Teen & Tween Therapy

teen-therapy-walnut-creekDo you feel disconnected and distant from your teenager? Do you just know something is wrong but the absolute last thing your teen will do is tell you what’s bothering them? Have you seen a drastic change in your teen and have no idea what will help?

Your teen may be attempting to manage many pressures such as academics, sports, social circles and family life. Maybe you’re worried about the amount of pressure your teen seems to be under and you are seeing problems as a result. Perhaps your teen has changed from that loving and open child you once knew to someone who you can’t manage to get a word out of. Despite your best attempts, your relationship with your teen seems to be getting worse and it is causing you a great deal of stress and worry. The worst part of all is that while you are racking your brain with ideas on trying to help, your teen may appear to care less.

What you are experiencing is normal and I am here to help.

Adolescence can often be a confusing, scary and aggravating time not only for the adolescent but the family members as well. It is a time that is cognitively and emotionally very different from childhood and adulthood. And it is a time that teens often begin to shut out their parents in favor of their peers. Navigating this tricky time can be very challenging and frustrating.

Teen therapy can be scary for the parent. You may have just one chance for your teen to feel heard and connect with the therapist. That is why finding a therapist who specializes in teen therapy is extremely important. Teens are not adults and they are not children. They are their own group that need to have their own specialized techniques applied. I have extensive experience in working with adolescents. I have worked with teens for several years in many different setting including homes, schools and other types of care. I have a deep understanding of their developmental needs and how to delicately manage those needs with the needs of parents, school and social circles. Teens often have an easy time connecting with me and building a relationship that is unlike any other one in their life. Most importantly I truly enjoy working with this amazing population. Managing interactions with teens can be very tricky and unless a therapist has a true passion for working with teens, your teen will pick up any discomfort immediately and the relationship will suffer. Choosing a skilled therapist will dramatically improve the course and outcome of therapy.

Maybe you are unsure if your son or daughter really needs therapy. Here are some behaviors or symptoms your teen may be displaying that would be appropriate for therapy:

  • Extreme mood swings
  • Isolation and withdrawal from family and/or friends
  • Sudden changes in grades and school performance
  • Excessive worry
  • Angry outbursts
  • Excessive sadness/crying
  • Difficulty in coping after a sudden change in the family (loss, divorce, move)
  • Excessive difficulty after break-up in relationship
  • Increases or decreases in eating
  • Defiance of directions given by adults
  • Excessive crying or sadness
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Self-mutilation (cutting)
  • Suicidal statements or attempts

These are just a few signs indicating that teen therapy would be beneficial. I offer free 20-minute phone consultations if you are unsure or just need more guidance.

“I just don’t think I can get my son or daughter to go to teen therapy.”

Teens often welcome a relationship with a caring therapist to help them overcome their struggles. They, however, will often not let you, the parent, know that. Perhaps trying to collaborate with your teen on solutions to to the problems you see will help your teen cooperate more. Having some sense of control over situations is important to teens. Offer to have them see me for a “trial period” and they can then choose to end therapy if they are not happy. Help them to feel involved in the situation and highlight that teen therapy sessions are a safe place for them to process events in their life that they are struggling with.

“Will you be able to tell me what my teen talks about in sessions?”

One of the most important factors for a successful teen therapy process with adolescents is to maintain their confidentiality as permitted by law. In order for a teenager to feel safe and secure to process their true thoughts and feelings, the information discussed with me is confidential. I am happy to provide parents with a summary of treatment and discuss concerns you are having. If the teen is comfortable, I also often invite parents into the session to increase communication within the family and encourage increased bonding. Family sessions can be a great opportunity to feel involved in your teen’s world while respecting the confidentiality your teen has with me.

Not sure if teen therapy is right for your teen and family at this time? Download my free report on The Power of Validation for easy tips on incorporating this powerful tool with your teen. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me for a free 20-minute consultation.