Counseling for Adolescents

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

Adolescence can be a complicated time. An adolescent may need support with their transition towards adulthood. Feelings, emotions relationships, personal identity, group loyalty, purpose and value are all things an adolescent may be facing, all at once.

When working with adolescents, my style is interactive, coach like. The aim is to create the best connection possible, one that allows the client to feel safe and comfortable enough with the process of exploring concerns, planning for successful resolution or accomplishment and the work of moving forward towards change and/or healing. 

The first meeting is sometimes with the parent(s), if they are initiating the process. For the process with and adolescent to work, there has to be a good rapport established with the parent(s) and of course subsequently, with the adolescent. Separate meetings with parents are often necessary to assess what has helped and what has not been helpful, and to provide some coaching with them around best management of the situation at home. Full family-sessions are sometime warranted. Each client and family’s needs are different, and I work to accommodate whatever is necessary. On occasion, all that is necessary are individual meetings with the adolescent.

Confidential with the adolescent is essential and parents are only informed about presence or absence from a scheduled meeting, or an issue of abuse, or serious law breaking.

As with all clients, counseling, psychotherapy and coaching will result in a number of benefits, including reaching goals, improving interpersonal relationships, emotional healing and resolution of the specific concerns. Working towards these benefits requires a commitment 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 and a sense of freedom. Alternatively the same process can result in discomfort, feelings of sadness, anger or fear.  If a trauma history is revealed the process slows down and I engage a variety of Somatic Experiencing™ techniques. If clients hold rigid perspectives, attitudes, expectations, assumptions, about themselves and their lives, we will talk about the possibility of a shift in perspective, thought pattern or behavior.

Resolving issues may result in changes that were not anticipated. Counseling and psychotherapy can lead to decisions and changes in behavior, employment, substance use, schooling, housing, or relationships. There are times when 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.

When appropriate, I give clients homework aimed at facilitating discovery or change. Some examples are, reading, writing, having conversations with others, or practicing some form of stress reduction. Completing any homework assignment is not a requirement. 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. Not completing the homework is always informative around what is needed and/or what works best to facilitate positive change.

Common Issues with Adolescents and Children

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

Please note:

Medical claims submission to insurance companies is not a part of my practice. All clients pay directly for services, and handle reimbursement from insurance companies themselves with itemized receipts suitable for this process.

All meetings with clients are virtual, conducted over the phone or via video-conferencing.