Counseling with teenagers entails a collaborative, person-to-person dialogue which addresses a teen’s particular concerns and situation in life. Teenagers like adults must feel emotionally safe with the therapist to discuss concerns and emotional experiences. A healthy therapeutic relationship will allow the teen to see the therapist as someone who can help to generate new ideas, to figure things out, or help to take a new approach to oneself, relationships, or situations. 

Factors to consider in teen counseling include:

  • Real change is a choice. It is facilitated by a better sense of identity, self-worth, purpose, and empowerment. As well as a better understanding about how the world and relationships work.
  • Research has repeatedly demonstrated that the therapeutic relationship is the most powerful factor regardless of treatment orientation. It provides an emotional safety zone that enables personal growth, new perspectives and skills.
  • A professional counselor should to be able to effectively treat psychological disorders (or their precursors in childhood and adolescence) when they exist.

The counselor working with teens should utilize life experience, useful information, and teachable strategies for approaching problems in living, stage-of-life, relationship, family, peer, academic, and career issues that individuals in their teens and early twenties face.

My counseling approach is specific to the individual and his/her family, avoids labeling a client with a disorder or blaming anyone, and actively pursues positive, creative solutions.

At appropriate times, I will consult with and make recommendations to parents—without compromising confidentiality. We may have a teen-parent meeting to facilitate communication, resolve an impasse, or reinforce an agreement, etc.