Working with Teens and Adolescents

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Adolescents and teens are at a stage in developmental where they are forming their identity and a sense of independence necessary to launch, live and conduct their own lives. It’s natural for parents and teens to have tension around preparing for this. For this stage to be successful, teens need to practice exercising greater amounts of independence, self reliance and levels of responsibilities, while parents are trying to balance continued guidance with less, and accessing the teen’s abilities. Although teen and parents may be doing what is required of them at this stage, they can run into difficulties shifting from their original roles to their new ones. A teen’s zealousness for greater independence can be mistaken for pushing limits, while parents’ limits mistaken for control. Seeking professional assistance can help facilitate this stage successfully. As a professional, I try to recognize the aim and challenges facing the roles of both. I can help teens and parents navigate this stage and prevent a teen pushing limits recklessly, or parents asserting control, which ultimately limits them both.

Areas I have Experience with:

Depression, anxiety
Building self esteem and realistic confidence
Social and communication skills
Dating and relationship Skills
Communication between Parents and teens
Life Skills, preparing to launch and live independently
Conflicts with Peers, siblings and other family members
Substance use, abuse, addictions, including alcohol, Marijuana, various Stimulants, opioids, and prescription medications
Finding direction
Adoption issues related to self and identity

Working with teens I strive to help them recognize and integrate healthy self esteem, appropriate social, and relationship skills. I do this by building upon their existing relationships with important adults, such as parents and teachers, as well as peers and friends. I offer specific skills for healthy dating, and introducing concepts to prepare them for adult romantic relationships. Based on my experience working with adults, I have a good sense what to anticipate, and they are likely to encounter. Most of all, it’s necessary to a strong sense of self, and the ability to express it to make good choices.
Although, much of my work is with the individual teen, and I maintain their confidentiality within realistic limits, I believe where appropriate, it’s important to include parents in a teen’s counseling. This can mean having joint sessions, providing brief updates, or collaborating with the family as a whole.

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