Psychotherapy with Adolescents
I always say to parents of teenagers, “Put on your seatbelt, it’s going to be a bumpy road!” Raising an adolescent in today’s day and age is no easy task. Teenagers know how to push buttons and how to make a seemingly easy situation quite difficult. Many times, this is because they are overwhelmed, anxious, confused, so unsure of themselves, sad, and preoccupied with their own issues.
My approach is to work closely with teenagers to develop a trusting and caring relationship where they feel supported in a way that allows them to explore their innermost thoughts and feelings. A major goal of the treatment is to provide your teenager with a safe place and clear boundaries. Once your adolescent feels safe and secure, they are usually willing to talk about their difficulties and are open to learning about what causes them to make the decisions they make and how to make better decisions along the way.
This non-threatening and non-judgmental approach works well with teens who are anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, angry, confused, withdrawn, and struggling with self-regulation issues (difficulties with sleeping, eating, self destructive behaviors, drinking / drugs, etc.).
Through our relationship and the support of therapy, your teenager will learn to better manage their overwhelming feelings, to cope with their difficulties in a more adaptive manner, and gain a more in depth understanding of themselves so that they can make better decisions and choices. An increase in self-awareness often helps teenagers feel more purposeful, more confident, more independent, and more open to exploring those possibilities and options once not considered.
In terms of parent involvement, while sometimes tricky with adolescents, I work hard to explain to teenagers how important it is over time for their parents to better understand their issues. Our parent consultations will depend on your teenager's needs and developmental phase of life.