The focus of TFT is on the needs of teens related to bereavement and loss through education and counseling.


We build hope for future generations by facilitating opportunities such as a yearly four day bereavement retreat as well as workshops and seminars throughout the year.

Laraine Gordon is a licensed clinical social worker with a private practice for the last 20 years in Southampton, NY. Time For Teens, Inc. is a not for profit organization that was primarily created to hold an annual four day bereavement retreat for teens. Ms. Gordon’s innovation has been to create an environment geared toward grieving adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19.

“Having a private practice working primarily with teenagers, it has become apparent that there is a strong need for this service on the East End of Long Island.”

The Retreat is held annually on the east end of Long Island in August. Specific date and location are released as applications are finalized.




Our annual retreat for teens in grief.

​The retreat is offered to teens between the ages of 12 and 19. Ms Gordon holds this space every year for teens who have lost a loved one.  Cost to sponsor a child to attend the retreat is $500. Some scholarships are available for teens in need of financial assist.

This Four day bereavement retreat is held annually in August from 9am -4pm, lunch is provided. Adults are responsible for dropping off teens in the morning and for picking them up in the afternoon.  Meeting times are typically 9 a.m., drop off and 4:00p.m. pick up.

Please print, complete, and sign the forms below. 


Mail completed forms to:
Time For Teens,

P.O. Box 552,

Southampton NY 11969.




TFT bereavement retreats and the workshops are life changing for the teens who attend our programming.

This is a prevention oriented program that seeks to reduce the incidence of self-destructive behaviors within this vulnerable population. A huge gap is apparent with services specifically targeted to teens who have suffered a loss. Time for Teens blends group psychotherapy, creative and educational workshops, individual counseling and other therapeutic methods to help teens learn how to grieve effectively and understand that they are not alone in their grieving process.


An equally vital component of TFT is creative expression, primarily in the approach that is utilized during the camp week, experiential methods are employed which prove to be very effective with teens, and specifically teens who have suffered a loss. Experiential methods can incorporate anything from improv warm up exercises to role playing, creating scenes from their lives in the past present or future and finding resolution of emotional issues arising from their loss. Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW’s) who specialize in grief therapy, adolescent counseling and experiential work specifically facilitate all camp activities, which include group therapy, individual therapy, outdoor sports and creative arts therapy workshops.


The program model reflects the vision of the founder and Executive Director Laraine Gordon, and draws from her twenty years of experience in her private psychotherapy practice and 7 years of professional hospice work.  The program also reflects her personal experience, as she suffered the devastating loss of her sister when she was a teenager.

For any teenager, adolescence can be naturally difficult because it is a period of intense physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development, but for teens who suffer the loss of a loved one, the impact can be deeply destabilizing to the mind, body, and spirit.  They become vulnerable to a range of psychological and social complications.

Without proper treatment and education, teenagers who experience a traumatic loss are at risk of disproportionate rates of delinquency and low resiliency.  These vulnerable young people require a targeted clinical focus on sensitive, caring professionals that are qualified to help them learn how to grieve effectively and understand that they are not alone. They also need the companionship of other teens that have had similar experiences with death and dying.

Research shows us that programming such as TFT, is not only a necessary and needed service, but also a niche that is not found in and out of the United States.  There are many bereavement programs but none that specifically employ the age group of 12-19-year old’s AND provide experiential methods along with creative outlets for grieving. The TFT model that has been created and can be easily replicated with the assistance of Laraine Gordon as a bereavement consultant anywhere worldwide, that has an interest, need and desire to create such a program. In these challenging times, teens are experiencing more loss than any previous generation and there is a need to address these current issues worldwide.

A parent's death typically makes a severe impact on a child, research shows. After losing a parent, 85% of children exhibit such symptoms as difficulty sleeping, angry outbursts, worry, depression, bed-wetting, and thumb-sucking. After a year, more regressive behaviors may fade, but other problems, such as lack of confidence and preoccupation with illness, are likely to continue. (Barr-Harris Children's Grief Center of Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis as reported in Chicago Tribune Magazine, 7-18-12)

Research & Death Statistics:

 Fifteen healthy adolescents, ages 12–19, were followed through the year following parental death. Semi-structured interviews were used in combination with standardized measures to complete in-depth evaluations at 6 weeks, 7 months and 13 months following parental death. Teacher reports and parent interviews and reports provided additional information. Initial responses were characterized by intense emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioral reactions associated with impaired school performance, strained peer relations, and sleep disturbances. Stress related symptoms were prominent and sustained. Overall, subjects reported a higher sustained degree of distress than adult children following the loss of a parent. Prominent themes are reviewed. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

This study was undertaken while Dr. Harris was a fellow in the Clinical Services Research Training Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco and was supported in part by NIMH Clinical Services Research Training Grant No. T32-MH18261 and BRSG Grant S07-RR05755 awarded by the Biomedical Research Support Grant Program, Division of Research Resources, National Institutes of Health.

Normally developing adolescents can think about death in an abstract, conceptual, formal, mature, scientific, or adult way. That fact on its own does not necessarily mean that they actually or even frequently do think about death in those ways. To have the ability to think in a certain way is not the same as actually thinking in that way. The import of this can be illustrated in several ways.

For example, in one research study (Alexander and Adlerstein 1998), 108 boys between the ages of five and sixteen years were asked to engage in a word association test in which three death-related words (buried, kill, and dead) were included in a set of twenty-seven stimulus words. Decreased speed of response and decreased galvanic skin resistance (associated with increased perspiration) were interpreted as reflecting heightened anxiety. Scoring results displayed a bimodal distribution. Those who were five to eight years old and thirteen to sixteen years old had higher scores than those who were nine to twelve years old.

On the surface, this is somewhat surprising. One might have expected increasing conceptual awareness of death to be either directly or inversely associated with anxiety about death. That is, greater understanding might have led to lessened anxiety because of the element of increased personal control implied in the ability to form and work with abstract concepts. Alternatively, greater understanding might have led to heightened anxiety because of increasing awareness of the finality and universality implicit in the content of one's concept of death. In fact, the researchers concluded that "death has a greater emotional significance for people with less stable ego self-pictures than for people with an adequate concept of the self" (Alexander and Adlerstein 1998, 157). This is relevant both to children who are five to eight years old and confronting challenges in their early school years and to adolescents for whom, as we have seen, ego stability and identity are precisely the central developmental issues.


The Hard Facts

Children and Grief Statistics

1 in 5 children will experience the death of someone close to them by age 18. (Kenneth Doka, Editor of OMEGA, Journal of Death and Dying)

In a poll of 1,000 high school juniors and seniors, 90% indicated that they had experienced the death of a loved one. (

One in every 1,500 secondary school students dies each year. (

One out of every 20 children aged ­fifteen and younger will suffer the loss of one or both parents. These statistics don’t account for the number of children who lose a “parental ­figure,” such as a grandparent or other relative that provides care. (Owens, D. “Recognizing the Needs of Bereaved Children in Palliative Care” Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing. 2008; 10:1)

1.5 million children are living in a single-parent household because of the death of one parent. (Owens, D. “Recognizing the Needs of Bereaved Children in Palliative Care” Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing. 2008; 10:1)

Mortality rates for adults in their 40s and 50s in the past two decades have risen dramatically, making it more likely that younger children will experience the death of a parent, or a classmate’s parent. “Kids are encountering death more often and at a younger age—it’s just inevitable,” says Gerald Koocher, chief of psychology at Boston’s Children’s Hospital. (”Early Grief” Wall Street Journal, Feb. 18,1999)

It is estimated that 73,000 children die every year in the United States. Of those children, 83 percent have surviving siblings. (Torbic, H. “Children and Grief: But what about the children?” Home Healthcare Nurse. 2011;29(2):67-79)


• • • • •

“Breakthrough brain research now demonstrates that we are hard-wired for emotional connection; therefore, change which threatens or ends important relationships is deeply destabilizing to mind, body and spirit and renders us vulnerable to a range of psychological and social complications. Psychotherapists and other counseling professionals have long understood that positive, creative experiences – especially when combined with supportive emotional connection – promote the psychological resilience that results in the capacity to evolve through change and loss occurring over the lifespan. Neuroscience now confirms that therapy reshapes the brain and strengthens its healthy functioning.”

Laraine D. Gordon LCSW-R Founder Time for Teens Inc. 2017

In the U.S., 8 million people suffered through the death of someone in their immediate family last year; 800,000 new widows and widowers; 400,000 people under 25 suffered from the death of a loved one (National Mental Health Awareness Journal)


Effects of Teenage Loss

How the loss of a parent affects a teenager’s self-esteem does not become clear until two years after the death, according to J. William Worden‘s “Children and Grief: When a Parent Dies.” Studies show that the difference in the levels of self-worth of bereaved versus non-bereaved children is minimal one year after the death of a parent. On the second anniversary of a parent’s death, the difference increases significantly. Bereaved children report much lower levels of self-esteem.

The lowered self-esteem of bereaved teenagers is linked to behavioral problems, such as withdrawal from social activities, acts of aggression or acting out, and impaired performance in school or on the job. Bereaved children also tend to suffer from increased levels of anxiety, depression and guilt. Some adolescents may become more entrenched in the family at a point in life when they need to individuate. Others may rebel or transit into an adult role that is premature and potentially overwhelming. In addition, teenagers may experience compounding losses, such as a lack of financial support, disrupted familial routines and plans for the future.

A study done on children whose fathers were killed in the Yom Kippur War revealed an interesting response by bereaved adolescents three to four years after death. While some children became needy or aggressive, others exhibited emotional control and laudable behavior, according to Robert J. Haggerty’s “Stress, Risk, and Resilience in Children and Adolescents: Processes, Mechanisms, and Interventions.” Because these bereaved children assumed new tasks and responsibilities due to the absence of the parent, they boosted their self-esteem. Sheer necessity forced these children to become highly functioning in order to survive.

All of the statistics and research show that without intervention, the effects of a significant loss are debilitating.

The impact of early intervention programs such as Time for Teens, are life changing.


Time for Teens
© 2017 designed by

Alexander Quiros

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Time For Teens, Inc.
c/o Laraine Gordon
P.O. Box 552
Southampton NY 11969


Time for Teens staff members are in the office and available most weekdays.





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