Working with adolescents, and teens is an integral part of my practice. It is such a unique and special, yet challenging time of life. I work to see each adolescent/teen for who they are in the world and help them not be defined by their struggles or pop-culture. Self-discovery, forming one’s identity, peer relationships, healing from childhood trauma or struggles, and conquering the developmental tasks facing adolescents/teens is crucial to creating a strong foundation for their life’s journey. My approach respects the growth and development that needs to take place, while at the same time helping adolescents/teens learn to respect boundaries that, while frustrating at times, are in place to support them, help guide them, and keep them safe. This phase of life can be a challenging time for everyone in the family. It can be a time of intense self-doubt as well as self-discovery. Sometimes adolescents/teens need an adult that can be neutral, without judgment to help them explore and discover who they are while maintaining family relationships. I help them learn that staying connected gives them the safety and support to explore the independence they are searching for as they begin to differentiate from their parents and turn more towards their peer group.
Research shows that the adolescent/teen brain goes through significant changes during this developmental period. These changes can affect their craving for risk taking during a time they are trying to master good judgement which can cause adolescents/teens to act without thinking and suffer unwanted consequences. However, this can also be one of the most creative and productive times in an adolescent’s/teen’s life if they learn to channel their energy in a positive direction, learn from their mistakes, and have love and support as they discover who they are.
Some common issues of focus for adolescent/teen therapy are:
- Low self-esteem, Poor Body Image
- Depression, Self-Harm
- Stress, Overwhelm, Anxiety, Panic
- Bullying, Stocking
- Peer Relationship Problems
- Social Skills, Pop culture
- Social Media, Electronics Addiction
- Relationships, Intimacy, Sexuality
- Risk taking, Substance use
- Academic pressures, School Problems, College
- Identity Issues
- Meaning of life/Spirituality