B. Janet Hibbs, LMFT, Ph.D. is a recognized authority on family issues, with a focus on parent-child and partner relationships. After watching her own college student struggle with mental health, she worked with Dr. Anthony Rostain to help him. Then she and Rostain wrote The Stressed Years of Their Lives, a guide for parents of college students who want to help support their kids’ mental health. Dr. Hibbs’ combined academic, clinical, and commercial writing backgrounds blend seamlessly in engaging public and professional talks. Her presentations draw on 25 years of expert clinical experience treating individuals, couples, and families, and she provides effective strategies for coping with the many issues–including stress–that parents and students face. Dually licensed as a psychologist and family therapist, Dr. Hibbs holds the highest credential in the marriage and family therapy field, as an Approved Supervisor for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Dr. Hibbs is also the recipient of the PPA Psychology in the Media award for 2021.
In addition to The Stressed Years of Their Lives, Dr. Hibbs is the author of Try to See It My Way: Being Fair in Love and Marriage. She is a popular radio talk show guest, with appearances on The Diane Riehm show, WHYY, NPR’s “Voices in the Family” and “Radio Times,” and on regional TV. She has been quoted in national newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Dr. Hibbs honed her presentation skills during 15 years of graduate teaching experience on the faculties of Hahnemann (Drexel) University, the Family Institute, and Widener University. Prior professional public speaking engagements include The Smithsonian Institute Speakers series, national professional conferences, and regional community groups.
Dr. Hibbs is co-founder of Contextual Therapy Associates, where she has a private practice in Philadelphia, PA. She and her husband have been married for over 30 years and have two sons.
The Stressed Years of Their Lives Helping Your Kid Survive and Thrive During Their College Years
St. Martin's Press
From two leading child and adolescent mental health experts comes a guide for the parents of every college and college-bound student who want to know what’s normal mental health and behavior, what’s not, and how to intervene before it’s too late.
The Stressed Years of Their Lives: College Parents today wonder, "What's going on?" as they absorb the daily reports of campus hazards pandemic related concerns, and skyrocketing rates of college mental health problems. Educational leaders ask, "Why is this generation more stressed?" and debate how best to balance the traditional emphasis on academic excellence with the value of non-cognitive, resilience-building instruction. This illuminating talk tackles the campus mental health crisis, promoting key conversations and helping parents and administrators distinguish normal adolescent and young adult behavior while strengthening protective factors.
The Stressed Years of Their Lives: Special Needs When Dr. Hibbs's son Jensen left for college, his parents had every reason to believe he was prepared. Unfortunately, Jensen became severely depressed and withdrew from school on medical leave. His crisis and recovery taught Dr. Hibbs many important lessons about the specific challenges faced by families and young people with special needs. In this talk, along with Dr. Anthony Rostain, Dr. Hibbs discusses the journey through the education system and the launch to young adulthood through the lens of learning disabilities, mental health problems, and neuro-atypical development.
Try To See It My Way: Keys to a Better Marriage Based on Fairness Most problems in marriage boil down to one word: fairness. Feeling fairly treated is the key to making love last. Yet despite the fact that most of us learned to tell right from wrong by age three, many couples disagree about what's fair. Dr. B. Janet Hibbs has been married for over 20 years, and she has experienced many of the struggles that come with the territory. As a well-known expert in the treatment of couples, she's in a unique position to offer effective strategies for coping with the many issues that couples face. The good news is that you can learn to be fair.
The Stressed Years: What's Next? School, Parenting and Life, Post-pandemic Parents wonder, When will things return to normal: For kids, teens, young adults? How do you buffer the impact on your child after more than a year of loss, peer isolation, chronic anxiety and increased online activity? Beyond the usual tropes of self-care, this talk promotes useful strategies for emotional wellness for kids and parents alike, as we engage our new normal. We'll help parents and kids digest their experiences and engage in key conversations about "What's Next?"
Check out Dr. Hibbs and Dr. Rostain in The New York Times.
Listen to Dr. Hibbs and Dr. Rostain on the Free Library of Philadelphia podcast.
Read the piece Dr. Hibbs wrote for the New York State Writers Institute on how to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Rostain and Dr. Hibbs named as Plenary Speakers for the 2020 ACPA Convention.
Check out her recent interview with Bryn Mawr on her newest release.
Read Dr. Hibbs’s and Dr. Rostain’s article on preparing for the transition to college in The Wall Street Journal.
Dr. Hibbs and Dr. Rostain give advice on how to do well and be happy in college on NPR Life Kit.
Dr. Hibbs discusses how parents can prepare for their child’s transition to college on NBC10 Philadelphia.
Dr. Hibbs and Dr. Rostain talk about helping college-bound children learn independence on NBC10 Philadelphia.
CBS News interviewed Dr. Hibbs on how parents can help college students get through increased stress.
New York Post interviewed Dr. Hibbs about how parents should help their children cope with depression in college.
NAMI Radio interviewed Dr. Hibbs about The Stressed Years of Their Lives.
Dr. Hibbs and Dr. Rostain discuss the campus mental health epidemic on NPR Fresh Air.
Dr. Hibbs and Dr. Rostain talk about “Stressed Generation Z” on The Lisa Show.
Interview on WBYU radio 1.24.2019 Dr. Hibbs and Dr. Rostain talked with BYU Radio on why Generation Z is stressed.
Read why most of Generation Z is stressed out in an op-ed by Dr. Hibbs and Dr. Rostain.
Listen to Dr. Hibbs on WHYY with Mike McNulty, discussing “Divorce Prevention 101.”
Listen to Dr. Hibbs discuss holiday stress on the Diane Rehm Show.
- Kelly Herrington, Director of College Counseling & Student Services, University Prep
"The President's Advisory Group of Bryn Mawr College loved the blend of research, pragmatism , and open personal testimonial shared. This book and the presentation by the author provided just the right elixir for guidance counselors helping parents cope with the heightened anxiety of today's students. "
— Cheryl Lynn Horsey, PhD, Chief Enrollment Officer, Bryn Mawr College
"I just wanted to thank you profusely for the fabulous presentation yesterday. It was simply wonderful — highly informative and personable!"
— Jan Sigmon, YPO Big Apple Gold Board Member and CEO/Founder of The University Playbook
"'I thought the authors’ presentation was excellent—very, very engaging and informative.' 'Their presentation was great!' These are just two of the comments in response to a presentation at Villanova University provided by Dr. Hibbs and Dr. Rostain to a group of faculty, advisors, and staff from area universities. The material was excellent and incredibly relevant to the students in higher education we all work with or for parents with children preparing for higher ed."
— Nancy Mott, Ed.D., Director of Learning Support Services
"What a team! [Dr. Hibbs and Dr. Rostain] both have a gift for connecting with [their] audience and impacting their thinking. Throughout the remainder of the conference, I overheard people talking about [their] presentation, particularly Jensen’s journey. Our goal for the conference was to provide information and offer tools, but most importantly to inspire hope. [Dr. Hibbs and Dr. Rostain] both accomplished all of that and we are so grateful."
— Susan Berman, C.O.O., The HELP Group
"We have received numerous compliments as to the material that [Drs. Hibbs and Rostain] presented here at Alvernia University. The presentation on mental health and well-being was timely and relevant to the student populations that we serve, well done."
— Dr. Rudy Ruth, Executive Director of the Holleran Center for Global and Community Engagement, Alvernia University
"[B and Tony] did a wonderful job sharing with our attendees! Their slides and commentary were right on target for what our educational leaders needed to hear and take back to their schools for impact. Indeed, mental health is so incredibly important as we teach and develop students for college and life."
— Margaret ‘Sissy’ Wade, Ed.D., Executive Director, The Heads Network
"We have been receiving wonderful feedback about [B's and Tony's] talk. Folks found it to be informative, engaging and helpful! I'm so glad [they] were able to join us."
— Natan Gottesman, Ph.D., Psychologist, Friends Select School, k-12 Quaker School
"The speakers today were outstanding. I loved their presentation, their delivery and their expertise. Thank you for finding them and bringing them to campus. Our lunch conversation was one of the best we have ever had after a speaker."
— Kate O’Donnell, LCSW, Lower School Counselor, Colorado Academy
Praise for The Stressed Years of Their Lives "This is the type of book every parent should read before discussions of college even begin. Packing in just the right amount of statistics and real-world scenarios, two doctors offer sound advice on how parents can better prepare their children for the challenging college years that lie ahead of them."
“This book is a hopeful and essential guide that promotes emotional health and mental fitness in young people. The authors address mental illness and offer models for prevention, treatment, and recovery. A must-read for parents, educators, and clinicians.”
— Patrick J. Kennedy, former U.S. congressman, author of A Common Struggle, and sponsor of Paritytrack.org
“Childhood is disappearing for young adults, with the pressure to perform, the seductions of social media and the fears of an uncertain future, as stress, anxiety and depression are reaching epidemic proportions. I can think of no better guide than The Stressed Years of Their Lives for overwhelmed parents and stressed-out kids for navigating these turbulent times. This is required reading for the college set.”
— Brigid Schulte, author of the New York Times bestselling Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play when No One Has the Time, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, director of The Better Life Lab at New America
“College-related anxiety and pressure on both parents and children begins long before the admissions process, changes and intensifies in college and has been escalating, alarming educators, mental health professionals and, of course, families themselves. Drs. Hibbs and Rostain have battled in this arena with courage, insight and a wealth of professional training and experience. This wonderful book defines and explores the many, varied minefields of the college years with candor and compassion, and provides parents with practical advice and support about what to look for, what to ask and say, and when and how to intervene. Having seen these pressures both as a parent and university president, I am grateful that there is now this long-overdue and extraordinary guide. It should be required reading for all parents.”
— Judith Rodin, former Provost of Yale University and President Emerita of the University of Pennsylvania
“Hibbs and Rostain have done a great service for parents trying to guide their kids through the transition to adulthood and college life in this high stress world. They’ve written an engaging and accessible book full of common sense guidance and tremendous clinical wisdom. They provide both specific advice about the important issues to consider and what parents and kids can do to be best positioned to address those issues in order to succeed and thrive.”
— Victor Schwartz, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at The Jed Foundation and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine
“Drs. Hibbs and Rostain have a national reputation as highly knowledgeable and skilled adolescent psychotherapists, and for good reason. This book is filled with both clinical vignettes and research findings to help illuminate the very personal stories of what these young people struggle with, as well as some disturbing statistics about the mental health crisis in high schools and colleges. If you want to learn about adolescents and how to help them, please read this book first.”
— Daniel Gottlieb, psychologist, nationally-bestselling author of Letters to Sam and host of "Voices in the Family"
“The Stressed Years of Their Lives is an informative, thought-provoking and—perhaps most importantly—conversation-starting curation of mental health information that all parents need to read. With robust research woven throughout deeply compelling stories of real young adults and their families, the book paints a clear picture of the struggles that young adults of today are facing; the way parents, and young adults, and schools can be partners in success; and the message that help is available and there are so many reasons to have hope.”
— Alison K. Malmon, founder and executive director of Active Minds