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Sam Himelstein, PhD

PhD in Clinical Psychology, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology & licensed in the state of California (#25229)

Raising adolescents can be tough. They’re striving for independence but don’t quite have the skills to be fully responsible for themselves. It’s even harder when your teens start being disrespectful, lying, losing motivation in school, and engaging in risky behaviors like drug and alcohol use or even having problems with the law. 

It’s my passion to help teenagers and their families that are struggling. My passion comes from my own personal hardships as a young adolescent. I struggled with drugs, defiance, and anger as a young man and got into a significant amount of trouble; I found myself in trouble with the law, in and out of juvenile hall, and in group homes and wilderness programs. I was on a dark path towards prison and maybe even death. Very long story short, I was able to turn my life around through a lot of inner work, the help of mentors and therapists, and the unwavering support of my parents. 

That’s why I do the work I do. My personal experience grounds me in empathy and compassion for struggling adolescents and their families. I was able to turn my life around, get through high school, ignite my passion for helping others in college, and eventually went on to get a PhD in Clinical Psychology. I invested all my time into learning the best methods for helping young people get passed the barriers of thriving; drugs and alcohol, delinquency, trouble with the law, etc. My work has culminated through my training of other therapists and youth workers world-wide through my professional training institute, the Center for Adolescent Studies, many peer-reviewed journal articles, and my three books: 1) Trauma-Informed Mindfulness With Teens: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals, 2) Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse With Adolescents: A 12-Session Curriculum, and 3) A Mindfulness-Based Approach To Working With High-Risk Adolescents.

I’ve honed my skills to help adolescents learn self-regulation strategies, self-awareness skills, how to develop a confident identity, and how to make meaning out of the tough times in their lives.

I also coach parents to support the counseling process by learning strategies to build trust and authentic relationships while still maintaining appropriate parent/adolescent boundaries, along with learning what your teen learns in therapy to support their new coping strategies. My work is supported by empirical research and oftentimes youth are receptive to my program’s interventions. 

Let me help you build a trusting, authentic relationship with your child while simultaneously helping them with self-regulation strategies for substance use, emotional regulation, stress management, and/or past traumas.