From School Counselor, Laura Boismenue, on facing challenges:
One of my favorite writers, psychologists, and educators on all things teen mental health, Dr. Lisa Damour, does such a great job framing, reframing and reminding us all about the nature of distress: “Mental health is not about the absence of distress. It’s about how we manage distress when it inevitably arrives.” I am always so glad for this reminder, especially as we embark on a new school year, that the stress and discomfort that we all feel when facing challenges is not an obstacle to growth and thriving, but its building block.
Perhaps a helpful tool as we navigate this school year will be to reflect when we’ve encountered something hard or distressing: How did I handle this compared to the last time? Surely for our girls, we want to help them see how their skills for navigating discomfort and facing new challenges is growing. Often, it’s hard to step back to see this broader perspective- being in the midst of new, more challenging academic content and shifting peer relationships is a lot for a young person- but it’s so critical to zoom out and chart the larger trajectory, one of growth and increasing ability to face life’s challenges- both internal and external.
All of our educators are skillful coaches to our girls in this journey of growth. In addition, we also have two counselors, Laura Boismenue and Hannah Moskat, who partner with students and families to ensure our students are connected with the resources needed to thrive at Forest Ridge.