Teenagers and Family Therapy

What happened to my kid?

Most of the day and night is spent on their phone or computer… or in front of a video game.

They isolate themselves in their bedroom all day.

You notice changes in their sleep, appetite, concentration, and motivation.

Maybe they’re irritable or defiant…

… or failing in school.

You no longer recognize the happy, outgoing kid who loved socializing and spending time with their friends and family. You can see the sadness, fear, and confusion in their eyes.

“Please, tell me what I’m doing wrong?!”

If you’re like many parents, the only discipline that seems to work is taking away their prized possession, the cell phone.

It’s hard because you know that if you take away all electronics, it will mean nuclear war – an end-of-the-world crisis that will only push them farther away.

The more you reach out, the more they hide.

This is a hard time… for you and them.

You’ve noticed how your teenager has begun dressing differently, listening to different music, and changing their interests. It’s all because they’re struggling to form their identity and sense of self.

Perhaps their eyes are glazed – and coupled with the emotional rollercoasters and how they’re ignoring their basic needs – you can’t help but wonder if they’re experimenting with drugs or alcohol, too.

Or they might be exploring their sexual identity. Maybe you’re confused about how to use “pronouns” or feel like they are speaking a different language.

Don’t give up. There is hope!

Let me work with your teen to get through feelings of depression, anxiety, fear, and confusion to guide them to a solid sense of self with a new direction in life. Here’s what we’ll do:

Establish trust and safety…

My approach with your teen is to understand their world, speak in their language, and adapt to their perspective. I understand the unique challenges they are facing in today’s society. In developing a safe therapeutic relationship, I model a supportive, nonjudgmental person who has their best interest in mind. We will connect on their level, music, movies, and even videogames. We will talk, laugh and cry while celebrating their uniqueness instead of hiding from it.

Breakthrough barriers like trauma…

Once safety and trust are established, we will identify significant obstacles and trauma they have experienced and put words to their pain. Normalizing their thoughts and feelings while encouraging positive ways to express themselves will enable them to heal old wounds and give them the attention the cuts deserve. Working through feelings of anger and sadness will allow your teen to grow and flourish while finding strength in what they see as a weakness, power where they feel powerless, and hope when they feel hopeless.

Rebuild confidence…

I provide a safe place to hear your teen’s voice. I applaud it. Adolescence is the most crucial point in their life where they are developing their unique and amazing sense of self. Although they feel they have little to no power to make decisions for themselves, encouragement, empowerment, praise, and acceptance for who they are will improve their self-confidence and self-esteem and nurture self-love.

Create and pursue their goals…

Becoming an adult brings a lot of responsibility, confusion, and fear. Normalizing these feelings and fostering their strengths to become who they want to be and how they choose to safely live their lives will be critical to a successful self-fulfilled future. Whether work and education, volunteering, or re-evaluating their goals, support and encouragement will help them find their voice.

Restore meaningful relationships…

Relationships influence and motivate us into who we become. We all know the pressures and difficulties in maintaining relationships in a teenager’s world, then add social media and the Internet, a whole new set of expectations and peer pressures emerge. I encourage healing meaningful relationships and creating/building new relationships that will add richness to your teen’s future.

You’re here because you care for your child.

That is the FOUNDATION!

Over the years of working with troubled youth in an inpatient and outpatient setting, I learned one of the most valuable yet shocking lessons: teenagers desire structure, guidance, and love!

Sadly, I have too often seen children try and survive in a confusing world where their guardians got lost along the way and couldn’t provide them the love and guidance they craved.

If you’re reading this, you are a parent who cares, longs to understand them, and is exploring options that will be in your child’s best interest. You are an exception. Let’s take advantage of that!

Your family matters!

Let’s talk about what matters most to you. Call now for a free 15-minute consultation: (626) 283-5852.