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Teens Have Options

 November, 2011

Quote of the month


"Adolescents are 

not monsters.  

They are just

 people trying to 

learn how to 

make it among 

the adults in the world, who are probably not so 

sure themselves." 


 byVirginia Satir, 

The New Peoplemaking, 1988





My Services
Pre-Marital Counseling
Certified Prepare/Enrich Program Facilitator
Marital Counseling
Infidelity Issues
Transition Counseling
Self-Esteem Support
Problem-Solving Support
Renew Marital Excitement
Family counseling

Divorce Support
Redefining Life Purpose
Grief/Loss Support


Providing assistance through the entire Marriage Life Cycle.


I welcome the opportunity to help you work through current issues and to look at your future with a sense of hope and purpose.


Masters Degree - Applied Psychology from Seton Hall University


Post-Masters Degree -Marriage and Family Therapy from Seton Hall University


Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate


Certified Facilitator  of Prepare/Enrich 

Pre-Marital Program


Private Practice 

since 2008


NJ work experience totaling 5 years


Married 23 years


Mother of 2 teenage daughters 


Lived in Indiana, 

New Jersey and Texas


Passionate about 

what I do




I hope this email finds you and your family well.  An issue has come to my attention in recent weeks so much so that I wanted to address it to my subscribers in the hopes that it inspires adults to reach out to the teenagers in their lives. For those of you who already reach out, thank you on behalf of those teenagers.


The issue relates to some of our youth not realizing that they have options in this world regarding how they respond to the challenges they face every day.  Whether you are a parent or an aunt or an uncle, grandparent or a neighbor who has influence over the youth of our nation in some way (teacher, school aide, volunteer, bus driver), please forward this newsletter to them or at least convey its message to those around you. 




Maryellen Dabal, MA, LMFTA

Southlake Counseling & Neurofeedback Center

420 North Carroll Ave Suite 140

Southlake, TX 76092



Missed previous newsletters??

Go to  Click on the newsletters link at the bottom of the home page. Enjoy.....


From The Positive Perspective.......


Our youth, especially our teenagers, are bombarded with so many mixed messages in society today.  They are battling hormones and learning to drive and figuring out what they want to do with the rest of their life.  They are dealing with peer pressure, cyber bullying, fitting in with the right crowd...the list goes on and on.


What I am seeing is that some teenagers feel they have no one to turn to or they have been taught that they have to handle everything on their own; they reach out through Facebook instead of face to face contact with a trusted loved one.  They feel they have to tackle the world alone and when they run out of options there is nothing left to do except the one option that puts fear in all of us. You may be able to change that by reaching out to the youth around you NOW.


If you are an adult and you feel comfortable doing so, please be sure you let any youth in your life know that you are there for them.  Physically tell them in person or in a phone call.  Take the time to really sit down with your kids and be sure they know that THERE ARE ALWAYS OPTIONS IN LIFE.  As a fellow mental health professional named Viktor E. Frankl put it, "you can't always control what happens to you but you can always control how you respond to what happens to you." Kids need to learn this. They need to learn that they have a choice.


Let them know that you will not judge them for a mistake but praise them for coming to ask for help.  Seeking guidance is a sign of courage, not a sign of weakness.  Some problems are beyond what a teenager can handle.  Their brains are not fully developed yet. That's why they have parents, whether one or two or many generations of family, or other adults in their life to guide them into making good choices.


Teenagers need to know that if they are faced with an issue involving a friend that is beyond what they can handle to go tell an adult who can help.  They don't need to shoulder all that pressure alone.  They need to tell that trusted adult what the exact situation is, no matter what it is, so the adult can step in and be sure everyone is safe.


Help our youth separate who they are as a person from the behavioral choices they make.  They are not a bad person if they make a mistake. Help them to learn from the mistake so it doesn't happen again.  Encourage them to be honest about the situation.  Honesty should be rewarded with love, understanding and support.  Many youth numb their situation with drugs and risky behavior because they don't have anyone to turn to who will listen.  No one has let them know recently that they care.  We, adults need to slow down sometimes and skip the golf tournament or the business meeting to attend to our most beloved youth.  Don't we want them to grow up to do the same for someone else?  Think about it.


So, I challenge you to find a teenager or youth who is in your life....take the time to talk to them and let them know you care.  Tell them they can talk to you in times of trouble or triumph. 


Knowing that you can make a difference in someone's life can help you to look at this issue from the Positive Perspective....


I welcome feedback regarding the newsletter or questions about my practice.  I can be reached at  I cannot, however, give advice through email. For more information on my practice please visit my website:

I wish you well...