Has your teenager become increasingly difficult to talk to? Perhaps her grades are declining and you are concerned about how much time she spends on her phone. Or maybe he is having trouble coping with the rigors of high school and the academic and social pressures. She seems to have lost interest in many things and spends more and more time locked away in her room.

I have the privilege to work with teens and their families who have experienced some of this, all of it or more. Good therapy works because teens thrive in a climate where they can discuss their troubles, their hopes and their ambivalence with someone other than a parent or friend. My practice allows me sit with them and look at what they like in their lives, what is working well and what they don’t like/ is going badly. The fact that I am not a friend they are trying to impress or a parent they are angry at makes my office a place where teens can be honest and open. In return, I can discuss their difficulties in ways that allow them to form their own conclusions that they feel motivated to act on. The irony is that often, the conclusions teens come to about their lives and their intentions and their actions are very similar to those their parents have been advocating for years. But because it now comes from the teen, the intentions translate into action.

At the end of this process adolescents are often more self aware, more confident and feel better about themselves and their lives. They have gained tools about ways to navigate conflict, or disappointment or peer pressure that will serve them throughout their lives Their parents report that they seem happier, more settled and more at ease. I love working with adolescents because it is a time of incredible growth and development. Skills and tools gained here can transform individual’s lives in a way that leaves them having more success, better relationships and more self confidence.