Services > Adolescent Counseling
Adolescents face unique complex challenges daily… As well their parents when dealing with them! Teenagers typically don’t discuss all these issues with their parents. Either out of fear, their parents are “stupid”, they don’t want to be judged, they don’t want their parents to be involved or embarrass them, they are embarrassed, or they have messed up and they know their parents won’t approve of their behaviors.
The pressures and constant challenges placed on teens today is unlike anything seen in the past, and they desperately need a safe place for mindful reflection, growth and positive change, offered by a trained counselor they trust.
I have undergone extensive training and experience in working with teens who are experiencing anxiety, depression, sexual abuse, trauma, divorce or separation, eating disorder, self-mutilating, sexual acting out, substance use, relationship or family concerns and other mental health concerns. Adolescents do not have the cognitive ability to sort out their thoughts, questions, fears, or problem solving by themselves. They are in desperate need and generally want a trusted safe adult they can be honest with. I can say I have never met an adolescent who felt “understood”.
There are many different reasons parents will seek counseling for their teens. Basically, it will stem from a “gut feeling” a parent experiences, a crisis, an alarming behavior by their child, professional recommendation, legal issue, or a child’s “cry for help”.
Sudden or drastic changes in behavior
Isolation or withdrawing
Defiance, disrespect, or obstinance
Suicidal threats or ideation
Lying or sneakiness
Negative reports from school officials or teachers
Drug or alcohol use
Poor body image
Lack of friends
Spirituality or Christianity
Lack of motivation
Social media involvement
Sexual identity/Sexual acting out
Gaming to excess
Disengagement from family and/or friends
Lack of interest
Quitting activity or sport
Separation or divorce
Death or loss
Outlook on Adolescents
Whatever the reason might be, in my experience, the teenage years are the most complicated and whatever the parent and or the child believes is the “issue”, probably isn’t. Adolescents have many pieces to their puzzle and it is my responsibility to take each puzzle piece and carefully examine it with the teen in order to fit the pieces to their puzzle together…making sense of their complex world. It is “normal” for teens to withdraw, become oppositional, think their parents are stupid and unfair, feel they have no friends, their friends are more important than family, or they have met the love of their life that happens to be after one thing between their legs…Deciphering all of this is what matters most, and it happens to be my passion and purpose in life.
I have learned that parents are not okay if their kids are not okay, period. They might go through their day and accomplish many extraordinary things, but deep down their soles, they feel tremendous pain when their child is suffering. I am a firm believer that “everything happens for a reason” and it is my responsibly to make sense out of what most people see as a tragedy, crisis, and sometimes the end of the world. Making sense and learning from life events can strengthen not only the parent but the child and the family unit in the end.
Humans are developmental and being grounded by education in the developmental process allows me as a therapist to teach parents what is “normal” and what is cause for concern. Adolescents is complicated and nerve racking. It is part of the process. Having a mediator, mentor, and a listening ear allows teenagers to purge their thoughts, ideas, opinions, and feelings in a safe place where the parent realizes their child can and will figure out their crazy unexplainable world.