Even in the best circumstances--a safe, healthy home environment, charismatic teachers, and positive social influences--adolescence is a time filled with challenges and significant upheaval. Developmentally, it is an adolescent's job to learn how to define themselves as separate from both family and friends. It is also their job to assert independence, both physically and emotionally, while simultaneously maintaining an appropriate level of connectedness to parents or caretakers. When we consider that an adolescent's brain is not fully developed and that they do not posess the same jugment and reasoning skills adults do, it is understandable why these developmental tasks are so difficult. Furthermore, because of puberty, adolescents' bodies are changing significantly and they have to contend with an influx of hormones. All of this leads to a great deal of confusion, which then translates to moodiness, anger, depression, loneliness, frustration, grief, and acting out behaviors.
To achieve positive changes, the teen's environment is just as important as the work we do in therapy. Consequently, I prefer to involve as many people from the teen's natural environment as possible in the therapeutic process. This might mean regular phone check-ins with parents or an occasional family therapy session at my office. It might also mean inviting the teenage client to bring a friend or their romantic partner into sessions periodically. In general, I recommend that parents or caretakers and family members should work on trying to understand the problem just as much as the teen in order to create a positive foundation for therapeutic success. I have worked with adolescents and their families for over 10 years and am fully qualified to treat adolescents for any number of emotional and behavioral issues, some of which are listed below. I would be happy to schedule a phone or face-to-face consultation to answer any questions you may have about how I would treat your teen.
Therapy for adolescents often focuses on the following areas:
- Behavior disorders
- Divorce or separation
- Substance abuse and dependence
- Social difficulties
- Teen pregnancy/teen parenthood
- School Performance
Young adults, new to adult independence and adult responsibilities face unique challenges. The timespan between the ages of 18 to 30 brings about monumental changes including:
- Living apart from family
- Entering the workforce
- Financial independence
- Becoming a parent
Most young adults in this age range are still finding out who they are--the type of person they want to be and the types of people they want to surround themselves with, while ALSO being saddled with a great deal of responsibility. Many feel unprepared as they enter some of these new phases of their life and benefit immensely from a warm, supportive therapeutic relationship. In my past clinical endeavors, I have spent a great deal of time working with this population and their struggles with:
- Drugs and alcohol