Counseling for Teens

Giving Teens the Tools to Flourish

The teenage years are a critical period of development. Children's brains continue to grow well into their 20s impacting their cognitive, emotional, and social development and skills. Teens face challenges related to identity formation, managing increased responsibilities, navigating complex social relationships, and becoming more autonomous.  Although teens have frequently been portrayed in pop culture as dramatic, moody, and defiant, I find that this simplistic portrayal is a disservice to the complex lives that teens live and minimizes the challenges and pressures that teens face today. The onset for almost 50% of adult mental health disorders occur by age 14. Adolescence provides an opportunity to help tweens and teens develop and practice the tools and strategies to form healthy relationships, develop problem solving strategies, and increase emotion regulation skills, in order set them up for healthy habits that promote emotional wellness across the lifespan. 

Counseling May Be Helpful If Your Teen

  • Feels depressed, worthless hopeless or irritable

  • Feels overly anxious or fearful

  • Avoids everyday interactions due to fear and distress

  • Talks about suicide or death

  • Intentionally causes harm to themselves by cutting, scratching, hitting, burning

  • Has an intense need to clean, organize, or perform rituals

  • Prefers to spend most of their time isolated

  • Uses alcohol or drugs

  • Displays difficulty sustaining attention

  • Experiences significant weight loss/weight gain

  • Causes physical harm to animals, people, or property

  • Experiences disruptive sleep or sleeps excessively

  • Academic difficulties or academic decline

  • Has lost someone they are close to

  • Has endured a traumatic event 

  • Has experienced big changes (i.e., divorce/ separation, caregiver chronic illness)

Girl Gazing
Friends Playing Video Games

What does counseling for teens look like?

For tweens and teens feeling heard and understood is critical to developing a trusting relationship that lends to overcoming difficulties. I take the time to get to know your teen and orient them to the therapeutic process from the initial intake session. During the 90-minute intake session, I devote 45 minutes to caregiver input and meet for an additional 45 minutes with the teen. This separate time with the teen allows me to develop rapport with the teen and gather their input about their experiences, concerns, and how they would like psychotherapy to benefit them. I will review the intake and specific goals for treatment with both the teen and caregiver, and revisit these goals periodically with your teen during treatment so we can make adjustments. This process empowers teens by giving them ownership of their treatment. During treatment I also devote significantly more time to psychoeducation and give additional structure to support teen's goals.

At Flourish Psychology and Wellness my aim is to provide clients with an environment that fosters feelings of safety, respect, and support.