Helping tweens & teens sparkle + thrive
You’re worried about your child. Lately, everyday life seems to be more and more difficult.
Maybe you’ve been getting calls from school…
Maybe there’s constant tension at home…
Or maybe your child seems withdrawn, anxious or depressed.
You catch yourself wondering if your child will ever be able to feel good about their friendships, their school work, or themselves. You wonder if they’ll ever fit in.
You’ve been trying to help. Trying to reach your child. Trying to guide them to become the happy, confident person you know they can be.
But it’s not easy. It’s not always intuitive. And it’s not uncommon to feel at your wits end.
Which is where I can help.
As a child and teen therapist, I can teach your tween or teen how to navigate the tricky emotions and interactions that come with growing up.
I can also teach your child how to identify their feelings and learn new skills to thrive and confidently shine at school, among their peers, and at home.
If you’re ready see your child smile more, feel more secure in their skin and navigate school and life with more joy and ease, please consider therapy for your tween or teen.
Tween and teen therapy can help if your child
- Feels anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed most days
- Has lost interest in things or activities they once enjoyed
- Is moody and irritable
- Struggles with academic pressures
- Has difficulty with peers and/or making friends
- Is getting into arguments more often
- Is turning to risky behaviors (drugs, alcohol, sex)
- Has asked to talk to someone about their problems
It’s not easy growing up!
In some ways, growing up is the same as it’s ever been…but in other ways, it’s most definitely not!
With a world that can sometimes feel scary, unbelievable academic pressure (it’s not enough to have a 4.0 GPA anymore), and the distortions and constant connectivity of social media, it’s no surprise that anxiety and depression among children, tweens and teens is on the rise.
Often, children are faced with many of the same pressures as adults, but don’t have the skills to get through them on their own.
In my practice, I love working with kids who are sensitive, creative and quirky. Sometimes they’re shy or socially inhibited. Sometimes they’re overwhelmed by perfectionism and feel like they have to be top achievers. Other times they just feel misunderstood and out of step with the world.
For some, therapy may focus on new ways to express emotions or change behavior and unproductive thinking. For others, therapy may be about learning new social skills or building self-esteem.
As I take each individual child’s needs into account, I focus on healthy emotional, social and behavioral development in my tween and teen clients.
And since we can probably all agree that getting adolescents to talk is not always an easy feat, therapy begins by creating a place where tweens and teens can feel supported and free to express themselves so we can effectively work through the issues they’re facing.
Here’s what you can expect in tween & teen counseling
I usually meet with at least one parent for the first session. This gives you the chance to get to know me and to decide if you think I’ll be a good match for your child in terms of personality and therapeutic style. We’ll discuss your concerns and goals for therapy. If we agree that I may be a good fit, we’ll set up a session for me to meet your tween or teen.
Sometimes, however, it may be best to meet with a teen individually, instead of meeting with the parent(s) first. This decision is typically decided during our initial telephone conversation.
When working with tweens and teens, the most important work is to develop a trusting relationship with your child. This session is about letting your child get to know me and develop comfort with the therapy process. Your child will have the choice to meet with me individually or with one or both parents in the room during the first session.
Session 3 & Beyond
I will continue to create an emotionally safe space for your tween or teen to explore their issues. We will meet together weekly for 50-minute sessions. Typically, counseling continues for several weeks or months, but the duration of his/her time in therapy will depend on the complexity of the issues we’re working to overcome.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What if my teen or tween doesn’t want to come to therapy?
You may want to let your child know that going for therapy doesn’t mean that something is ‘wrong’ with them or that they’re ‘crazy’. It’s simply a valuable opportunity to learn new skills – like riding a bike or learning to swim – that will help them feel better and more confident.
In addition, it’s important to make your tween or teen feel like they have a choice and some control over therapy. I recommend letting your child meet with a couple of therapists from your vetted list so that they can decide who makes them feel most comfortable.
What is your perspective on medication for tweens and teens?
I view medication as one option in a toolkit filled with many tools. When used wisely and in the right circumstances, medication can be a very effective temporary solution to help a child get from point A to B.
For example, if a teen or tween is so anxious and panic attack-ridden that they can’t leave the house to go to school or therapy, medication may be an excellent option until other interventions (like therapy) can take effect.
Please note that I do not prescribe medication, but I can refer you to a practitioner who does. Also, I’m always happy to collaborate with other service providers so that your child gets the comprehensive care he or she needs.
Is my child’s therapy confidential?
In my experience, the best breakthroughs happen when my tween and teen clients see therapy as a safe place to open up and explore the issues with which they are dealing. This usually happens when my client knows that I won’t share private information with parents.
Exceptions to this policy include situations where I think the child may harm themselves or others. Issues like sex and drug use may also be considered harmful, so we will determine boundaries around what is private and confidential at the beginning of your tween or teen’s therapy.
Beyond this, I will give you general updates about your child’s progress, without breaking confidentiality.
In terms of others, your child’s file and diagnoses are 100% confidential unless required by law and/or you choose to share information in your child’s file (for example, with your family doctor). Please keep in mind that if you decide to use your insurance company to get reimbursement for your child’s session fees, your child’s file will no longer be confidential.
Have more questions?
Let’s connect with a free, 15-minute phone consultation. I’ll answer any lingering questions you may have so you can decide if therapy with me is a good fit for your tween or teen.