Making Sense of Adolescence

Created by The Neufeld Institute - Facilitated by Lisa Weiner, MSN.

Crossing the bridge from childhood to adulthood has never been so daunting. The time of adolescence is longer than ever and yet society today offers little support in understanding or facilitating this transition. This course is designed to be used by parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators, professionals – anyone who desires to make sense of adolescence. Parents of pre- teens will find this course invaluable as preparation for what lies ahead.

The course material is organized around three psychological changes that occur during adolescence, the seven rites of passage that these changes create, the resulting temptations for the teen, and the corresponding challenges for those who parent, teach or work with adolescents. Complicating adolescence is the fact that there is not one, but rather two developmental pathways to adulthood. Knowing which track the adolescent is on is key to knowing how to help facilitate his or her passage into adulthood.

Course Objective:

The objective of this course is to make sense of adolescents from inside out. Every adolescent is an individual of course, but there are some common dynamics that affect all adolescents. Understanding what these dynamics are can provide the keys for knowing how to deal with the problems that may arise.

We will explore:

  • the psychological changes at puberty that impact adolescents and those that parent and work with them
  • how to deal with the premature loss of power and influence with an adolescent
  • the rites of passage that must be endured for the adolescent to mature
  • how to recognize when rebellion is healthy or a result of adults being replaced by peers
  • the psychological temptations faced by adolescents on their journey to maturity
  • how parents and teachers can avoid premature or forced retirement
  • the two alternate paths to adulthood and societal integration
  • how to preserve or restore one’s rightful place in an adolescent’s life
  • the dangers of peer-orientation in the life of an adolescent
  • how to differentiate between relationship problems and behavior problems in the adolescent
  • the role of dissonance and internal conflict in the life of an adolescent
  • how to hold on without holding them back

What are Parents Saying about this Class?

"The information felt relevant, engaging and packed with insight. The way in which the material was presented was very high-quality, complex and pushed the boundaries of modern cultural ideas."

"This class has given voice to many theories I know but couldn’t articulate. I have renewed patience, grace and forgiveness with my children and a deeper sense of their true needs."

"Lisa is a wonderful resource. She is filled with passion and relatable stories to share to bring the learning to life."

"This class has been so thorough and enlightening. I feel like I now have a comprehensive view of adolescence and a deep understanding of how to support my kids through it!"

"This amazing class has given me the most important tools to navigate adolescence alongside my children. I started this class fearful of entering the adolescent stage with my children; I now feel like I have the skills to help navigate adolescence with them. This class brought hope and excitement to this stage!"

"Lisa is a spirited guide. She shares fully her successes as well as her 'bumps,' the moments that might be called mistakes of parenting, that become openings to a path of connection with her own kids. She affirms our intuition and gives us permission to follow it."

"I love Lisa’s classes. I always feel like I’m coming home. Her wisdom, great stories and warmth make every class a pleasure."

"The material Lisa teaches brings me back to a deep groundedness in truth and intuition. The path she lays out may not always be easy but it always feels right and draws on the deep connectedness of relationship. Her approach asks me to be the best parent and best person I can be."

Making Sense of Adolescence

...is for you if...
  • You have a pre-teen and want to be prepared for the changes of adolescence.
  • You are the parent of a teenager and are struggling with how to parent them during this tumultuous time.
  • You recognize that most teens today are on a path of conformity rather than individuation and you yearn for something more for your teen.
  • You are a teacher and want to better understand your middle-school or high-school students.
  • You want to commit to spending time each week dedicated to your parenting practice.
  • You have a hunch that you, the parent, are an essential part of your teen's successful crossing of the "bridge" for childhood to adolescence.
  • You are struggling to make sense of your own adolescence as your parent your own adolescent children.
  • You want to gain insight into your teen, so as to better support their growth and maturation.
  • While you realize you are no longer the "boss" of your teenager, you hope to be "hired back on" as a "trusted consultant"!

Curriculum Overview:

Week One:

Adolescence in Perspective, Crossing the Bridge and Changes in Adolescent Consciousness

Week Two:

Two Paths Diverge: Conformity vs. Individuality, How to Support Individuation and Differentiating between "Normal" and "Natural" Teen Development.

Week Three:

Walking through Aloneness and Sadness: the Necessary Road to Individuation, the Escalating Problems of Boredom, Addiction and Aggression.

Week Four:

Taking a Wrong Turn: When Peers Replace Adults. Exploring Social Media.

Week Five:

The Counterwill Storm: How to Survive Teen Resistance

Week Six:

Becoming Tempered: The Key to Adolescent Balance and Stability

Week Seven:

Reclaiming our Youth: How to Hold, or Win Back, Their Hearts

Week Eight:

Becoming a Sexual Being: Pursuing Proximity in Another Dimension

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