Psychotherapy for Teens
Adolescent years are a time of tremendous challenge and change. The physical, emotional, social, intellectual and moral changes happen rapidly, which can lead to confusion, anxiety, shame, low-self-esteem and depression. We work with teens, and their parents, to help them process these heavy emotions, manage their fears, and learn the skills needed to cope and thrive. Relationships with peers are everything at this age, so it is central in our therapeutic relationship with teens. We help teens navigate these relationships, peer pressure, cliques, online bullying and alcohol and drug use.
Oftentimes teens, or their parents, are seeking help for a specific problem that might be causing hardship and pain. Other times, they are just going through a rough time and could use a little more emotional support. We keep the matters that teens bring to our attention confidential when we can, but also seek permission to bring parents in when it is helpful or necessary.
The following is a list of teen issues we can help with:
- Trauma and Abuse
- Life event/change
- Relationship Problems
- School refusal (or other issues such as grades)
- OCD (obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
- Gender identify, Sexuality and Gender Nonconforming
- Low self-esteem due to Learning Disability
A note on anxiety in teens:
Teens face tremendous pressure to perform and succeed. School is stressful, then there are the SATs and ACTs, college applications, cliques, and parental expectations on top of it. Sometimes this stress builds up and prevents teens from following through with homework, taking or passing an exam, or performing at a concert or on the team. We work with teens to help them see this fear for what it really is, then overcome it, so they can stop it from sabotaging their hopes and dreams in life.
The focus on our work with teens involves helping them understand how their thoughts, actions and feelings are interconnected and can work to reinforce bad feelings and behaviors. Using metaphors that they can relate to, we help them realize the things that are within their control that can be changed to help them feel better.
We help teens develop:
- coping skills in dealing with challenging feelings and situations
- problem-solving skills
- ability to understand and regulate feelings and behavior
- ways to manage anger
- Goal-setting skills
- organizational skills
- skills in social problem-solving, making friends and negotiating with peers
- relational empathy
- relaxation techniques including counting and taking deep breaths, and progressive muscle relaxation exercises
- skills to conquer worry and fears that interfere with goal attainment