics, including Jared's thoughts on how to effectively reach teens as a Catholic educator, the adults who influenced his own development, and what resources he recommends for Catholic educators. 

Jared is digital publishing specialist at Ave Maria Press and creator of the popular website, The Religion Teacher. The Religion Teacher provides practical resources and effective teaching strategies to religious educators. Jared holds master's degrees in education and theology from Notre Dame and has taught in Catholic schools and parish religious education programs. His articles have appeared in various Catholic educational magazines and websites. Jared is the author of 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator and lives in South Bend, Indiana, with his wife and three children.

Click here for Jared's blog and other resources he's created for Catholic educators and ministers. 

Oct 4, 2016

In this second episode on teen self-injurious behavior, Roy explains the severity of such behavior and why parents and others who work with teens should not ignore it. Roy offers anecdotes from his work with teens that illustrates how important it is to seek professional help for teens who are hurting themselves and strategies that parents and adults can use to broach the subject with teens. 

To get Roy's newest ebook "Little Book of Questions that Really Get Teens Talking" go to todaysteenager.com and sign up or email Roy at roy@todaysteenager.com.

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Sep 30, 2016

Roy addresses a serious affliction facing many teens today: self-injurious behavior. In this first of a two-part discussion of what is often known as "cutting," Roy explains the root causes of self-injurious behavior and why these actions are taken by young people. 

Roy discusses the various names and methods teens use to injure themselves, the affect these actions have on the brain, what teens are getting from self-injurious behavior, and finally, how parents and other adults can address this issue with the young people in their lives.

To get Roy's newest ebook "Little Book of Questions that Really Get Teens Talking" go to todaysteenager.com and sign up or email Roy at roy@todaysteenager.com.

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Sep 28, 2016

In this episode, Roy discusses the fear that parents have about their teens missing out on experiences or opportunities that other teens may have. Roy explains that the number one mental health concern for teens today is anxiety, caused by the stress of being too busy. More importantly, young people are moving from experience to experience without learning how to pause and reflect upon the significance of those experiences and how they relate to their own personal development.

Roy suggests that adults can help teens to reflect by providing opportunities for relational connection and intimacy that avoids the distractions of our modern lives and instead allows families to explore the meaning of past events and their significance. 

To get Roy's newest ebook "Little Book of Questions that Really Get Teens Talking" go to todaysteenager.com and sign up or email Roy at roy@todaysteenager.com.

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling


Sep 23, 2016

This week, Roy breaks down three of the biggest parenting fears he hears about from other parents and experiences in his own parenting. These fears, Roy says, are those that are not frequently discussed directly among other adults.

Fears of our children missing out, rejection by other parents, and judgment from other parents often lead some parents to isolate themselves and burden themselves with heavy and unhealthy shame. Roy stresses the importance of moving past through denial by naming and addressing the fears that a parent faces as they navigate the treacherous waters of their children's teenage years. 


To get Roy's newest ebook "Little Book of Questions that Really Get Teens Talking" go to todaysteenager.com and sign up or email Roy at roy@todaysteenager.com.

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Sep 16, 2016

In this episode, Roy addresses the need that teens have for attention from and the mindful presence of the adults in their lives. Roy shares his own experiences of feeling invisible and unnoticed as a teen and how that has informed his awareness of the dynamics of positive and negative attention in a teen's relationship with the adults in their lives. 

Roy offers three methods that can help adults be more aware, attentive, and present to the teens in their lives, with a focus on the importance of careful listening to ministering to and loving young people. 

To get Roy's newest ebook "Little Book of Questions that Really Get Teens Talking" go to todaysteenager.com and sign up or email Roy at roy@todaysteenager.com.

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling

Sep 9, 2016

In this episode, Roy continues to explore the concept of "parenting from the inside out," which means parenting from a less utilitarian and more introspective place. Roy expands on this idea by illustrating how adults can begin to see not only what they can do for their children but what the gift and journey of parenting can do for their own personal development and relationship with God. Roy explains that this perspective can enlighten those tough times in parenting, especially those involving difficult issues like gender identity and sexuality. 

To get Roy's newest ebook "Little Book of Questions that Really Get Teens Talking" go to todaysteenager.com and sign up or email Roy at roy@todaysteenager.com.

Today's Teenager podcast is produced for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to nor should it be used as a replacement for professional counseling.

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