The combination of connection and autonomy for teens

Watch Video: The combination of connection and autonomy for teens by SuEllen Hamkins, MD, ...
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The combination of connection and autonomy for teens

Autonomy and connection are both essential for healthy teen development because a young person is discovering who they are within the context of relationships; with their peers, their teachers, their coaches, and also, with you, as a parent. The other thing is that your person's ability to create and sustain new relationships is what is going to allow them to be out in the world and be successful there. We can look at autonomy and connection as two halves of the same coin. When your young person or adolescent feels a sense of your love and support, they feel more free to become who they are and who they want to be. If they have that connection at home, they actually feel free to go off and have that autonomy and be out in the world.

Watch Video: The combination of connection and autonomy for teens by SuEllen Hamkins, MD, ...


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SuEllen Hamkins, MD

Psychiatrist & Author

SuEllen Hamkins, MD, is a psychiatrist, author and founding member of the Mother-Daughter Project, a community of women and girls that developed powerful, practical ways to help mothers and daughters stay connected and thrive through adolescence. Co-author of The Mother-Daughter Project: How Mothers and Daughters Can Band Together, Beat the Odds and Thrive Through Adolescence, Dr. Hamkins has given numerous presentations for parents and psychotherapists around the world, focusing on mothers, daughters, their relationships and the kinds of communities that nurture them.  As the psychiatrist for the Smith College Counseling Service from 1992-2004, SuEllen offered consultation to over a thousand women ages 16 to 23 to help them resist and overcome problems such as anorexia, bulimia, depression, anxiety, trauma, assault, and self-injury.  In addition to her work on behalf of mothers and daughters, as the Assistant Director for Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, she has been instrumental in developing strengths-based, narrative approaches to psychotherapy and psychiatric practice, helping people cultivate their values and strengths in the face of serious difficulties.  SuEllen is the mother of two daughters, now 17 and 22, and raising them has been the most thrilling and rewarding work of her life. She lives with her husband and younger daughter in western Massachusetts, where they love to swim outdoors, cross country ski, shoe snow, dance, cook and lounge around in the living room, reading. 

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