Being a teenager in today’s world can be extremely stressful. Peer pressure, bullying, and social media are all contribute to feelings of anxiety, depression, and isolation. Not only do teens have to navigate these pressures at school every day, but they now also have an online world to manage when they get home. The teenage years are just downright hard for both teens and their parents.
Parenting a teenager is one of the hardest jobs out there. As children approach their adolescent years, many parents start to feel left out of their teen’s emotional world. Teenagers tend to pull away during this time as they try to figure things out on their own. As teens start this more independent journey, you might notice changes in your child that are worrying you. Your teen is on their phone more; spending more time in their bedroom; or even quicker to snap and argue with you. You might be here because you know your teen is struggling, but you don’t know exactly what to do to help.
Sometimes teens are not forthcoming in sharing about their stress with their parents. It can be helpful to invite a therapist into the equation to provide a space for your teen to work through the challenges they are experiencing. It might feel scary as a parent to trust another adult to hold this space for your child. I take this responsibility seriously and have dedicated my career to working with teens and their parents in a collaborative manner where everyone can feel included and comfortable with the process.
I have worked with teens and families who come from all walks of life, including: teens who have experienced significant trauma; parents seeking to regain custody of their children; and foster and adoptive parents. Over the years, I have learned a few key things about teens and their families. Family trauma, substance abuse, and unhealthy communication patterns can be inherited and passed down from generation to generation. It can be extremely difficult to break these patterns, and parents often feel that they failed when they see their teen exhibiting similar behaviors that they did as a child. I’m here to tell you that no matter what your family’s narrative is, you didn’t fail. Every single family has there “stuff,” and being brave enough to own that and do something about it takes exceptional strength.
In therapy, I working with adolescents and their families to improve communication and promote healing in relationships. My primary focus is to work individually with your teen to get to the root of issues and provide a space for them to feel heard and understood. It can also be helpful to invite parents into sessions to support their teen’s work in therapy, or to work through any specific issues affecting the family as a whole.
I also work individually with parents seeking their own support in managing the stress of parenting a child with mental health and behavioral needs. If your child already has a therapist, it can be helpful for parents to seek their own space to both release their stress and also receive coaching and feedback about different interventions to try with their teen.
We can decide together what makes most sense for your family.
Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.J.K. Rowling