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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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Now displaying: 2018
Nov 5, 2018

In this episode, Roy talks about how adults can be more approachable to the teens and young people in their lives. Roy acknowledges that some people are naturally approachable in general but believes that approachability is a skill set that can be learned. Roy offers seven tips for being more approachable to teens, including the importance and effectiveness of smiling and learning to truly listen to teens instead of being preoccupied with advice to give when approached by a teen.


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. 

Oct 29, 2018

Roy discusses sexual abuse and assault of teens with Laurie Delgatto-Whitten. For close to thirty years, Laurie has served in the field of youth ministry. She has been involved in various local, regional, and national youth ministry training programs and conferences.  She has a longstanding interest in the spirituality of adolescents, and is an outspoken advocate for teen involvement in the Church. She has written and edited dozens of ministry and educational books and resources. As a survivor of sexual assault herself, Laurie offers powerful and authentic insight into the experiences of sexual assault survivors and how to discuss the issues of sexual abuse and assault with teens. 

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. 

Oct 9, 2018

In this episode, Roy talks with New York Times best-selling author Jessica Lahey. Roy and Jessica discuss her groundbreaking and controversial book, The Gift of Failure: How The Best Parents Learn To Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. 

Jessica's experience as an educator led her to write a book about how perfectionism and the desire to be everything to everyone leads young people to become more anxious and apathetic about learning. Jessica and Roy also discuss how young people see success and the damage adults do when predicating love of children on school performance. Jessica offers concrete strategies that parents can use to help themselves and their children face, embrace, and then move on from failure. 

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. 

Sep 24, 2018

In this episode, Roy talks with Mike Williams, co - writer of "Getting Things Done For Teens," based on the original book written by David Allen. The purpose of the book, from its back cover: 

"Very little time, focus, or education is being spent teaching and coaching this generation how to navigate this unprecedented amount of “stuff” entering their lives each day. How do we help the overloaded and distracted next generation deal with increasing complexity and help them not only survive, but thrive? How do we help them experience stress-free productivity and gain momentum and confidence? How do we help them achieve autonomy, so that they can confidently take on whatever comes their way?"

Roy has addressed teens' struggle with the glut of input and noise they face every day many times on Today's Teenager and in his speaking. He and Mike discuss how the "Getting Things Done" method can help teens transform thought into action and create a self-directed and fruitful future. 

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. 

Sep 14, 2018

In this episode, Roy discusses the challenges and opportunities experienced by Hispanic youth today with Dr. Hosffman Opino. Dr. Opino was born in Colombia where he pursued undergraduate studies in Philosophy. He taught philosophy and religion at various academic levels and worked for the National Confederation of Catholic Education of Colombia. He currently holds an M.A. in theology with concentration in Church History and a Ph.D. in Theology and Education from Boston College.

“In an attempt to promote collaboration, I suggested that Dr. Ospino reach out to Lifeteen. In my ignorance, I said, “Clearly hispanic ministry is a blindspot” for Lifeteen.  I’ve since learned that this is not, nor has it been a “blindspot” for Lifeteen, who has for years, intentionally worked to empower communities of faith to build, implement and sustain vibrant Catholic youth ministry that invites Hispanic/Latino teens to encounter Christ. My apologies go out to the entire Lifeteen organization who works tirelessly for the minds, hearts and souls of young people."

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. 

Aug 29, 2018

In this episode, Roy interviews young adult, John Hodges Davis. John shares his journey as a child and a teen pursuing a golf scholarship and a professional golf career. In his Junior year, John and his family discovered that he was born with hip dysplaysia, ultimately leading to two major surgeries which forced him out of competition and into a search for a new dream. John shares what was helpful to him during a bout of depression and how his faith opened the door for a new direction in his life.  

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. 

Aug 3, 2018

It's common for teens to say things to us or about us that provoke strong emotions in us. In this episode, Roy offers strategies to avoid inflicting your emotional reaction on your teen while also acknowledging the incident instead of pretending it didn't happen.
Among the strategies Roy suggests are using the phrase "when you (teen behavior) I feel (your vulnerable emotion)," along with the question "tell me more" when talking with teens. These tips and others will enable you to engage in meaningful and successful communication with teens that will sustain trust and build a foundation for future communication.

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. 

Aug 2, 2018

In this episode, Roy discusses the difference between letting teens know that we understand their reasons (or lack thereof) for explaining their behavior and giving them a pass for their behavior, thereby excusing it. Roy suggests that as caring adults, we do teens no favors by excusing their choices and behavior and offers suggestions for communicating this concept to teens. 

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. 

Jun 25, 2018

 In this episode, Roy addresses one the questions he's most frequently asked by parents: how do you know how much screen time is enough for kids and how do you know when they're spending too much time on their devices? Roy believes that while there are no exact formulas for just how much screen time is best, Roy does believe that the issue of screen time should not be avoided or ignored. Roy offers principles and tips to have conversations with spouses and young people about the importance of regulating screen time. 

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. 

Jun 2, 2018

In this episode, Roy addresses the second season of the controversial Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. Roy begins by detailing the plot of the first and second seasons and then explores the positive and negative elements of the series. Roy offers strategies and talking points for adults who wish to discuss the show's themes with teens. 

Today's Teenager on season one of 13 Reasons Why: Part 1. Part 2

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.


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. 

Apr 23, 2018


It’s easy to see how one could assume that today's youth doesn’t care as much as teens once did. Over the years, Roy has discovered several, at times overlapping, reasons teens become apathetic. Many parents and other adults will comment or complain that teens don't care about school, church, or their future as much as they believe they should.

In this episode, Roy explains that the truth is that today's teens are disenchanted with the world today. At the root of much of this apathy is disappointment and disenchantment with people, institutions, God, and even themselves. This disillusionment is often the result of unmet expectations, and many times, teens are hurt, let down, and abused well before they are aware of their expectations.

Roy has found that teens do indeed care, but are exhausted from caring so much. They struggle to find hope in the midst of the complex emotional landscape they may be experiencing. Roy believes adults can help in various ways, including acknowledging the reality of what teens are feeling, engaging teens in what they care about, and helping teens to help teens find healthy ways to recreate.


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. 

Mar 30, 2018

As Roy explains in this episode, more and more teens are having difficulty regulating their emotions. Being “emotional” and having a roller coaster of feelings is a normal part of being a teenager. Yet many teens experience this intensity at unhealthy levels and for extended lengths of time. Roy explores how teen's inability to “cap”, regulate or de-escalate their feelings puts them at risk for more serious emotional problems such as anxiety and depression.

Roy offers strategies aimed at helping teens to better manage their emotional lives, including talking with teens when they are calm instead of during the heat of the moment, helping teens to differentiate between feelings and reality, and teaching teens self-soothing skills. These methods can help adults who work with teens guide young people through the tumultuous emotional journey that all teens experience and provide a basis for healthy emotional regulation throughout their lives. 

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. 

Mar 9, 2018

In this episode, Roy addresses one of the greatest sources of anxiety for teens today: the pursuit of an unhealthy and often unconscious definition of success. Roy uses the example of teens who suffer panic attacks after failing tests to address what grades and performance really mean to some teens. For teens consciously or unconsciouly struggling to live up to a harsh definition of success, a failing grade really represents their belief that they are unable to succeed in school and in the life that follows. These teens have developed a fear of failing to achieve perfect grades, get into the best colleges, and then secure high-paying jobs that will lead to happiness.

Roy shares his own issues with this definition of success, including its incompatibility with true Gospel values, the pursuit of unquestioned goals, and the false equivocation of money with happiness. Roy suggests that adults can help these teens by first examining their own definitions of success through a self-inventory. With this awareness, Roy believes adults can begin a dialogue with teens that helps them analyze and evaluate what they expect of themselves and others in a pursuit of happiness and success.


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 26, 2018

In this episode, Roy explores a form of depression that many adults are unaware young people are experiencing: existential depression. This type of depression is often a of psychological and spiritual experiences in which matters of life and death, freedom, intimacy, and ultimate meaning weigh heavily on a teen.

As Roy explains, existential depression was believed to only be experienced by 'gifted' teens who are creatively or artistically talented. Roy shares his belief that the label 'gifted and talented' is a misnomer as all teens possess gifts and talents, some of which are not as easily recognized as others. Roy has also worked with many teens who would not fall under the 'gifted and talented' category but who are still experiencing existential depression.

Roy delves into why some teens experience existential depression, including factors like tragedy, betrayal, a lack of faith, and sensitivity to the injustices of the world. Finally, Roy explores the signs that indicate teens are experiencing existential depression, like a preoccupation with matters of mortality and the meaning of life, loss of interest in religious or spiritual participation, and sudden loss in the rest of life, among others.

 

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 6, 2018

In this episode, Roy explores the surprising way that anxiety manifests among many teens today: perfectionism. 

The teen who has to do most things absolutely perfectly, like homework with little point value or getting upset when not making a perfect score on a test are teens struggling with anxiety-driven perfectionism. Roy explains that while these many not seem to be related to anxiety, they very much are and result from increasing demands on teens from almost countless social and personal pressures, many of which are tied to our Western society's concept of perfection. 

Roy suggests that adults cannot help these teens without first reflecting on their own definition of success. Knowing this definition will enable adults to ask teens about their own ideas of success and then begin to address those definitions and their implications. Roy offers a list of questions adults can use in these conversations as well as other useful suggestions for initiating a conversation on the topic of perfectionism. 

Roy suggests the following blog entries as resources for engaging teens in conversations on anxiety and perfectionism:

The Art of Listening To Teens

What's Causing The Anxiety Epidemic In Teens Today? 

The Importance of Letting Teens Fail with Michelle Hernandez

Five Conversational Tips For Teens


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