Therapy for Teenagers (13-18)

Your child has made it to adolescence! The awkward nature of intermediate school and middle school are slowly fading away but the uncertainties of the world are now at their fingertips. Now in what is called the Formal Operational Stage of cognitive development, teens mostly can manage their own routines, have more stabile friendship circles, and can problem solve basic struggles. Teenagers are all about finding belonging and identity. In this ever-insistent quest, they begin pushing boundaries at higher rates than before. Their taste in self-expression is ever changing and they cannot fully figure out how to “life” as much as their haughty self-concept may say otherwise. 

Teenagers in recent years have grown more vocal about the need for therapy. Many teens will still say nothing about their need for guidance but will exhibit symptoms of moody irritability, overall disdain for activities and people, and the ever present  “I don’t know.” Some teens come into services after expressing what are called “intrusive thoughts” about self-harm, suicide, identity confusion, or a traumatic event. Therapy is much more verbal than for our tweens but these teenagers still need the support of their parents/caregivers to provide feedback to the therapist in person and/or email and in practicing any skills or topics that may have been discussed in session. Your teenager’s therapist would love to have parental engagement to help navigate through some of the difficulties that may be impacting not just the teenagers but also the family unit.