Great Conversations

ABOUT US

about-julie

Co-Founder, Julie Giesy Metzger, RN, MN

Julie Giesy Metzger began her nursing career at Seattle Children’s Hospital in 1981 caring for hospitalized teens and their families in the adolescent unit. The experience of working with teens who managed their lives with resilience and strength solidified her passion for adolescents and their families. In graduate school at the University of Washington School of Nursing, Julie pursued her passion through research analysis of the experiences of young women in puberty. Inspired by that work, Julie designed and delivered For Girls Only: A Heart to Heart Talk on Growing Up in 1988 while living in Pittsburgh, PA—the class became a local hit.

Julie returned to Seattle and began teaching For Girls at Seattle Children’s Hospital and launched what is now a perennial rite of passage for tens of thousands of preteen girls and their families throughout the Pacific Northwest and San Francisco Bay Areas. Over the years Julie has written and taught curricula for preteens and teens that promote strategies for decision-making, and she has written two books for preteens.

Julie has been invited to numerous school and community groups to talk to parents about topics related to adolescence. Her encouraging, straightforward approach, matched with the latest research and strategies, have made her a popular presenter.

Julie’s professional and clinical experiences include managing a pediatric unit, teaching pediatric nursing, and facilitating projects at Seattle Children’s. She and her husband are parents of three young adults who have been the primary inspiration of her work.

about-rob

Co-Founder, Robert Lehman, MD

After completing his training in Pediatrics in Denver, Colorado, Rob found his passion by pursuing additional fellowship training in Adolescent Medicine. Ever since, he has been working to promote health care for teens as a teacher, clinician, and policy developer.

Over the years, Rob has managed and practiced at teen clinics in a variety of settings, including public health, specialty referral, homeless teen clinics, reproductive health, incarcerated youth, college youth, and special projects involving youth with disabilities. He has practiced and taught primary care, reproductive health, chronic care and all other aspects of the unique healthcare needs of youth to health care professionals from various disciplines.

At present, he is continually thrilled to be teaching classes on puberty and sexual health, in giving talks to families and professionals on teen health, and has co-authored a book on puberty. Rob has also been active in health policy on state and national levels as chair of the Washington Health Coalition on Children and Youth, chair of the Northwest Chapter of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, Consultant in Adolescent Health for Public Health/Seattle & King County and held an executive position in the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, the leading international professional organization devoted to teen health. Rob serves on the Seattle STD/HIV Prevention Training Center Advisory Board and is an Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington.

instructor-fredcapestany

Fred Capestany

Fred comes from a long, extensive background as an educator and trainer with specific experience in sexuality education. He has worked with kids of all age ranges in addition to families. Currently, he is the Director for College Support at Rainier Scholars in Seattle. In addition to working with college age students at Highline Community College and University of Puget Sound, he has also been a sexuality educator with the Seattle School District.

instructor-gregsmallidge

Greg Smallidge

Since 1996, Greg has facilitated sexuality classes for kids, teachers, parents and families. He’s worked with high school peer educators, created curriculum, and is currently producing a documentary that explores the ideas and practices of sexuality education. Greg began teaching For Boys Only in 2008, bringing an easy, comfortable style to talking with boys and their families. He is raising two boys with his wife, Susan.

instructor-lindabrooks

Linda Brooks

A health educator since 2003, Linda facilitates processes that encourage youth to become empowered to choose and act with awareness. In the For Girls Only classes she’s been teaching since 2009, Linda enjoys providing information to enable girls and their families to communicate openly and constructively about a variety of important topics. Linda is also a professional photographer and enjoys camping, playing guitar, and teaching and learning from her son.

instructor-amyjohnson

Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson, MSW, CSE, is passionate about healthy families and great communication. She has worked with youth and families since 1982 and with Great Conversations since 2013. Amy’s passion for helping adults and youth think intentionally about their relationships is evident in her work as a national trainer, educator, and author. When she’s not teaching, Amy enjoys yoga, reading, and spending time with family and friends of all ages.

instructor-marypatterson

Mary Patterson

Mary Patterson is an educator, community advocate and non-profit executive. She has dedicated her work of the past 25 years to improving the health and well-being of children and youth. Mary has been teaching For Girls Only since 2008. She is also the Director of Strategic Partnerships at The Health Trust and President of the Board of Legacy Academy, a charter school serving middle school youth at risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system. Mary lives in San José, California, with her husband and two daughters.

instructor-Carlos Villarreal III

Carlos Villarreal III

Carlos Villarreal II has been a youth educator since 1999 and has worked with youth in a variety of settings since 1999. He been teaching Heart to Heart: For Boys Only since the Summer of 2015. He enjoys making a difference and helping youth and their families. He is the father to four boys and is also a high school soccer and club soccer coach.

Kai Kunkel

Kai Kunkel

At the heart of Kai’s work is a drive to help families connect and communicate. She has worked in the field of sexuality education since 1999 and is dedicated to providing young people with accurate, age appropriate information and the tools to make the best health choices for themselves. She currently works in special education in Seattle Public Schools with a focus on social emotional literacy and provides positive discipline parenting classes within our community. She’s a mom of two and loves nothing more than a kitchen dance party with her crew.

in-the-news-nyt-julie

The New York Times

“Let’s Talk (Frankly) About Sex”

A new approach uses openness and humor to make
“The Talk” less dreadful for parents and children alike.

By BONNIE ROCHMAN – MARCH 25, 2015

The Today Show

TODAY Show

“Birds and bees talk got your family buzzing? The ‘Puberty Lady’ is here to help”

Julie Metzger – on talking to preteens about puberty/sex

By BROOKE SASSMAN – JULY 17, 2015

Julie Metzger and Rob Lehman speaking with Seattle Mama Doc

Seattle Mama Doc – Seattle Children’s – SOUNDCLOUD

“How To Talk To Boys About Sex”

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson discusses how to talk to boys and girls about sex with experts Julie Metzger and Dr. Rob Lehman.

By DR. WENDY SUE SWANSON, SEATTLE MAMA DOC – AUGUST 16, 2016

Parent Map

“What I Learned at Dad School”

When it comes to raising daughters, don’t worry about hormones and periods: Just be a dad

By LUKAS VELUSH – JUNE 1, 2016

Julie Metzger with KQED logo

MindShift podcast – KQED/NPR

“The Puberty Lady”

Julie Metzger – on the talking to preteen girls about puberty/sex

By MindShift – JANUARY 26, 2016

Rob Lehman with KQED logo

MindShift podcast – KQED/NPR

“Questions Adolescent Boys Ask About Puberty”

Rob Lehman – on talking to preteen boys about puberty/sex

By KI SUNG – FEBRUARY 2, 2016

Julie Metzger presenting the For Girls Class

KNKX – 88.5FM

“Meet ‘The Puberty Lady’ Educating Seattle Tweens”

Julie Metzger – on the talking to preteen girls about puberty/sex

By JENNIFER WING & ALLIE FERGUSON – OCTOBER 15, 2016

Julie Metzger, adolescent girls with KIRO Radio logo

KIRO Radio

“The Puberty Lady teaches the birds and the bees in Seattle”

Julie Metzger – on talking to preteen boys about puberty/sex

By RACHEL BELLE, KIRO Radio, Ron and Don Show Reporter – May 19, 2015 @ 6:39 am

Parent Map

“Someone You Should Know…”

Julie Metzger – on talking to preteens about puberty/sex

By LYNN SCHNAIBERG – JANUARY 1, 2015

Julie Metzger and Rob Lehman speaking with Seattle Mama Doc

PRX – In The Deep with Angie Coiro

“The Sex Education You Wish You Had”

Julie Metzger and Dr. Robert Lehman – on talking to preteens about puberty/sex

By IN THE DEEP WITH ANGIE COIRO – APRIL 18, 2015

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

“Sex Education”

Sex education varies widely between school districts, leaving many teens without comprehensive information. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver made a video that covers what some schools are too embarrassed to teach, featuring excerpts from Great Conversations.

By LAST WEEK TONIGHT – AUGUST 9, 2015

The Late Late Show with James Corden

The Late Late Show with James Corden

“Sex Education”

While James is commenting on a story about Julie Metzger’s approach to family sex education, he recalls his experience learning from his parents during a family camping trip.

By THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN – MARCH 30, 2015

Fire it up with CJ logo with Julie Metzger and Rob Lehman

Fire it Up With CJ

“Segment 1: Back to School Concerns with Teen Experts – Julie Metzger and Dr. Rob Lehman”

What is the first day back to school like for your teen? How can you alleviate their concerns and insecurities about their body? What are your girls mostly concerned about? What do boys worry about?

By CJLUI – OCTOBER 2, 2012

Fire it up with CJ logo with Julie Metzger and Rob Lehman

Fire it Up With CJ

“Segment 2: Teen health : FAQ with Teen Expert – Dr. Rob Lehman”

How many hours of sleep does your teen need? What is the best time for doing homework? How will visits to the doctor change during teen years? What types of things will your doctor keep confidential from mom and dad?

By CJLUI – OCTOBER 2, 2012

Fire it up with CJ logo with Julie Metzger and Rob Lehman

Fire it Up With CJ

“Segment 3: How do I fit in? with Teen Expert – Julie Metzger”

Guess what has 24.9 million searches on Google: How do I fit in? It’s the question that starts in middle school and lasts our whole lives. Julie Metzger helps parents rethink middle school as the key time for your child’s experimenting with community and socialization. Learn how you can support your teen in maturing into an adult and dealing with social issues.

By CJLUI – OCTOBER 2, 2012

Fire it up with CJ logo with Julie Metzger and Rob Lehman

Fire it Up With CJ

“Segment 4: Letting Go of Our Kids and Building Independence with Teen Experts – Julie Metzger and Dr. Rob Lehman”

How can we start letting go of our kids and still stay connected? What are the best ways for parents to interact with teens as they seek more independence?

By CJLUI – OCTOBER 2, 2012

Fire it up with CJ with Julie Metzger

Fire it Up With CJ

“Parenting Teens: What to expect in High School?”

Podcast: Julie Metzger, co-founder of Great Conversations, shares her wisdom on parenting teens and what to expect in terms of brain development and sexuality during their High School years. Plus, the sex talk that will fundamentally change the way your child thinks about sex.

By CJLUI – OCTOBER 14, 2015

MamiVerse

MamiVerse: Universal Empowerment for Latina Moms and Families

“Sex Talk: When and How to Educate Your Kids”

With the saturation of hyper-sexualized media images surrounding us, it is hard to avoid it. And so you shouldn’t. Experts recommend taking the bull by the horns and addressing their questions head on.

By LORENA MUÑOZ – 09/01/2014

Julie Metzger with Gal Time logo

GalTime.com

“What Makes a Woman?”

Conversations with our Girls

Girls who feel connected -“feel understood and heard” by their families, their school, faith, or community group will delay risk-taking behavior.

By JULIE METZGER, RN, MN

Q13

Q13 Fox

“iQ Weekly Interview”

Watch Julie and Rob get intervied by Mark Wright on iQ Weekly. They discuss the history of Great Conversations and the challenges of talking to your kids about sex and growing up.

By MARK WRIGHT – 2012

king5

KING 5

“Top conversations to have with your kids”

Kids don’t have instruction manuals, so a longtime nurse at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital came up with her top ten list of conversations every parent should have with their child.

CAROLYN DOUGLAS | KING 5 News – AUGUST 15, 2009

Julie Metzger with Seattle Met logo

SeattleMet Magazine

“Puberty Lady Julie Metzger Talks About Sex”

JULIE METZGER ANSWERS questions for a living. Questions like, “I’ve heard that if you eat corn, you grow breasts faster. Is that true?” …

MATTHEW HALVERSON – MARCH 23, 2012

ParentMap

“The Virginity Gene: New Study Says DNA May Influence Sexual Debut” – quotes by Dr. Robert Lehman

But that doesn’t mean you can skip the birds and the bees

NANCY SCHATZ ALTON – APRIL 20, 2016

ParentMap

“Sex Ed: More Than Condoms on Bananas” – quotes from Great Conversations instructor, Greg Smallidge

What schools are (and aren’t) teaching kids about sexual health

BRYONY ANGELL – MARCH 31, 2016

ParentMap

“Rite of Way: Coming-of-Age Rituals for a New Generation” – quotes by Dr. Robert Lehman

NANCY SCHATZ ALTON – FEBRUARY 25, 2014

ParentMap

“Beyond the Sex Talk: Tips for Parents of Teens and Tweens” – quotes by Julie Metzger

ELAINE BOWERS AND PARENTMAP STAFF- APRIL 24, 2012

ParentMap

“Period Proud: New Apps, Products and Awareness Help Girls Feel Good About Old ‘Aunt Flo’” – quotes by Julie Metzger

If your tween daughter is entering womanhood, these new apps and classes will help take the mystery out of menstruation

NANCY SCHATZ ALTON – FEBRUARY 1, 2016

Julie Metzger with KQED logo

KQED Radio Interview

“Comprehensive Sex Ed Now Mandatory for California’s Middle and High School Students”

Guest: Julie Metzger RN, MN, co-founder, Great Conversations

HOST: MICHAEL KRASNY – OCTOBER 7, 2015

Greg Smallidge with Seattle Met logo

SEATTLE magazine

“This Guy Will Show You How to Talk to Your Young Son about Sex”

How sexuality educator Greg Smallidge eases into the facts of life for kids and their parents

ALI BROWNRIGG – JUNE 2014

Federal Way Mirror logo with Amy Johnson

FEDERAL WAY Mirror

“Go ahead: Talk about sex with your kids | Sex in the Suburbs”

BY AMY JOHNSON, GREAT CONVERSATIONS INSTRUCTOR – JUNE 15, 2014

Q13

Q13 Fox

“Not your usual swimsuit model: ‘She looks like me!’” – quotes by Julie Metzger

HANA KIM – MAY 8, 2013

Parent Map

“Your Daughter’s First Pelvic Exam”

When to go, why to go, what to expect

ROBERT LEHMAN, M.D., CO-FOUNDER GREAT CONVERSATIONS – APRIL 27, 2014