Resource for Parenting

Susan Borison and Stephanie Silverman, best friends and co-founders of Your Teen Media, are bringing their magazine to life. From interviews with the experts and authors to discussions of trending topics and personal stories, Your Teen with Sue and Steph is an essential guide to raising teens today.

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How a Well-Connected Family Can Act as a Buffer Mental Illness

How a Well-Connected Family Can Act as a Buffer Mental Illness

We are living with a viral pandemic, but also a mental health pandemic for our teenagers. What is going on? Dr. Paul Sunseri joins us to explain how we can leverage our family dynamics to make things as easy for our kids as possible.

In this episode, we discuss...

  • As parents, we are already under so much pressure to be perfect – how can we see this differently, with less guilt and shame?
  • We often talk about technology as the root of the rise in teenage mental health problems. Where do stand on this school of thought?
  • It’s hard to disagree that a healthy family offers protective factors that, as you say, can be the buffer against mental illness. How do we change the relationships in our families?
  • If the family needs to change, and change is so hard for everyone, is there more turmoil first before it gets better?
  • What if some change faster than others? Isn’t that hard for everyone if the change isn’t at the same pace?
  • Would you say that we ever arrive at a point of no return? When it’s too late to change the family dynamic?


"I am a psychologist, researcher, and TEDx speaker that provides expert, compassionate clinical care to children and families. I am the developer of Intensive In-Home Family Treatment (, an innovative treatment approach for high risk suicidal or oppositional children and adolescents who are at risk for psychiatric hospitalization or residential treatment.

I have published peer reviewed research on the relationship between family dynamics and children's mental health. My research has shown that children and teens with serious mental illness (depression, anxiety, self-harm, and highly oppositional behavior) benefit the most when their family as a whole is treated and family functioning improves.

I am the founder of three community mental health agencies and I successfully work with children and adolescents with very challenging psychological and behavioral issues. I am the Director of the New Horizons Child and Family Institute, a community mental health agency that delivers IIFT and promotes the importance of family therapy and family-based treatments.

I am also the chief architect of the first of its kind National Conference for the Advancement of Family Therapies ( which brings together the very best minds in contemporary evidence-based family treatments."

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