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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I have a daughter (only child) in 10th grade who has been taking

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I have a daughter (only child) in 10th grade who has been taking honors classes since 7th. She makes A's in AP Euro, Honors English and French III but is having a real difficult time dealing with chemistry and Algebra II. Her test grades are C's and D's. She thinks there is something wrong with her "brain" and that she really needs to talk to someone to find out if she needs medication that will help her. She says she knows the material, takes the test and knows she is doing it correctly but when she gets her test back, she is blown away that her scores do not reflect her understanding at all. Her self esteem has taken quite a hit. I, her mother told her that one day she would have to work at a subject or life a little harder than she has in the past. She just can't believe that she is an "average student" in Algebra II and Chemistry. My question is should I get her in to see someone ASAP? If so, who? Should we start with the councelors at school then go from there? Here's some other information: She doesn't like to practice anything, she wants EVERYTHING to come easy to her and when it doesn't she get's real upset with herself and those around her. She also wants to become a pastry chef and own a bakery one day. When she was younger and up until now does NOT like to loose at ANYTHING; board games, essay contests etc. She's been an avid reader since the beginning of time. Not interested in sports at all. I'm going to send this now so it doesn't disapear like it did the first time I started this... Thanks

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

First, let me say I am so very impressed with your writing this question and trying to find the right way to help your daughter. So many parents of teens who are driven to succeed feed that one-dimensional drivenness in their child. You seem to recognize your daughter to be a WHOLE human being and are concerned with her welfare. I just want you to know how beautiful that is, because I've seen the damage that sometimes can be caused by the other way of parenting. So, good for you!

Okay. You know, I was wondering how to approach the idea of overdeveloped intellectual side and underdeveloped emotional side. But then at the end you made it easy for me: you wrote, "he does have a boy friend, it's a very young relationship. They talk baby talk to each other."

Let's face it, this relationship isn't just young, it's infantile. It is two kids who are struggling to deal with emotional reality of human life and have no clue. Because, at least for her, her intellectual side is so dominant. She's an only child, very smart, and used to being an adult in her thinking---probably from when she was child.

And this is expressed in her wanting medication: give me a pill and make the problem go away. But the problem is not that there is some chemical imbalance. The problem is that she is a whole human being and needs to learn to develop her emotional maturity and her emotional self. And by the way, there ARE NO meds for chemistry and algebra!

I think if you can afford it, then a psychologist or psychotherapist can help her a LOT. The therapy needs to be with the goal of emotional development: feeling good about herself as an average student in math and science, identifying her emotions, and expressing them.

The school counselor may be able to identify a psychologist or therapist who has this humanistic orientation. Or a clergyman might be able to help. But interview the psychologist first and make sure that you are confident in his/her orientation and values and experience.

Again, the goal here is to develop your daughter's ability to be a whole human being and not only to see herself as her success or failure in a very narrow range of life.

I wish you the very best!

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