As parents we want our kids to be well-adjusted, happy, and successful. Unfortunately this can be challenging for teens who are dealing with peer pressure, hormonal changes, academic expectations, parental ideals and their own self-discovery process, all simultaneously.
During adolescence, we are much more self-conscious about our changing identities than at any other time in our lives.
The development of a strong and stable sense of self is one of the central developmental tasks of adolescence. Additionally adolescents are ready for more challenge and independence.
This is an interesting, exciting, but potentially dangerous time that often leads to conflict with parents or other authority figures.
Adolescents need to be free to explore their identities, but also need guidance and support to proceed safely through this pivotal developmental stage.
Therapy provides a safe space for young people to explore and express their feelings about these challenging issues.
I help adolescents explore and clarify personal values and beliefs while developing strategies to navigate the difficulties of their school and social pressures, to find positive and healthy outlets for their stress and anxiety, and to make choices that lead to increased self compassion, acceptance and confidence as well as personal success.
When working with an adolescent, I will involve the family when it is beneficial to the client. There are times the adolescent prefers to keep the sessions and our conversations between him or herself and the therapist, and I respect their right to privacy.
I require parental consent and financial responsibly to be taken by the parent unless the teen is seeking counseling for abuse, pregnancy, or drug related issues.
I also work with parents of teens on communication, appropriate discipline and consequences, and how to respond to a teen who is depressed, or withdrawn, anxious, using self-harm (cutting) as a way to cope with intense emotions, using alcohol or drugs, or struggling with eating disorders or other mental health disorders. Areas of treatment focus include:
- Family stressors.
- School pressures.
- Self harming behaviors including cutting and suicide ideation
- Social/ peer issues.
- LGBT- Sexual/gender identity exploration
- Teen pregnancy
- Drugs and alcohol