Working with Teens
Teens can be difficult to communicate with, especially if they’re angry or withdrawn; or both. Many teens do not trust adults for various reasons and are reluctant to share their feelings and concerns. They’re at a time in their lives when they think they can or should be able to handle things on their own. They see asking for help as a sign of weakness or failure. Many of their experiences with being vulnerable, especially with adults, have not been very positive.
The art of reaching a troubled or troubling teen is a difficult one. It requires somehow demonstrating that you are genuinely on the teen’s side and want to help, are genuinely interested in their concerns and point of view, and are actually in a position to do something to help them meet their needs. You must then be able to help them reveal how they actually feel, identify what those needs are, and do something about it. This can be a lengthy and arduous process. Or it can happen very quickly. It largely depends on the degree to which the teen has been affected and how quickly you can develop rapport and gain trust, and demonstrate the attributes mentioned above.
Once this has been accomplished, change can be slow and difficult or sometimes swift and dramatic, as the teen mobilizes his or her energy, which is usually considerable, and begins to take steps to make things better. Often in the end, the change is nothing less than remarkable.
I have been working with troubled and troubling teens for four decades and have had tremendous success helping to bring about the types of changes that transform teen’s lives and the lives of their families.
I understand how difficult and challenging being a teenager can be. Peer pressure, pressure from parents and teachers, and issues of identity, self-image, friendship and sexuality can sometimes be more than a teenager can handle on their own. At a time like that, additional help can make a difference.
I have a natural knack for gaining the trust and respect of teens and providing them a safe place to open up and begin to change. From that vantage point I can guide and support them along the way as they take the necessary steps to change the course and tenor of their lives and find a path that suits them.
My approach is strengths-based, supportive, and encouraging. I have tremendous faith in the resilience, courage and capability of young people of all ages. I enjoy helping them find these qualities within themselves and express them in the world in meaningful and gratifying ways.
As a graduate student at JFKU, I specialized in Child and Adolescent Therapy.
Please contact me for a free, 20-minute video or phone consultation.
*I am currently offering both in-person therapy and remote therapy via phone or videoconference.