Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Bien.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Stephanie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My journey started 35 years ago when I decided to become a psychotherapist with children and families, rather than a special ed. teacher.
It happened when I was chasing a 2-year-old, autistic boy down the hall. At this exact moment, I realized that the kids were doing fine, it was the parents who were struggling. Now, so many years later, after 7 years in school, 2 years of being an intern and then another year of study for the licensing process, I am here doing exactly what I want to be doing. I am a therapist that specializes in children of all ages, I teach a parenting class called P.E.T. “Parent Effectiveness Training”, I recently co-authored a book called “Bully Prevention Tips for Teens: 18 Powerful Ways to Protect Yourself through High School” and then my latest venture… a Think Tank of professionals who work with teens in a diverse capacity to brainstorm ideas to help with our culture…recently named “Insight to Teen Culture”. We have come together to think of ways to help communities deal with the struggles of teen life for both teens and their parents.
This Think Tank was an idea that I had but was kicked into high gear after “13 Reasons Why” came out and I watched this with my own 16-year-old daughter, Jessica. The challenges our kids face are unbelievable. Later that same month, I attended a showing of the documentary “Audrey and Daisy” about two teen girls who were raped, cyberbullied, and their struggles including suicide or attempts of suicide. This was another moment of deep sadness for me, but the worst part was 3 days later when my own daughter called me on Saturday night from a friends house because another friend of hers was raped by the friends’ friend…she had been in the next room and didn’t know it happened. The guilt, sadness, depression, stress and drama that followed in the weeks to come, were devastating for all the kids who were there. As a mom you never want to see your child hurt and devastated like this…but it happens and it happens too much. “We have to do something about it!” I said as I got together a few therapists, a sheriff, pediatrician, foster care worker, social worker…and the group is growing after only 6 months. As a group, we have decided to build communities where people can talk, learn and help one another. Our first event was in September where we held “Solutions for Teens and Screens” where we had over 250 parents and kids come and see the movie “Screenagers” and discuss in small groups with professional facilitators about their challenges, committing to one change that they will make this month.
We have many innovative ideas that will be put into action in the upcoming year and I look forward to helping families work together to create solutions for their lives.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have been bumps in the road but what I have learned is to trust and learn from these challenges. The path always seems to flow in the direction that it’s supposed to. I have great faith!
Insight to Teen Culture – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My business is as a psychotherapist. I specialize in working with children of all ages, I teach a parenting class called P.E.T. and I work with the entire family. In addition to this work, I’ve recently started another section of my practice called “Insight to Teen Culture” where I run a monthly meeting of professionals that brainstorm ideas of how we can help teens, families and our culture. We work on forming opportunities to build communities and educate kids and their parents. I am extremely proud of this part of my work. I have been passionate about this generation of kids and how I can help them and their families. There are so many struggles with school pressures, bullying, technology, drug and alcohol addiction, rape, pornography, suicide, anxiety at a younger and younger age, and so much more. I am excited to work with others that have the same drive and compassion to make a difference for future generations. I see other organizations doing the same type of work and my goal is for us all to work together to bring programs to more people and get the word out on a larger scale.
I am so grateful to have made another dream come true…I co-authored a book called “Bully Prevention Tips for Teens: 18 Powerful Ways to Protect Yourself through High School”, we wrote a companion curriculum and I taught a Leadership Training Program for teens with the book so that they can start a club in their school mentoring students and preventing bullying. I’m training a Pepperdine student who is my intern to oversee the high school program and be a support to the leaders.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I am extremely fulfilled every day that I am able to help a family with their communication, cooperation and relationships bringing peace into their homes. One example of this was when a child age 10 had many acting out behaviors. I saw her and taught her some communication skills, expression of feelings and problem-solving skills, then I taught the mom in a class setting and several months later, the dad came in and the 10-year-old taught her dad the method for problem-solving. She felt empowered and confident and became a part of the solution in the family…she got positive attention rather than the negative attention that she was used to.
- Address: 28240 Agoura Road #304
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
- Website: stephaniebien.com
- Phone: (818) 991-8282
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: stephaniebienmft
- Facebook: Stephanie R. Bien
- Twitter: @StephanieRBien