Is your teen acting out, sad or anxious? Does he/she seem to be struggling with self esteem or school challenges?
My 15 years of experience in education inform my approach to building a trusting connecting with and supporting teens and college-bound students. I’m very familiar with school Individual Education Plans (EEPs) and 504 plans. With younger teens, I incorporate art, play, and psychodrama to help them express their feelings. When young teens are faced with difficult circumstances and are unable to understand and process their feelings, this can be very scary and confusing for them. Helping them to find ways to express emotion is critical for their wellbeing. This may entail my working with the teen alone and sometimes with the parent/s. The two therapeutic approaches I typically use with teens are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Gestalt Therapy.
Is it hard to remember the happy times with your “good” kid amidst the increasing distancing, disdain, disrespect, or downright volatility of your teenager?
Take heart if this is your current experience because you’re most definitely not alone. What’s most important is how you interpret these changes and the ways in which you respond to your teen. When teens isolate or act out, they are usually feeling lonely, stressed, sad, or scared. Sometimes, all of the above. With kindness and respect, I work to forge a trusting connection with your older teen so we can examine what’s going on, together, and find solutions that will give them relief. My goal is to help your teen feel empowered to make choices that change their life for the better. When appropriate, I encourage teens to invite their parents and siblings to be a part of their therapy.
In the case of both younger and older teens, common issues that I work with are:
- Teens who are isolating and have few friends
- Teens who are doing poorly in school
- Teens who are over achievers and perfectionistic (e.g. school, sports)
- Teens who are going through divorce or loss in the family
- Teens who are part of a newly blended family
- Teens in conflictual relationships with parents
- Teens with low self esteem
- Teens dealing with addiction
- Teens experiencing anxiety and/or depression
- Teens dealing with their adoption
- Teens who need help sorting through the college process
When teens connect with the right therapist, they enjoy coming and feel better about themselves and their relationships with others.