Find a Therapist at

Find a Local Therapist for In-Person or Telehealth Therapy

  for Consumers
Find a Therapist
Find a Treatment Center
Telehealth Therapists
About Therapy
Featured Articles
Support Groups
National Hotlines
What's New
  for Providers
List Your Practice
List Your Treatment Center
Custom Web Design
Publish an Article
My Account

Therapist Profile

» Provider Directory » Find a Therapist » Illinois » Naperville Therapists » Therapist Profile

Michael L. Stoller, LCSW

Focus on the 90%, By Michael L. Stoller, LCSW

One of the first questions I ask parents to do when they sit down with their son in my office is, "Tell me about what your son does well.” Most of the time, this catches them off guard. They struggle at first and then have many great things to share with me about their son.

As they talk, I watch the look on their son’s face. While many get embarrassed, I often suspect that they don’t hear this enough. I believe that the majority of parents bring their sons to see me because of the 10% of things that they are struggling with. While it is only 10%, parents spend 90% of their time and energy focusing on it. In the initial session, while I spend time getting to know their son, it is obvious to me that they almost always have more good things going for them than not. I try to make it a practice to focus more on their strengths than their weaknesses. The therapeutic approach to this is called the Strengths Perspective. It is fascinating to see how boys respond when I get excited and praise them for their successes. In today’s society, teenage boys get very little acknowledgement from their parents, teachers, and peers for the gifts, talents and strengths they posses.

This is especially evident when I ask boys questions like:

Tell me what you like about yourself?

What are you good at?

What special gifts and talents do you have?

What has you stand out from your peers?

Here is an exercise I highly recommend to parents that can bring about a significant change in your son if you do it two to three times per week: Your job is to say "What I like about you is…” or "What I love about you is…” and fill in the blank with one or many words that describe what you like or love about them. It could be one of their physical traits, personality traits, etc. After you say it one time, do it again and again (filling in new words) for 3 minutes. Your son’s job is to remain silent and just take it in. If you run out of things to say, you can say, "What I love about you is EVERYTHING.”

Here is how it might look:

What I love about you is how funny you are.

What I like about you is how nice you are to your sisters.

What I love about you is how hard you studied for you math final.

What I love about you is EVERYTHING What I like about you is how well you dress.

When you are done, tell your son that he can respond by saying "Thank you” or even "You are very perceptive”. At first, your son may shy away from this. Keep in mind that he is probably not used to being showered with compliments. However, over time you will find that your son will begin to enjoy it. He may even reciprocate and tell you what he likes/loves about you. Give it a try!

Michael L. Stoller, LCSW, Naperville
 Practice Locations
Naperville, IL 60540
 Helpful Links
Return to Full Profile
Contact This Therapist
View Map of Location
Share This Profile
Print This Profile
License Verification
Credential Abbreviations
 Additional Information
Accepting New Clients:  Yes
Years in Practice:  6-10
Sliding Fee Scale:  Yes
Prescribe Medication:  No
Wheelchair Accessible:  Yes
Near Public Transport:  Yes
Success Strategies for Parenting Your Teenage Boy, By Michael L. Stoller, LCSW
How To Get Your Son To Talk, By Michael L. Stoller, LCSW
Focus on the 90%, By Michael L. Stoller, LCSW
Return to Naperville Therapists   •   New Therapist Search
Last Modified: 7/28/2023  

Home  |  Provider Directory  |  Mental Health Library  |  Resource Center  |  For Providers
Find a Therapist  |  Find a Treatment Center  |  List Your Practice  |  List Your Treatment Center
About Us  |  Contact Us  |  User Agreement  |  Privacy Policy  |  Site Map
The information provided on this site is for educational or informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical or behavioral health care advice. The information is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care provider. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns about your health.
© 2024, Inc. All rights reserved.
Welcome Guestbook What's New Site Map Find a Therapist Find a Treatment Center About Therapy Frequently Asked Questions Disorders & Conditions Medications Treatment Approaches Featured Articles News Archive Mental Health Dictionary Support Groups National Hotlines Mental Health Books Related Web Sites For Providers Provider Login Back to Top of Profile of Michael L. Stoller, LCSW