In today’s world, with the burdens of school, social interactions and the influence of social media, teens are under increasing pressure. At a time when adolescents are appropriately differentiating from their parents, they simultaneously still desperately need guidance. When people lived in clans and villages the responsibility of guiding teenagers may have fallen to adult friends of the family or older family members. With the increasingly disparate nature of our communities, the final stage of rearing children–where we deliver them from being wholly dependent on us to being truly independent–seems to have fallen to the wayside, even as our young people are in more need of assistance with this transition than ever.
I endeavor to provide teen clients a safe harbor as they begin to make the tenuous transition from children to adults. I cannot make this transition be smooth for them, but I do work to help the adolescent to understand themselves, their feelings and reactions and communicate more clearly with those around them. Additionally, I aim to increase their coping mechanisms and inner resources, helping them to manage anxiety and depression.
Through providing teens with a confidential space where they can openly explore their fears, longings, and ambitions as well as their hurts and fears, my young clients are able to find who they are, identifying their unique strengths and building on them.
Much of my work with teens hinges on the trust that is cultivated in my relationship with them. Any positive change that occurs within therapy is entirely dependent on our rapport. My work with them can be non-linear and playful, mirroring the teenager’s own inner world.