The adolescent development period can be a very challenging time for many youth as well as for their parents and families. The social and peer aspects, including the complicated role of social media, school, academic and employment pressures, family stressors, identity development, life transitions and ever-changing brain and body development make the teenage years especially tricky.
Teens may not directly voice their concerns to their family, for many different reasons. Instead, parents and others in the child’s life may observe “symptoms” through the teen’s behaviour that could be signals your adolescent is struggling. These may include (among others):
- Sudden family and social withdrawal and/or isolation
- Changes in mood and affect
- Excessive worrying or anxiety
- Somatic complaints (ie, headaches, stomach aches)
- School avoidance or changes in academics
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Scratches, cuts, burns on body
- Expressing thoughts or wishes to end their life or that life isn’t worth living
- Lack of pleasure or interest in things previously enjoyed
I offer individual counselling for teens, providing them a safe, supportive and confidential place to be listened to and express themselves, as well as helping teens learn how to identify and acknowledge emotions, become aware of the impact of what they are thinking and believing upon their behaviours, and help them get in touch with what is deeply important to them and how they would like to live. Often counselling includes the development of additional coping skills, problem-solving skills, and relationship-communication skills.
Parents whose teenagers are going through a challenging time also often benefit from counselling sessions, which may be separate to the sessions of their child, or depending on the youth’s preferences, may be partially or fully part of their counselling process.
I have a unique background working extensively with the adolescent population through community mental health centres and genuinely love working with this population!