Tough teens, real solutions

Dan Kulzer

Dan Kulzer

— Even in the best of times, parenting is a tall order. It becomes even tougher for singles parents or parents in a blended family, and perhaps toughest of all when one of the kids in question is a teenager.

Social worker Daniel Kulzer of Samaritan Counseling Center is hoping to assuage some of those griefs through a program called “Tough Teens, Real Solutions” that made its inaugural run last fall and will be starting again Feb. 2. The program is designed as a support group for parents that is focused on finding solutions to deal with difficult teenagers. Kulzer said the group is kept small with no more than 10 individuals in order to facilitate interaction between the group members.

“Many parents are isolated and don’t use a support system,” he said. “This program will provide them with one.”

Kulzer has been working with families since 2007 and developed the program to provide time for struggling parents to interact with people who are dealing with the same issues. The group meets at a Samaritan Counseling Center office at the Shenendehowa United Methodist Church in Clifton Park.

“I began to think of a support system for parents and what type of environment that would be most conducive to promoting change,” he said. “Parents are having a hard time with their children. … They are insubordinate, oppositional and defiant.”

He said the group offers a chance for healing and alleviation of feelings of depression and anger from dealing with troubled teens. Sessions consist of parents presenting their problems and working out solutions along with other members of the group. Kulzer facilitates the development of ideas and follows up with recommendations and suggestions.

He said the eight-week program is not long enough to really dig into issues, but is long enough for people to start to realize they have a support system and tap into it and develop initial strategies.

“I want to talk about solutions,” he said. “I want to teach them how to discipline effectively by setting boundaries.”

Kulzer said the most important goal of the group is to learn a way to view their lives.

“This is a lens to look at your children and yourself,” he said. “It is developing a new way of seeing things through a supportive environment.”

The sessions are $45 and may be covered by insurance. For more information on the program or to sign up for the group, contact Kulzer at 952-1262 or email him at kulzer@samaritancounselingcenter.org.

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