Adolescence describes the ages between 13 and 19. This crucial time of transition from childhood to adulthood can be challenging. This in-between period seems to be a confusing time, and is also a perfect breeding ground for the following.
Any or all of the above issues are reasons you might seek counseling for your teenager. Adolescence describes the time when (typically) teens begin to think about and form ideas about experiences, morals, and people for themselves. It is a time of the very important and developmentally natural work of differentiating from parents, guardians, and those with authority. It is helpful for parents/ guardians, families, groups, and adolescents to use therapy as a way to wade through the transition that IS adolescence with an objective and caring individual.
My goal in working with teens is to meet them where they are - wherever that may be. I patiently align with the teen and seeks to build a warm and genuine relationship that is based on trust.
Learning how to successfully cope with issues and navigate a growing desire to gain independence is KEY.
Adolescents can have different symptoms than adults. Parents should pay attention to the following.
Troubling changes in teen’s eating, sleeping or social life
Irritability/reactivity - including extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
Vague physical complaints - such as headaches or stomach aches
Drop in grades
Bouts of crying or shouting
Talk of suicide - Do NOT assume this is attention-seeking behavior. It's important to have this sort of talk assessed by a professional.
Read more about depression therapy
Depressed teens are more at risk to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, or promiscuous behavior.
Cutting or burning oneself is a sign that a teen may be trying extreme measures to get relief from emotional pain and needs to be assessed for depression or other difficulties. This could potentially become habit-forming, and the teen needs help developing non-destructive coping skills.
Read more about anxiety therapy.
Be aware of any troubling changes in eating habits, including extreme restrictions with food, binge eating and any type of purging (vomiting, laxatives, excessive exercise). Weight may still be in normal range with some of these destructive and potentially life-threatening behaviors.
Read more about eating disorders
High level of conflict
Chronic family or social conflict over a period of several weeks could be a potential indicator of multiple difficulties, whether it is depression or unresolved family issues.
Please contact me for more information.
To Parents & Guardians:
Teen sessions are 45- minutes long. In our initial session, I consult with you and your teen for the first 15 minutes or so. After this time, the teen and I will work together. I value parental insight, and also believe that boundaries around parent/ therapist communication need to be in place, so that your teen feels safe to work with and trust me. Know that I will often encourage positive and healing parent/ teen communication, but will not consistently hold family therapy sessions in conjunction with individual teen therapy. I will, however, happily refer to my trusted colleagues for family therapy and enjoy working collaboratively to ensure the best care for your teen.