Is your teen an “overachiever?”
Does he/she have his heart set on a top college, club, or sport? Does he/she strive to be the best in most or all of his/her activities, but have a difficult time when things aren’t perfect?
If so, congratulations, your child has amazing traits that will help him/her excel in life! You may also worry that your child has a difficult time coping with and balancing his/her many demands, which can affect mood, stress, and happiness levels. Teens who strive for achievement tend to underplay the importance of self-care. Although your teen is learning and absorbing a wealth of information at school, academic programs are not focused on teaching effective life coping strategies for being a top achiever WHILE still maintaining a healthy mental well-being. Teens who learn positive coping strategies early on are more likely to succeed in handling the increasing demands of life as they continue to develop and move forward.
What is the Healthy Adolescent Preparation Program?
The Healthy Adolescent Preparation Program for youth (HAPPY) is a 16-week preparatory training program designed to prepare adolescents for success by teaching positive life coping skills focused on maintaining mental and physical well-being while remaining achievement-oriented. Teens learn skills emphasizing stress management, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, organization and attentional focus, all of which lead to greater effectiveness in achieving their goals and an improvement in well-being.
Dr. Peck’s Approach
“As someone who is highly perfectionistic and achievement-oriented, I understand the blessings and the curses that come with these personality traits. These are the traits that got me through a doctoral program and allow me to work hard until every dream is achieved. Admittedly, these are also the traits that have caused me to over-worry and obsess at times, taking my focus and energy away from other important things. For good or bad, these are hard-wired traits that are here to stay. Learning to manage these traits in constructive ways will allow you to find the edge- where you are able to be maximally productive without wasting mental energy AND maintain mental and physical health.” -Dr. Peck
Dr. Peck has a background in neurobiologically-based treatments focused on targeting underlying personality and temperament traits that can cause a decline in mental and physical well-being at their extremes. Alongside colleagues at UCSD, she co-developed a neurobiologically-based treatment program (currently in testing) targeting anxiety, obsessionality and perfectionism.
Learn more about being an overachiever