Adolescence: When Therapy Can Be Most Effective
I wouldn't be in the business I'm in if I didn't know, personally and professionally, that adults can change. But I also know how difficult it can be.
With teenagers, things can be very different. Sure, for kids who have had difficulties their entire lives, counseling during adolescence isn't going to be magic. Generally speaking, though, the teenage years are a special window in which a little bit of therapy can go a long way.
The main reason is that teenagers are already experiencing changes on a par with what they went through in their first few years. They may not seem very malleable to their parents, but they are. And they now have the intellectual and verbal skills to engage fully in the process of therapy.
I do want to stress that match is very important here - more so than with adults or younger children. Teenagers will sniff out inauthenticity in a heartbeat. They are usually hungry to connect with a adult they can trust, but they won't trust just anyone.
Mostly, they do trust me. I chalk that up to both my personality and the clinical attitude I'm able to bring to the task:
- I'm not afraid of them.
- I won't be an extension of their parents' agenda and concerns.
- I can - and often do - admit to being wrong.
- I'm pretty funny.
- I don't say bullshit therapist-type things.
I could go on, but instead I'll stop and encourage you to reach out to me to talk a bit about the teenager in your life who has you worried. Getting your kid to accept the idea of seeing a therapist can be tricky sometimes. I can give you some advice there, too.
Definitely do your due diligence: poke around my website, including my blog. If you like what you read well enough, then call or email.