Therapy for Teens
Adolescents need developmentally attuned counseling services that treat them as neither children nor adults. They are often initially resistant to going to therapy, especially if past experiences have been that it consists solely of lecturing or attempts to change their behavior, rather than an being an opportunity to set their own goals and express their thoughts and feelings to an objective, caring adult who sees past difficult behaviors to underlying pain or confusion.
First and foremost, we work with teens by offering empathy and listening to how they perceive their world – seeking to understand their experiences and their unique perspective on life. We also give adolescents as many opportunities as possible in counseling to take ownership of their therapy, including setting treatment goals and deciding when to invite other significant people in their life into sessions. The goal is to help adolescents learn responsibility, confidence, and problem-solving skills through the therapeutic process itself.
Parents' Role in Their Teen's Therapy
When working with adolescents, parents are an integral part of the therapeutic team. A significant degree of confidentiality is afforded to teenagers, which is vital to them feeling emotionally safe in counseling. However, we are also clear with teens and their parents about the legal limits to confidentiality and provide
regular updates to parents about their teen’s general progress in therapy and feedback on
changes at home that would promote their son or daughter’s progress.
When appropriate, family therapy sessions are added to individual therapy to explore how each family member is impacted by, and contributing to, the issues the teen is struggling with.