Matt Bellace, PhD: Supporting Teens in Reducing Their Stress (and Ours)

Matt Bellace, PhD: Supporting Teens in Reducing Their Stress (and Ours)

Recent research suggests that well-adjusted teenagers have stronger non-cognitive skills, such as self-control, grit and resilience. This program will focus on how Mahwah, NJ parents can help foster those skills in a supportive environment without arguing. Specifically, it will present techniques such as mindfulness meditation, effective communication and using natural highs as healthy coping mechanisms against stress, alcohol and other drug use and bullying behavior. The goal is to help improve the quality of life for both parents and their teens in Bergen County, NJ. The current research on adolescent brain development will be presented and time will be given for questions and answers. As a clinical psychologist and stand-up comedian, Dr. Bellace uses humor to convey his very powerful message – we need to support young people in both words and actions if we want them to make healthy choices for themselves.

Parents and Guardians: Come to gain a better understanding of:

  1. effective communication with teens around sensitive issues,

  2. adolescent brain development,

  3. the impact of screen time, sleep deprivation, and substance abuse on mental health, and

  4. science behind healthy coping mechanisms, such as positive social support, meditation, exercise and other natural highs.

“As a father of two, I’ve learned firsthand that shaping behavior is much easier when you support a positive choice rather than punish a negative one. My parent program uses this principle to guide parents on how to communicate more effectively around sensitive issues. – Matt Bellace, PhD


Since 1995, Matt Bellace, Ph.D., has been a professional speaker and stand-up comedian. His programs encourage over a hundred thousand people each year to pursue natural highs and be resilient in the face of stress.

Dr. Bellace has a Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology, which is the study of the brain and behavior. He trained at the National Institutes of Mental Health and The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.


He’s the author of the best-selling book, A Better High: Laugh, Help, Run, Love and Other Ways to Get Naturally High. His most recent book, Life Is Disappointing and Other Inspiring Thoughts, focuses on dealing with disappointment and techniques for coping with pain, loss and failure.

He’s a contributing author for National Geographic Kids and was featured in the PBS documentary Voices of Hope. He was also a recurring comedian on truTV’s “World’s Dumbest.”