Therapy for adolescents
How is therapy for adolescents different?
Therapy for adolescents is different from therapy for adults in that at times therapy for adolescents includes the parents or caregivers of those adolescents, in order to enlist the support of the caregivers in helping the adolescents make changes in their lives. Adolescents have less control over their lives and their environments than adults do, so involving parents can be beneficial in helping teens heal from depression, anxiety, and trauma. I meet with most teenagers once a week and update their parents about once every 2-4 weeks. At times I will meet with a teenager and their parents to work specifically on conflict resolution skills or problem solving.
Types of therapy
Special considerations in therapy for adolescents
When working with adolescents I make sure to stay in touch with not only the teen’s parents but also their school counselor or teachers and any other providers that may be working with them, such as a psychiatrist or dietitian. It is important to work together to provide the best care for the individual in therapy and to coordinate treatment.
Individuation is the process all teenagers go through during adolescence to begin to form identities independent of their families. This natural separation process begins in early adolescence and is usually complete by early adulthood. It is during this time that an adolescent begins to form their own identity and begins to explore what it’s like to be an individual apart from their family.
Working with individuation
This process can be tricky as teens begin to experiment with different styles of clothing, hair styles, and ways of speaking, and can sometimes create conflict in families. Therapy is often used to support teens as they go through this individuation process.