Teens



Trust??
When a client goes to counseling generally they are there by their own free will and have a reason. Many times teens are forced into counseling by a concerned parent who just wants to help, or wants things to get better. Sometimes it is because a parent has tried everything and is at the end of their rope. Sometimes it is because the behavior of the teen is unacceptable to the parent, and the parent needs some support. Other times it is out of concern because the parent knows that their teen was affected by something negative in their social environment. This could be bullying,fighting within the friend group, and as severe as attempted suicide or a completed suicide. The teen, however, has no interest talking to someone they do not know. Many times teens are very resentful when brought into a counseling situation. Feeling like he/she is being treated like a child even though they keep hearing that it is time to grow up. Trust is not something a teen usually gives an adult, why should they, usually the adults tell them what they should think and feel, and then let them know that their feelings are wrong if the teen shares them.

Teens
Today's teens are a group of young people having to face things that no other generation has had to face. Of course there are the concerns of teen sex, drinking, and drugs. Teens have been facing that for many generations. There are even some things that teens are facing that are more new to parents. Things like, teen pregnancy, STD's, being bullied, and not fitting into a social clique. But, there are also things that today's teens face that are more new. Internet bullying, communication done by device instead of in person, learning how to be social in a very non-social environment, facing the fact that leaving home after graduation or college is not as likely due to the economy and lack of support for adult teens, and young adults.




Their Voice
As a therapist that has worked with teens, I have found that gaining that teens trust is the most important part of therapy. In order to do that I give that teen a safe place to be who they are. I allow them to say what he/she thinks and feels without any judgement. I do, however, explore those thoughts and feelings with the teen. Coming up with different things to consider and think about. Teens are stuck in the land of not a child and not an adult. Most will teeter between still wanting the security of being a child, and the independence of being an adult. It is a very confusing time in a person's life, and with today's added stresses it is no wonder that we have teens with so many issues. I offer teens a safe place to be themselves while growing into an amazing young adult. Their potential is limitless, it just has to be nurtured, explored, and discovered. Often times this is hard, because the teen does not know where to begin. I offer them the ability to just rest on it, contemplate it, and then support him/her when a decision has been made. And if it turns out to not work out, that is OK! I teach them that mistakes are not bad, that a mistake a learning tool that only helps make success happen. 
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