I have worked with teens in both private practice and public-school settings. Teens and young adults are at a pivotal time of their lives which presents its own unique opportunities for growth as well as challenges. It is in youth where we, often for the first time, are naturally beginning to negotiate numerous aspects of Self, Relationships and Society. And this happens all at once. Questions and concerns about identity and relationships and how they fit into the current social milieu are some of what may be brought into therapy.
This can be a time of both excitement and fear. Like the beautiful Russian matryoshka dolls, this new stage in life is nestled between what came before (childhood) and what is yet to be (the long path toward ‘adulthood’). Youth are literally stepping from one moment in time to another. Similar to a bridge, youth carries us from one land to another; away from our childhoods and towards what lays beyond, with one major difference: the burgeoning ability to create and shape agency, voice, power and choice. Who do you want to be? How do you want to be treated? Where do your boundaries lay?
This is a time of navigation, learning which door to enter and which path to embark upon. Who do I want to be friends with? Who will be friends with me? Why? Should I date this person or not? Safe sex, no sex, oral sex? How do I know what I want and with who? Is there a god? Why is the world so ____? What will I do after high school? What do I want? What does my family want? Can I voice my own opinion? Can I expect to be heard and validated? Or do I shout from the hilltops to deaf ears? How do I get my needs met? How do I drive this thing called ‘life’?
This can be an especially powerful moment to step into therapy. Having a third party, caring and trusted adult at such a time aids in you becoming the conscious driver of your own life versus the unconscious passenger.
I welcome any and all questions from you, the teen and you, the caregiver.