Talk To Your Teen Again

Therapy for your teen can help heal the rifts running through your family.

If you are a parent who has noticed excessive irritability, social isolation, depression or anxiety in your child, trust your instincts and get help for your child.

Nothing is more painful than watching your child struggle and not knowing how to make it better.

The teen years can be a developmental crisis. As a parent, it can be hard to gauge whether your teen’s moods and behaviors are part of normal growing pains or if they interfere with his or her daily functioning enough to seek help.

A telltale sign of trouble is when your teen simply does not want to talk to you anymore and/or does not want to listen to anything you have to say.

Yes, teens are supposed to reject their parents to some degree to form their own identities, but there is a limit to how much of this is healthy.

The good news is that even very unbalanced teenagers can quickly stabilize and improve with a solid support system.

Therapy for your teen can help heal the rifts running through your family.

If you are a parent who has noticed excessive irritability, social isolation, depression or anxiety in your child, trust your instincts and get help for your child.

Nothing is more painful than watching your child struggle and not knowing how to make it better.

The teen years can be a developmental crisis. As a parent, it can be hard to gauge whether your teen’s moods and behaviors are part of normal growing pains or if they interfere with his or her daily functioning enough to seek help.

A telltale sign of trouble is when your teen simply does not want to talk to you anymore and/or does not want to listen to anything you have to say.

Yes, teens are supposed to reject their parents to some degree to form their own identities, but there is a limit to how much of this is healthy.

The good news is that even very unbalanced teenagers can quickly stabilize and improve with a solid support system.

I have been working with troubled teens for many years and usually develop rapport quickly.

This enables me to pin down the source of the problem fairly fast and work on a solution with your teen. On some occasions, I recommend family sessions and/or parent consultations to improve communication.

My approach teaches adolescents to communicate better and correct troubled behaviors, (Drug use, constant defiance, school trouble, etc.).

Your teen will learn to stop acting out and instead communicate her needs clearly. My parent consultations are designed to complement this by teaching parents how to respond more effectively.

How do I know if my teen needs therapy?

When pressed, most teens would probably begrudgingly admit that they still need their parents’ support, guidance and reassurance.

That is true whether your teen admits to this or not!

But sometimes, the support of parents simply isn’t enough. Below are a few common symptoms that indicate the need for professional help:

  1. Your teen appears sad, tired, restless or irritable most of the time. One of the confusing things about teen depression is it often appears as crankiness and hostility. I don’t mean the occasional outburst but more a persistent pattern of irritability.
  2. Your teen has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. The general recommendation for teenagers is to get between 8-10 hours of sleep per night. If your child sleeps much more or less than that it could be a sign of problems.
  3. Any dramatic changes when it comes to eating, weight gain or weight loss.
  4. Social isolation. Your teen has trouble making or keeping friends. Your child holes up in his room all day to play video games or watch TV and does not seem to have any close friends he socializes with outside of school.
  5. Dropping grades. Your teen used to be a solid A or B student and now can barely keep a C average. Resist the urge to chalk this change up to laziness or bad teachers. Depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, sleeping problems, eating disorders or drug use all can have a powerful negative impact on a person’s ability to concentrate and learn.

Therapy for teens can help reforge the bonds of love between you and your child and bring peace to your home

My treatment approach stems from the belief that most parents deeply love their children and often know when their parenting style is not working. Despite this intuition, parents frequently struggle to adjust their behavior accordingly and develop new strategies.

I have discovered that many parents feel trapped in an almost knee-jerk reaction style of parenting: they either feel stuck simply repeating what their own parents did or, if they disliked their own childhood experience, do simply the opposite hoping for different results.

Unfortunately neither approach creates a truly happy and well-adjusted child.

My treatment approach stems from the belief that most parents deeply love their children and often know when their parenting style is not working. Despite this intuition, parents frequently struggle to adjust their behavior accordingly and develop new strategies.

I have discovered that many parents feel trapped in an almost knee-jerk reaction style of parenting: they either feel stuck simply repeating what their own parents did or, if they disliked their own childhood experience, do simply the opposite hoping for different results.

Unfortunately neither approach creates a truly happy and well-adjusted child.

The quintessential element missing in both approaches is a parenting style that responds, reacts and adjusts to who the child is and what she communicates about her needs.

Without realizing it, parents are often deeply engulfed in powerful emotions about their own childhood that have been triggered precisely because they love their children so much. While consciously struggling to be a better parent than one’s own, parents find themselves unconsciously re-enacting their own unmet needs and unresolved conflicts.

This is one of the main reasons so many mental health problems “magically” repeat themselves from generation to generation.

My treatment improves parents’ understanding of their children’s needs and helps them to respond to those needs.

What should I do if my teen refuses to go to therapy?

This is a frequent problem for parents and I usually have two (not mutually exclusive!) suggestions.

First, you could begin working with me alone. This could help you to help your teen.

Second, acknowledge to him that talking to a stranger about personal issues does seem scary and counter-intuitive. Suggest that he meet with me once without any obligation and emphasize that you would not force him to continue if he does not enjoy the experience. Reassure him that you will find someone he feels comfortable with and that what he tells me will remain strictly confidential.

What should I do if my teen refuses to go to therapy?

This is a frequent problem for parents and I usually have two (not mutually exclusive!) suggestions.

First, you could begin working with me alone. This could help you to help your teen.

Second, acknowledge to him that talking to a stranger about personal issues does seem scary and counter-intuitive. Suggest that he meet with me once without any obligation and emphasize that you would not force him to continue if he does not enjoy the experience. Reassure him that you will find someone he feels comfortable with and that what he tells me will remain strictly confidential.

What can I do to support my teen’s therapy at home?

This is a great question which shows that you probably are already supporting your teen. You certainly have the best possible attitude!

As treatment progresses, your teen will probably begin telling you more about what she needs and the best thing is to listen and see if you can give her what she asks for.

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