My work with teenagers began 25 years ago. Even before I learned about neuroplasticity and it became a household term, I worked with teens to help them find and shift patterns. As we worked together, I would explain how the changes were taking place. “We’re bypassing some of the deepest wrinkles in your brain that come from habits that didn’t particularly help. Now we’ll create some new wrinkles. With time and practice, these new wrinkles will deepen and even bypass some of the old ones.” This discussion would offer a concrete understanding and replace fear and doubt with hope and confidence. Years later, the science of neuroplasticity documented and created more ways to explain the adaptability of our brains, especially during childhood and adolescence. That scientific research also underpins the tools we use in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other therapeutic practices.
Teenagers are at an exciting time in their lives where everything is new. Having an open mind means they are ripe for learning and making great changes. It also means they are finding their way and often making mistakes; it’s part of the painful process of growing. Teens often need an understanding ear, focused on helping them find ways to alleviate their suffering.
What makes my practice different is my ability to help teens harness their amazing capabilities and navigate their way through a maze of academic stress, social anxiety, and family communication challenges. I combine my academic coaching experience with clinical psychotherapy skills to help teens find tools that will help them become productive, even when they feel lost. I also focus on what might be getting in the way. Social life and family dynamics loom large and all parts of their lives need tending to. Together with my clients, I help them find ways to help themselves. I also help families find some harmony at home, even during turbulent times.
Whether it’s individual therapy, groups, or both, I strive to help adolescents, parents, guardians, in all types of families make progress as individuals and together.