To the parents:

If you google "teen mental health" or "therapy for teens" you'll probably find a list of reasons teens go to therapy.  Such lists typically say...

  • Depression and/or Anxiety

  • Behavior Problems

  • Substance Abuse Issues

  • Stress

  • School & Social-Related Issues

  • Legal Problems

  • Self-Esteem Concerns

  • Trauma

  • Grief/Bereavement

While these are very common reasons for anyone of any age to seek therapy, there's something unique that comes along with being a teen (or tween really).  They aren't big children, but they aren't small adults either. Not only are they struggling with the common stressors unique to this age group, but they're facing these issues in a way that no earlier generation ever had. Why? Technology and social media.  Remember when passing notes, and photographs (that took days, sometimes weeks to develop) was the only "proof" or "evidence" that something happened? Gone are the days of privacy.  Now, imagine facing the "typical" teenage challenges such as struggling with independence, sexuality, academic pressures, peer pressure, and self-esteem on a stage, for the world to see and judge. And I haven't even mentioned how hormones and brain development impact mood and behavior.  Sometimes raising a teenager, or being one, can feel like a ticking time-bomb, or my favorite a shaken soda bottle waiting to explode.  And sometimes teenagers just need someone to talk to without judgement, pressure, or fear.

To any teenagers (or pre-teens) reading this:

To put it simply, life can suck sometimes.  It can.  I tell my clients all the time that middle school and high school aren't easy in the age of social media, and I honestly don't know how you all do it.  I won't sit here and pretend to know what your life at school or home is like. Only you know that.  What I can do, is listen to you unconditionally. without pretending to be another adult trying to be cool or telling you what to do or how to feel.   

Girls in Nature
Girls in Nature
Students Sitting on Staircase
Woman on Window Sill