Coral Springs


1725 N. University Drive

Suite 350

Coral Springs, FL 33071

Telephone: (954) 227-2700

Fax: (954) 227-2704

Linda Berlin, Psy.D.


Psychological Associates

Boca Raton


7000 W. Palmetto Park Road

Suite 407

Boca Raton, FL 33433

Telephone: (561) 347-0997

Fax: (561) 347-0996


Q: My son has been caught smoking marijuana, under-age drinking, and now doing mushrooms. We have grounded him, taken away his privileges, cell phone etc. In light of this most recent drug-taking incident, I have no idea how to punish him. Please advise.

A: We understand how frustrated and anxious you must be. However, punishment hasn't worked so far, so why expect that more punishment will change your son's behavior? The first thing you need to do is take an inventory of what problems his use has caused other than use itself. For example, has his academic performance suffered? Does he have new friends that you see as undesirable? Have there been behavioral problems at school or elsewhere? You need this inventory to make your case to him and others, because he is likely to deny that drug use has caused him any problems other than the punishments you have imposed. In other words, you are the problem as far as he is concerned.

By now, your relationship with him has been seriously compromised, and that is also one of the problems resulting from his defiance. So, you need help.

Contact your son's school to see if there is a student assistance program or individual counselor who would be able to approach your son from a fresh perspective and provide recommendations on further action. See if there are any intervention/treatment facilities in your area that could do an evaluation and make recommendations about next steps. This is not a hopeless situation, but it is clearly a serious one and you are right to seek assistance.

Q: Can we expect to control what adolescents do when they are with their friends?

A: Unfortunately, the answer is that you cannot be sure about teens’ activities when they are not with adults.

Recently, adolescents are spending less and less time in the company of adults. Even in school, students are not under the control of teachers at all times, nor are they even interacting with an adult most of the time.

This situation is inevitable given the nature of society today. As young people progress through adolescence their parents know less and less about what they are doing. In modern cities and suburbs misbehavior does not get back to parents as it did in small towns. It is easy for kids to do their own thing most of the time, and if they choose to do things their parents forbid it is usually possible to keep it from them. Their friends won’t tell either.

Relationships are the most important aspect of teens’ lives. If your relationship is good, your adolescent may think twice about doing something he or she knows you do not want them to do. But they may do it anyway because they are curious, want to belong, or simply see the activity as fun. Since they usually do not want to disappoint you, hurt your feelings, or make you angry, they may cut you out of the loop.

So no, we cannot control our teens all of the time. But if we have strong relationships with them, we are in a better position to support them if they find themselves in compromising situations.









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By: Scott Berlin, Psy.D., LMHC


There is little question concerning the multiple pressures facing adolescents today.  On almost every front adolescents are being challenged to meet the various demands of development, as well as ever present psychological changes which occur on a daily basis.  For any adolescent to successfully negotiate through the often complicated stages of maturation, both parent and adolescent must have a support system capable of withstanding the often complicated aspect of growing up.

Unfortunately, because of the prevalence of divorce and the decline of the family, parents and adolescents often do not have the support systems they need in order to appropriately manage developmental and environmental pressures.  Subsequently, many unhealthy and potentially debilitating behaviors may develop resulting in psychological problems and possible future impairments in social, scholastic and occupational functioning.

What Are Some Issues My Child May Be Dealing With?

Some of the problems that adolescents may face today may include any or all of the following:

  •  Parental pressures
  •  Divorce/Separation issues
  •  Anger
  •  Depression
  •  Anxiety
  •  Impulse control problems
  •  Sibling rivalries
  •  Drug and Alcohol abuse
  •  Peer pressure
  •  Gang involvement
  •  Sexual problems
  •  Academic problems
  •  Identity issues
  •  Body disturbance issues
  •  Excessive worry
  •  Suicidal thinking
  •  Oppositionalism and defiance
  •  Eating Disturbances

What About My Feelings?

As we know, the raising of an adolescent can often be an extremely difficult and trying process.  Consequently, parents, as well as their adolescents often need support and an environment that not only fosters independence and maturation, but also allows for the expression of feelings and the learning of coping strategies. 

Some of the problems that a parent may encounter over the course of their child or adolescent's development may include:

  •  Depression
  •  Anxiety
  •  Excessive worry
  •  Post-partum depression
  •  Changes in lifestyle
  •  Loss of independence
  •  Financial problems
  •  Substance abuse
  •  Occupational problems
  •  Physical illness


Whether your child is having difficulty going through adolescents or you are experiencing the above-mentioned problems as a result of your child's development, you and your family may benefit from our individualized and family treatment approaches. 

Dr. Berlin has been in practice for over 20 years. If you would like to learn more about Dr. Berlin click here or he can reached at (954) 227-2700 or (561) 347-0997.


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