Counseling for Adolescents

Adolescents have complicated lives and may need support with their feelings and emotions.

When working with adolescents, my style is interactive, coach like. My aim is to create a good connection that allows clients to feel safe and comfortable enough with the process of exploring issues, planning for successful resolution or accomplishment and the work of moving forward towards change and/or healing. 

The first meeting is often with the parent(s), if they are initiating the process. For the process with and adolescent to work, there has to be a good enough rapport established with the parent(s) and of course with the adolescent. It is often clear that separate meetings with parents are necessary to coach them around better managing the situation at home. Sometimes a full family-session is warranted and sometime meetings with one or both parents are necessary. Each client needs are different and I accommodate what ever is required. Sometimes meetings alone with the adolescent is all that is necessary.

Counseling and psychotherapy can result in a number of benefits, including reaching goals, improving interpersonal relationships, emotional healing and resolution of the specific concerns that lead clients to seek my services. Working towards these benefits requires specific commitments on the client’s part. Those commitments include active involvement, honesty, openness, co-creating our working relationship and a willingness to stretch beyond one’s comfort zone.

On occasion remembering or talking about events and feelings can result in experiencing relief, a sense of freedom, or alternatively discomfort and feelings of sadness, anger or fear.  Sometimes clients hold rigid perspectives, attitudes, expectations, assumptions, about themselves and their lives. I frequently challenge these and propose different ways of looking at, thinking about, or handling things. This process can promote reaction in clients that are always helpful to explore. 

Resolving the issues that bring clients in for guidance or help may result in changes that were not anticipated. Counseling and psychotherapy can lead to decisions about changing behaviors, employment, substance use, schooling, housing or relationships. Sometimes, a positive decision for a client, may be viewed negatively by friends or family. Change can be simple and swift, and it can be slow and evolving.

I often will give clients homework to help facilitate change. Some examples are, reading, writing, having conversations with others, or practicing some form of stress reduction. Completing the homework is not a requirement. Not completing the homework is always informative around what is needed and/or what works best to facilitate positive change. If the homework is not completed it means that it was not the right homework or not the right time for the homework to be assigned.

The process with the adolescent is kept confidential from parents, except for information about being present or absent from a scheduled meeting or an issue of harm, danger or law breaking.

Common Issues with Adolescents and Children

  • Abuse
  • Anger Management
  • Anxiety, Panic, Fears
  • Chronic Pain or Illness
  • Depression
  • Family Violence
  • Loss or Grief
  • Mood Swings
  • Motivational Strategies
  • Resentment
  • Peer Relationships
  • Parental Divorce
  • Self Esteem
  • Social Skill Development
  • Stress Management
  • Substance Abuse
  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Trauma and PTSD

The behavioral health insurance panels I am affiliated with are Blue Cross Blue Shield and Medicare.