Dr. Damour visits

Renowned psychologist shares techniques for managing stress and teenage life


Sofia Kozlova

Students watch Lisa Damour speaking in the Syufy theater about coping with different stressors. Last week students saw author Luis Urrea speak in this same location.

Sofia Kozlova, Social Media Editor

Today, psychologist and author Lisa Damour gave a presentation in the Syufy Theater to all high school students. Although Damour only spoke to students and some faculty this afternoon, she will also be speaking with the majority of the faculty and parents in the evening.

“I think a lot of the time when adults try to relate to students they do it in insensitive ways but I felt like Dr. Damour tries to understand teenagers which was refreshing,” sophomore Sadie Kodner said. “I also liked when she was talking about how she used to be bad at writing and was able to develop her skills because it put into perspective how much time we need to develop different skills and get good at things,”

Damour is the author of three New York Times best sellers including ‘Untangled,’ ‘Under Pressure,’ and most recently ‘The Emotional Lives of Teenagers.’ Along with her writing, she also co-hosts a podcast called ‘Ask Lisa’ where she focuses on the psychology of parenting.

“I like how Lisa Damour normalizes the ways all of us feel and helps us frame what mental health is,” Community Life Chair Paul Pryor Lorentz said. “I think our students trust the knowledge that she is offering and I hope that her conversations make people feel more whole and seen,”

Damour focused on helping the seniors lessen their anxiety surrounding the college admissions process and how to generally ease stress. She recommended listening to music, cooking, and exercising among other things, according to Kodner.

“I really appreciated this talk because I felt like I got useful tools to deal with my stress,” sophomore Ava Valentino said. “I feel privileged that these tools are given to us by our school because I think these are things I may not seek out for myself but are incredibly useful,”

Damour has been working with the school since the COVID-19 quarantine and last year, she came to the school community to meet with freshman and sophomore students on zoom. Last year, the conversation centered more around navigating social scenes in high school, but this year, Damour talked more about mental health and what it means to psychologists, according to Valentino.

“I think it’s a neat privilege to have people who are experts in their fields come in and talk about their areas of expertise that may be things students haven’t been exposed to,” Lorentz said. “Although students have their teachers as experts, it’s different when it’s someone who is internationally acclaimed for their work — and I think it carries a lot of weight in our conversations,”

This past month, 3 different speakers have visited the school including Jennifer De Leon, Luis Urrea, and Lisa Damour. The speakers help students learn about things they might not be able to learn in a classroom and provide new viewpoints, according to Lorentz.

“Each speaker who has visited this past month has taught me something and especially through the conversations we have in class about the speakers, I think it expands my view,” Kodner said. “The people our school invites are clearly passionate about what they’re speaking to us about so I really enjoy all of the talks.”