Adolescence can be the most difficult period in the course of a lifetime. Is that for the adolescent or the parent or both? The adolescence period is sometimes referred to as a time of "identity crisis" as the teen struggles to figure out who she or he is while being bombarded with messages from the family, peers, school and the media. Social networking is here to stay and all teenagers want desperately to be liked and accepted, most importantly by the peer group. Some teens are popular, but for those who are not, bullying can be a real issue.
Adolescence is also a time for exploration. Teens struggle with their self-esteem and often experiment with changing their hair color, clothing, the music that they listen to, the way that they talk, and who they like or don't like at a given moment. There is so much going on with your teen and often the parent is the last to know. Parents struggle with being the parent/authority figure while trying to maintain closeness, and want their children to grow up healthy and to be the best that they can be.
We now know that children suffer from anxiety and depression the same way that adults do. We also see kids who are ADD/ADHD, suicidal, struggling with gender/sexual identity issues, suffering from eating disorders, cutting, inappropriate sexual conduct, using and abusing drugs, and other serious issues. Some children benefit from psychotropic medication while others do well in talk therapy
Adolescents need a therapist that they can feel comfortable with; someone who they can trust, open up to, express themselves......someone who they do not see as an authority figure. I have been working with adolescents for decades and have a particular way of relating to them and working with the parent(s) to target what is really going on and how to help their child and improve a dysunctional family dynamic. The most important thing is improving your child's self-esteem, helping them express themselves, respect themselves and others, develop healthy behaviors, and thrive in the world that we live in.
If you are interested in exploring counseling for your teenager or adolescent, we invite you to contact South Florida Counseling Services for a free initial telephone consultation.