Depressed teenagers often don't know what they are depressed about. So we become curious about their feelings and explore why they feel what they feel. Often they need context or reality testing around their fears. Here is what we focus on: Curiosity about feelings, context, reality testing, archetypes and goals.Teenagers can be challenging. They are attempting to individuate from their parents, get along with their peer group, attend high school, stay out of trouble and deal with the new issues that social media brings up. There is shaming, bullying and internet addictions. What is a parent to do? It is tough. Teenagers can be angry, defiant or troubled. Often, counseling helps teenagers because it takes them out of the family system and the counselor, as an unbiased adult, can listen to their hopes, dreams and fears without worries of being judged or shamed. We all needed and hoped for those mentors, aunts and uncles, who could lend an ear when we were growing up. Some things never change. What is your teenager bringing to the table that makes you want to reach out for some counseling for them? Are you hoping that an outside person can help your teenager navigate his or her depression, anxiety or grief?
The top 10 reason teens come into counseling are depression, anxiety, behavior problems, substance abuse, stress, school or social related issues, legal problems, low self-esteem, trauma, and grief. Is your teenager struggling with any of these? I worked with teenagers at the Greeley Community Grief Center who were struggling with their grief and other issues as well. I’m comfortable working with teenagers, with help and support, anything is possible! I use empathy, active listening, analytical psychology and psychodynamic influences. I give my clients homework that is appropriate to what they are working on, and that helps bridge the time between sessions. All of our work is confidential.
What are the three most common fears about seeking teen counseling?
Time commitment. Like any successful relationship, commitment to their weekly counseling sessions is necessary. Without showing up consistently each week, how can they make progress? When you understand that a profound relationship with their counselor is necessary to the successful outcome of their therapy, it will make it easier to commit to their weekly session. I know sometimes that means driving them and picking them up. But it’s worth it in the long run.
Economic commitment. Where we spend our money says a lot about who we are and what goals we hope to achieve. Some teenagers do well with short-term therapy. Other’s need a little bit longer. In the great arc of our lives, we have spent our money many times on vacations, conferences and seminars and education. Therapy, built on a strong therapeutic alliance, empathy and compassion, continues long after the actual sessions wrap up. Teens internalize what they’ve learned and carry it with them for the rest of your life. This is an investment in their health and well-being for the long term.
Former bad experiences in therapy. Sometimes you’ve gone to therapy and had a less than successful experience. That hurts. Maybe you’re afraid that might happen again. I come from an analytical psychology and psychodynamic approach. What this means is, I take my role as counselor very seriously, with all of the ethical guidelines and rules this entails. I have a lot of life experience as well as current, cutting edge training. As we collaborate in our work together, I will always to check in with your teenager to make sure they feel understood and seen in the therapeutic relationship.
I offer a free phone consult (15-30 minutes) to answer any questions you have about specific needs and questions about my practice.