Addressing Anxiety, Depression and Low Self confidence

How I work with teens

I absolutely adore working with teens and young adults. I find it fascinating, energizing and challenging. I strive to be the therapist I wish I had at that age. And what a challenging time of life! Teens today are facing unprecedented challenges with  internet overwhelm, social media, instant grading,  and the climate crisis.  Combined with body changes, college pressure, and social dynamics, its easy to understand why they are struggling to cope. 

Anxiety is common for teens and learning to understand and command their negative inner voices can support them for conquering their stress in the years ahead. Using workbooks or talk and art/music therapy and help teens gain tools that can last a lifetime. 

Mood and depression issues may be harder to spot in teens and children. For example, irritability, mood swings and desire to sleep a lot are so common.  If you are concerned about your teen's level of depression, it is best to schedule an assessment and we can discuss the appropriate treatment plan. 

Self compassion/Self confidence- So many teens have terrible self confidence and even if they are succeeding at school, they have a very harsh inner voice and have a hard time holding on to compliments or positive feedback. Using the approach of Self-compassion research (Dr. Kristen Neff) I work with teens to be kinder to themselves, to be their own best-friends, and to understand the common humanity in what they are struggling with. This work is surprisingly difficult, but seeing teens emerge being able to name their strengths and give themselves the pep-talks and encouragement they need is priceless. 

Working well with multidisciplinary teams is very important to me . I work quickly and diligently  to establish good working relationships with pediatricians, teachers, administrators, school counselors, psychiatrists and family therapists to best meet my client's needs. 

Confidentiality- Teens need a safe place to share, within clear, reasonable limits. Early in therapy, I work with teens and parent/guardians to sign a contract which explains clearly what things require me to break confidentiality. I do not share things with parents that the teen is not aware that I will share. For example, I may tell a teen client that something they have shared is something their parents need to know. We will work together on how to best tell them.  Please see the FYI  section for my forms and find my child-therapy-contract for more details.

Collaterals- I like to meet with parents/guardians  for collateral meetings regularly, every 4-6 weeks. Working closely with families is the best way for teens to make lasting positive changes in their lives.