“As a father of two, I’ve learned firsthand that shaping behavior is much easier when you support a positive choice rather than punish a negative one.  My parent program uses this principle to guide parents on how to communicate more effectively around sensitive issues.”


Title: Supporting Teens in Reducing Their Stress (and ours)

Target Event: Parent Programs, Community Events

Ideal Audience Size:  50+

Duration: 60 minutes plus Q&A

Recent research suggests that well-adjusted teenagers have stronger non-cognitive skills, such as self-control, grit and resilience.  This program will focus on how parents can help foster those skills in a supporting environment without arguing.  Specifically, it will present techniques such as mindfulness meditation, effective communication and using natural highs as healthy coping mechanisms against stress, alcohol and other drug use and bullying behavior.   The goal is to help improve the quality of life for both parents and their teens.  The current research on adolescent brain development will be presented and time will be given for questions and answers.  As a clinical psychologist and stand-up comedian, Dr. Bellace uses humor to convey his very powerful message – we need to support young people in both words and actions if we want them to make healthy choices for themselves.


  1. Participants should better understand how to more effectively communicate with teens around sensitive issues.
  2. Participants gain a better understanding of adolescent brain development.
  3. Participants should gain a better understanding of how screen time, sleep deprivation and substance abuse can impact mental health.
  4. Participants should learn about the science behind healthy coping mechanisms, such as positive social support, meditation, exercise and other natural highs.