Dr. Lauren Yerkes '99 Addresses Peer Pressure with Students

Episcopal welcomed Dr. Lauren Yerkes ’99, a licensed clinical psychologist, to campus on Friday to speak with students about peer pressure. Her presentation was tied to the Health, Safety, and Well-Being program’s first quarter theme of Self-Care. Dr. Yerkes taught students how to recognize different types of peer pressure, handle peer pressure on the spot, and prepare for peer pressure by planning ahead.

She also encouraged students to reflect on the kind of character they would like to develop and to have confidence in their decisions when combatting peer pressure. She recommended that students talk to family members and supportive friends as they consider values and beliefs and how they may respond to a social situation involving peer pressure. Dr. Yerkes reminded students that feeling this pressure is normal and that as social beings, everyone, including adults, feels pressured in certain situations. She noted that the key is learning where you stand and how to respond; learning who your real friends are and learning how to support, encourage and inspire others through positive peer pressure.

Dr. Yerkes held separate Middle School and Upper School sessions, and each session ended with time for questions. Both the presentation and the Q & As generated a lot of discussion, and the students had a chance to further explore the topic with their advisors.