Do you worry that your child is suffering from teen depression, anxiety, or low-self esteem? Are they experiencing difficulty in school, having a hard time managing stressful situations, acting out at home, becoming increasingly defiant? Do you wonder if it is “normal” teenage behavior to become emotionally detached, withdrawn, or isolated from family and friends? Perhaps they have lost interest in the things that once gave them pleasure, and you worry that it may stem from something greater than ordinary teen rebellion. Conversely, maybe they have
become so argumentative that you don’t even know how to communicate without conversations spiraling into conflict.
Raising children during their teen years can be a frantic and frustrating experience. Ultimately you want the best for them, but so much has changed since you were their age that you are simply lost in confusion. You may be seeing changes in their behavior or appearance that makes you concerned for their health. But on the other hand, you want to respect their boundaries, let them develop their own identity, and allow them to fend for themselves. And despite your best efforts, you may worry that pushing too hard to connect or communicate is only making matters worse.
If you are struggling to protect your teen as you help them prepare for the future, you are certainly not alone. Fortunately, it is possible to understand your child’s problems, help them overcome their challenges, and better equip them for a happy, healthy, and productive life as an adult.
Most parents and teenagers face bumps in the road during this phase of life. For teens, it is a time of intense growth, not only physically but emotionally and intellectually. As a result, the transition into adulthood can feel overwhelming and confusing.
When you factor in the distraction that technology creates, feeling confident and acknowledging their own intrinsic value can be extremely complicated for teens.
Popular culture sets unrealistic expectations for beauty and success. Social media paints a distorted picture of individuals’ lives that are impossible to match. And the highly-competitive and stressful nature of choosing the right college, career path, or partner can stop a young person in their tracks. Moreover, fluctuating hormones, the desire for more independence, peer influence, and an emerging identity can all play a part in the challenges that teens face. The truth is, there is a lot going on during the teen years! And not all of it is immediately obvious to parents.
The good news, however, is that with the help of a compassionate, experienced teen psychologist you and your teenager can get back on track. I will help your teen find balance and an increased sense of ease and confidence. Together, we can find what your family needs to move out of crisis and enjoy greater peace.
Therapy can empower your teen to clearly understand what they need in order to be happy while instilling in them the confidence needed to handle life’s challenges. During our sessions I will help your child identify any feelings, thoughts, or behaviors that may be causing them distress or creating obstacles to their success and well-being. I provide a safe and accepting environment where teens can express themselves openly and honestly, without fear of judgment.
Although most of our sessions will include just myself and your teenager, I will often ask parents to participate during family therapy sessions . In a supportive environment designed to convey a message of trust and respect, we will look at some of the challenges and needs that your child faces. In some cases, I may conduct a personality inventory, using an assessment like the Myer’s-Briggs test. Based on those results we’ll identify and develop new tools and skills that can help your teen respond to their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a healthy manner. Over time, your teen will gain more insight and develop new ways of communicating needs as things come up.
One of my primary goals for teen counseling is to teach your child simple techniques, such as mindfulness exercises and grounding strategies, that they can use anytime. By acquiring these positive coping skills, your teen will begin to feel more confident in themselves, capable of handling stressful situations, and empowered to make sound decisions on their own. Additionally, if I notice a pattern of negative thinking, I may use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for teens, to help them replace self-defeating thought patterns with more supportive, positive responses. I also use different techniques to improve self-awareness, a hallmark of self-esteem. And depending on the circumstances, during a session I may use a questionnaire to get them talking about their likes, dislikes, or how they view themselves.
As a teen therapist with over 10 years of experience, I will help your teenager find balance and restore a feeling of ease in your family’s day-to-day life. Therapy for teens can help strengthen family bonds as habitual reactions and responses to your teen begin to shift. With my help, you can rest assured that you have done everything in your power to ensure your child’s health, success, and happiness.
While time plays a role in the healing process, things like teen depression, anxiety, acting out and poor self-image usually don’t go away on their own. Oftentimes, symptoms can worsen if left untreated. I am here to help your teen take proactive steps to reduce symptoms and, ultimately, feel more hopeful and positive in life. Investing in your teenager’s emotional health now may be the best decision you make for their long-term well-being.
You may hear from your teen that she doesn’t want to go to therapy because she doesn’t want to talk to a stranger. I get it! That idea can feel nerve-wracking and counter-intuitive—and not just to teens. However, sometimes merely suggesting that your teen meet with me once without any pressure to commit can make the therapeutic process feel more doable. You could also let her know that she is the one who gets to make the final call on whether or not to continue sessions. Fortunately, I have been working with teens for many years and usually develop a rapport fairly fast. Most teenagers make a great deal of progress and say that they feel teen counseling was worth it in the end.
You may feel that you should be able to figure out how to help your teen feel better. As a mom, I understand this. You have watched your child grow and feel like you know him or her pretty darn well! But changes during the teen years happen and they can happen suddenly. If you notice changes in mood or behavior, a trained teen therapist can provide insight, tools, and new strategies to help your family get back on track.
As a therapist with over a decade of experience working with teens, I am here to help. With the right support (including from parents!) your teen’s day-to-day life can become easier and their relationships can improve.
If you are ready to give teen therapy a try and want to see if I am a good fit, simply contact me for a free 30-minute consultation by clicking here to connect with me.