We believe the years of teen-hood are precious years, as they often set the stage for our initial understanding of our identities. On one side, there is the excitement of an up-coming adulthood. But on the other, it can be a time of turmoil in the family and social stressors for the youth. Our team has experience working with teen depression, anxieties, insecurities, suicidal ideation, cutting, eating disorders, aggression, fears, and unclear personal directions.
Program founders, Erin and Jessica worked together with in the San Diego school systems providing care for both middle school and high school populations. Together they worked for the Open Door Project providing services to high risk teens. Jessica went on to work with teens in hospital settings, a transitional program, and also served the role as a program therapist in a teen-pregnancy program. Erin also focused her work within the child-welfare system, working with teens in out of home placements.
When working with a teen, we will involve the family when it is beneficial to the teen. There are times the teen prefers to keep the sessions and our conversations between his or herself and the therapist, and we respect the teen’s right to privacy. We require parental consent and financial responsibly to be taken by the parent unless the teen is seeking counseling for abuse, pregnancy, or drug related issues.
Adolescence can be just as challenging as it is care-free. Teens are faced with biological changes, peer-pressures, extreme emotions, questions of identity, changes in their bodies, and changes in relationships in terms of attraction. These changes can feel overwhelming and often produce a low mood. Therapy looks at lifestyle and choices that may be in support of these feelings. Our therapist may also suggest a medication evaluation or further psychiatric care should the teen need further assistance.
Insecurities and Anxiety
Because teen-hood is very centered around peer approval, insecurities are easily developed. Counseling may help the teen identify those insecurities and begin developing a plan to help challenge his or her deficit notions of the self. Counseling may also help the team develop proper social skills and boundaries as a way to continue to build confidence within their peer groups.
Eating Disorders and Body Image
Adolescence is a period that has a higher risk for the development of eating disorders and body image issues. Because of the seriousness of disordered eating, our team will help the family connect with medical providers in the area to provide a more holistic and collaborative treatment plan. Therapy will focus on the development of healthy body standards and self acceptance.
Direction and Identity Development
Our team of counselors may play the role of a coach as the teen discovers his or her identity and hopes for the future. Sexual, social, occupational, and relational identities may be the focus of these sessions. Teens often enjoy the freedom of discussing these notions with out parental input and persuasions.
When teens discover they are pregnant, life can drastically change directions. Along with the complicated emotions the teen will experience, questions around abortion, possible marriage, and adoption may surface. Therapy may be focused on providing community resources, determining a child care plan, grieving the loss of freedom and childhood, making decisions about the child, or managing the life change and stress of the new parental role.