Jean Walbridge

Biography

Jean Walbridge is a clinical social worker with a private practice in Highland Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Jean sees adults, children, and families. Communication--how to talk to each other and how to listen--is almost always a key issue for people who come into psychotherapy, as it is for people in general. Jean helps people to hear themselves, to hear others, and, ultimately, to speak to others in ways that give them a chance to be heard.

Parents of teens and preteens write to Jean at www.parentingadolescents.com. Teens also write to Jean. The questions sent in and Jean's responses are posted at the site and may be read there for free.

Jean has been interviewed by NPR, and her Q&As at the website excerpted and quoted by many school counselors and other parent consultants.

Jean is the mother of two grown daughters and has a delightful grandson. She is continuously relearning her own lessons and revising her thoughts and views thanks to new experiences with family, clients, and friends.

Teaching learning disabled children as well as office work are in her past. She has two master's degrees, one in Communication Disorders from Northwestern University, and one in Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago. She has always loved learning and especially learning about language, children, and psychology. She loves to sing and dance, to cook and to read and write. She is learning Tai Chi; she may end up loving that too--stand by.

Jean and her lifetime partner psychoanalyst Karen Martin live with their dog Jasper in their home in Highland Park.

Smashwords Interview

What experience do you have in parenting teens?
Good question! Nothing can substitute for experience in any field because it's only down in the trenches that you learn what a particular part of life is really like, what it's really about. I reared two daughters to adulthood and am now looking on as my grandson enters adolescence. Re my own experience as a parent, I can only quote from one of the letters from parents who write to my web site, "I had NO idea how "challenging" and heartbreaking raising a teenager would be. You want so much for them, and you worry so much about them. I had NO clue." My sentiments exactly.

In the book, I follow an interaction with my firstborn--kind of an "instant adolescence" moment. Most of what I talk about in the book is exemplified in this brief interaction with my 14 year-old in the middle of the night in our rural/suburban farmhouse.

Besides my own parenting experiences, I also draw on my 35 years of professional clinical experience with children and teens of all flavors, as well as on the wisdom I've gained in answering hundreds of letters from parents, teens, counselors, and teachers at my web site, ParentingAdolescents.
When did you first start writing?
Oh gosh, when I was 9 or 10, I guess. I wrote a cookbook of sorts for my younger sister and her friends, then 6 or 7 years old. I remember two (out of two) recipes: How to Peel an Orange, and How to Make a Peanut Butter Sandwich. I also sent said little sister out into the neighboring apartment houses (much to my mother's horror, when she found out) to gather info on current events for a newspaper I intended to publish, and I kept a secret diary in which I expounded on romantic and mysterious adventures with someone I dubbed Phillip Marlowe (I liked the sound of all those Ls).
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Jean Walbridge online


Books

Surviving Your Child's Adolescence
By
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 46,290. Language: English. Published: October 10, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Parenting » Teens
Parents have come to Jean's web site for years for insight into living with teens. Attitude, chores, grades, mood swings, lying, sex, drugs, power struggles: she covers it all while helping parents understand the whys underlying teen emotions and behavior (and their own). "Jean Walbridge has written an incredibly useful book for both clinicians and parents." --Constance Kintzler, LCSW, Chicago

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