The funny thing is, I never thought I would like working with adolescents. Throughout graduate school I mainly worked with adults and young adults, which was fulfilling. The college years bring new challenges in relationships, dealing with frustration, and growing new skills into a stronger, more mature identity. So, there was plenty of good work to do. In contrast, many teens entering therapy felt frustrated and forced. Often things were not going well at home, school or with friends and the anger, resentment, and discouragement put up a lot of barriers.
And then. . .
My desire to help families address the issues that pained them led me to 10 years of working directly with teens. Teens with anxiety, depression, perfectionism, eating disorders, substance use, anger, mood issues, difficulty with attention and focus, and even kids that were simply having difficulty finding their way in life.
Once I started it was hard to stop. Teens really are fascinating, you know. They are smart. They are motivated. They do what works in their life, even when it looks like it doesn’t from an adult view. I discovered that a lot of ideas and principles that I have were figured in my teen years. Yes, graduate school was important in terms of education and book learning, but the characteristics that allowed me to create happiness in my life, work and get an education came from my teen years. Fortunately, I had the opportunities and people along the way that helped me develop creativity, drive, perseverance, understanding of people, and how to have healthy relationships. . .
If you are a teen trying to figure out how to manage your life better, or the parent of a teen, I’d love to see if I can help. Here are some quotes that may help explain it.
. . .”we saw a stronger, more aware daughter than we thought possible. We are much more hopeful for Dana’s life in the future and know working with you was absolutely the right decision. . .”
. . .“we wanted to tell you how thankful we are that Sarah found you. You have done so much to bring our daughter back. . .”
And a poem from one of my clients that speaks volumes.
My World is Mine
If I had my way
I’d feel constantly happy and strong
There wouldn’t be hate, violence, or abuse
But I live in my world
I chose what I see
I chose what I think
And I chose who I am
Sure, people may try to change my views
And I’m sure some people succeed
Well I can go anywhere
I can do anything
In my world
I’ll always be Me
I have the power
To make my life worth it
I have the power to
Open my eyes
To open my heart
So I can see me for all that I am
And my world is mine