You know your teen or tween is still an amazing person, but they are in pain right now.
That means you’re in pain too.
Between the ages of 11 and 25, the brain is developing rapidly, so every experience feels HUGE: first romantic relationships, disappointments with friends, managing parental and school expectations, recovering from loss, experimenting with risky behaviors…
Tweens and Teens have some big and important tasks to accomplish. During these years, they need to form an identity, construct a life philosophy, and develop independence. As parents, it can be exciting to watch your child grow and change, it can also be excruciating to see them struggle. Sometimes they reject you when you want to help.
Here are some of the things your tween or teen might be struggling with:
anxiety – perfectionism – depression – social anxiety – cutting & self-harming behaviors – self-esteem – body issues – cyber danger – bullying and relational aggression – eating disorders – sexual identity – school difficulties – drugs and alcohol – family conflict – trauma – physical and sexual abuse
As a parent, you’re in a bind. You want to help your child, but you also know they need to pull away at times. No matter how wonderful of a parent you are, your teens or tweens sometimes needs to talk to someone who is not you. They may want to talk to a trusted adult who is not their parent so that they can work through difficult issues while holding onto their fragile independence.
As a therapist for teens and tweens, I want to collaborate with you. I will help you understand what to expect from your child so that you can feel more connected even when they are pulling away. As a team, I help you as a family to honor your tween or teen’s need for independence AND their need for your consistent love and support.
When I work with tweens and teens, I tune into them as individuals and see them for who they are. I’m genuinely curious about your unique child and respectful of their ideas. I will validate your child’s individuality and strive to help them express it in healthy ways. As your child makes this journey to adulthood, I help them make sense of the uncertainties in life so that they can make good choices.
How I work:
I teach teens and tweens to sit with difficult feelings and emotions. As they get better at this, they don’t need to self-medicate, act out or shut down in other ways. Over time, they get to feel all of their feelings and begin to tune into an inner wisdom. (It might be hard to believe they have this inner wisdom at times, but it’s still there!)
Every child is different, so I use a lot of different tools and find the ones that will work best for your child. Some kids are big talkers while others need to build trust before they start sharing. Some of the tools I use to help tweens and teens are talk therapy, somatic-based therapy, expressive arts, games, music, and humor. I always start by establishing a trusting relationship because if they can’t trust me, they won’t let me help.
If this speaks to you, let’s find out if I’m the right therapist for you. Call me at (510) 473-5795 to schedule a confidential and free telephone consultation now.