Meet Chris and Paula

Chris Parrott

BPS Chartered Counseling Psychologist

Chris Parrott earned her BA from Dartmouth College and her MSc and Post MSc Degrees in Counseling Psychology at City University London. Chris also holds a Diploma in Hypnosis from London University and worked in the National Health Care System as one of the first therapists for General Practitioners, pioneering the implementation of therapists at that level. Since returning to the U.S., her focus has been on supporting self development in children and teens through the Your Self Series program.

Chris is dedicated to raising the level of education globally so that it focuses on empowering teens socially and emotionally. To that end, Chris presents at various national and local conferences as well as schools and community forums on topics related to building a strong sense of self. Chris lives in New York with her husband, two children, two dogs and a cat.

Paula Prentis

LMSW

Paula Prentis, LMSW, is a licensed social worker with a passion for child and adolescent health and wellness. Before teaming up with Chris to develop Your Self Series, she gained experience working with children and teens through coaching soccer and track, volunteering to support trauma survivors, working in private clinical practice and serving on a variety of prevention councils. Her internships experiences at New York University provided experience working with children with developmental disabilities and high school students at one of the toughest inner city schools at the time. Then she raised her own teens and gained even more experience! 

Having spent over twenty years in mental health and wellness, Paula now shares her knowledge and skills to help people who work with or raise young adolescents. Whether through the Your Self Series website or one of Paula’s many workshops or presentations, people learn both substance and skills related to teen identity development, prevention and mental health. 

Paula currently lives in New York with her husband and enjoys just about anything that gets her outside. 

The Journey of Prentis and Parrott

In 2006, Chris asked Paula, a complete stranger, to join her women’s soccer team. Paula, in an aggressive and foolish slide tackle, promptly broke her leg in the first game. Embarrassing. Chris made Paula cookies, brought them to Paula’s house and struck up a conversation. Chris is an excellent baker. Paula likes to talk. It was a perfect match. After a few hours, they agreed to combine their expertise and passions to change the way students experience health curriculum.

In 2008, Paula and Chris developed Your Self Series. Since then, they have been prolific writers on the topic of middle and high school developmental concerns (think: drugs, sex, mental health, alcohol, sex, relationships, decision-making, sex). The entire website and the program content is just the beginning of the robust nature of their passion to bring mental and physical health into main stream academic life.

In 2010, Paula sidetracked the team and they developed Your Chat Mats – stylish placemats that inspire meaningful mealtime conversation. Sadly, they shut down that company due to an abundance of parents lacking the desire to have conversations with their children (they wanted placemats that occupied rather than engaged – of course this was not you!). They also felt they lacked marketing prowess. If you are a marketing genius and looking for a wonderful company to re-ignite, call us!

In 2013, Chris and Paula co-wrote Reach Before You Teach: Ignite Passion and Purpose in Your Classroom (Corwin Press). This book explains the value of authentic connections and offers more than fifty interventions to foster a student’s developing social, emotional, physical and cognitive self in the classroom.

Today, Chris and Paula continue to strive to bring free online content and a powerful social emotional learning curriculum to schools nationwide. They have never lost sight of their passionate belief that by doing so they can make the world a better place. Hey, they’d love to connect with you along the way. Please reach out with a comment, thought, suggestion, or a super uplifting message of support. They welcome all of it!

I love the comprehensive nature of the YSS program. The books are appealing to students, and the website is easy for adults and kids to navigate. The supplemental materials provide creative ways to engage pre-teens and teens in difficult conversations. The amount of professional support offered to educators is a huge bonus!

~Rona Shalev, Psy.D., Head of Counseling Services, The Chapin School, NY