Kent School and Gunston Host Dr. Lisa Damour


On Wednesday, December 12, Dr. Lisa Damour addressed scores of guests at the Garfield Center for the Arts. Hosted by Kent School in Chestertown and The Gunston School in Centreville, Dr. Damour led her audience through seven stages of transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood referencing her 2018 book entitled Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Damour addressed Kent School faculty and Middle School students. In her session with faculty Dr. Damour provided excellent information and tactics for handling conflict. She said, among middle School students “conflict is a given. Our job is to help them handle conflict in a healthy way.” In her session with students she explained that the healthy way to handle conflict is ‘pillaring’ which allows a child to stand up for him or herself while being respectful of others.

Following her session at Kent School, Dr. Damour traveled to The Gunston School for sessions with their faculty and students. In her address to high school students, Dr. Damour explained the role of stress in human development.Dr. Damour explained the positive aspects of stress—how it helps us grow and become stronger, as well as the benefits of developing stress management techniques.

Heads of School John Lewis and Nancy Mugele pictured with Dr. Lisa Damour (center).

Finally, on Wednesday evening, Dr. Damour greeted members of the greater community at the Garfield Center for The Arts where she expanded on the themes of conflict, stress and the need for adolescents to know and feel anxiety. She explained that anxiety is our natural defense that alerts us of danger or difficult situations. Teenagers should use that feeling of anxiety to guide them in decision making. Dr. Damour generously answered questions from the audience and then stayed to sign copies of her 2016 book.

In his introduction of Dr. Damour, John Lewis, Head of The Gunston School, humorously expressed his general doubts regarding popular books on adolescence, but described Dr. Damour’s book Untangled as magnetic, accurate and endlessly helpful in understanding the transitions teenagers undergo.

Nancy Mugele, Head of School at Kent School said Dr. Damour writes the monthly “Adolescence” column for The New York Times, serves as a regular contributor to CBS News, maintains a private psychotherapy practice, consults and speaks internationally and serves as the Executive Director of Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls.

Dr. Damour’s lecture is made possible by the KudnerLeyon Memorial Fund at Kent School, The Gunston School and the Garfield Center for the Arts. While admission is free, pre-registration is encouraged by calling 410-778-4100 ext. 100 or emailing

Kent School serves children from Preschool through Grade Eight on its scenic campus on the bank of the Chester River in historic Chestertown. For more information call 410-778-4100 ext. 110 or visit The Gunston School, located on the Corsica River in Centreville, is a coeducational day school serving students in grades 9 through 12.

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