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Teens in Therapy

Teen  Therapy

The teen years and high school are difficult years (in my opinion - the most difficult years!). Life at this age is overwhelming. Emotions have their highs and lows. Your relationships (with friends, significant others, parents, etc.) are always changing. You've got major life decisions going on or coming up. You're probably trying to figure out "who you are."

And on top of it all - you may be struggling with your mental health. Any of this sound like you?

  • You feel like you don’t have the confidence to be yourself

  • School is overwhelming 

  • Motivation is hard to find

  • Communicating with your parents is hard

  • You are often anxious or nervous

  • You’re trying to figure out where you fit in with friends

  • Socializing is scary

  • Maybe you are dealing with big life changes (graduation, going to college, etc.)

  • You’re feeling depressed (sad, withdrawn, and/or irritable)

  • Thinking about the future feels like a little too much right now.

  • You put a LOT of pressure on yourself.

  • Maybe you’re in the process of discovering your gender identity and sexual orientation


Teens come to therapy for all types of reasons. I really enjoy working with teens through their challenging times and stressful moments. You may have asked your parents for therapy (good job being a self-advocate!) or you have been recommended by a doctor or parent and are hesitant (that's ok too!). Some of the things I like to focus on in therapy include:

  • Being kinder to yourself

  • Learning how to respond to and cope with anxious and depressive thoughts

  • Shifting into a more positive and helpful outlook on life

  • Figuring out who you are and what direction to go in next

  • Improving your relationship with yourself and those you choose to share yourself with

First Session

During the first session, I invite both the parent(s) and teen to come to the office. Since I've never met you - I need to get to know you! We will take some time to all talk together about background history such as any educational concerns, any past major life events, your family life, etc. We will also talk about the main reason you're coming in for therapy and what you hope to get out of our time together. Most of the time, I will then chat with just your parents for a little bit and then just with you. 

Next Sessions

The rest of our sessions will just be you and I. We talk and sometimes do worksheets/activities. You can expect each time we meet to be about 50 minutes. Most teens come in every other week, though depending on your symptoms, you might start out every week at first. We will transition you to more time in between appointments only when you are ready.

I will treat you with respect and as a partner in the therapy process. I work with teenagers every day and very little you can say will shock me. I'm not here to judge you or tell you what to do. I do want to guide you in the direction of being more confident in who you are as a person and learn new ways to cope with strong negative emotions. Therapy is a process and involves work on your part outside of the office.  I typically like for us to come up with a goal for you to work on between our sessions so you can apply what you learn with me in real life. 

Picking a Therapist
  • Parents - it is strongly recommended that your teen is involved in the process of choosing a mental health provider. Research shows that your teen will get more out of therapy if they feel a connection with the therapist. If you are looking for a therapist for your teenager, I encourage you to show them websites and profiles of potential therapists and/or make a list of things they think would make a good therapist.

  • Teens - You might be hesitant about therapy or nervous to meet me - and that's totally ok! I find most people become comfortable pretty quickly. If at any point you don't feel like you and I are the right match for therapy that is also ok and my feelings will not be hurt.

Privacy and Therapy for Teens

The therapy relationship works best when teens feel safe. Parents - in order for the process to work, we need to make sure that we allow the relationship to build where your teen feels comfortable disclosing what is happening in their life. With this being said, while I want you to have open communication with your teen and feel like you know what's going on, the process won’t work as well if you’re asking me for information about sessions. If you want to talk to your teen that is between you and them. If you want to know more information, please know that in order for your child to grow, we need to create that safe space from the therapeutic side and the parental side. Allow them space to grow and know they will let you in when they are ready. 

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