Adolescence is a turbulent time in life, accompanied by a unique set of challenges for the teen to overcome. Navigating this time can result in psychiatric symptoms of depression, anxiety and even trauma. Adolescents may experience problems with anxiety (including obsessions / compulsions, social anxiety, panic attacks), mood (including depression, bipolar), eating disorders, behavioural problems (conduct, impulse control) and attention related disorders. Social functioning is a crucial component for teens to navigate and comes with its own set of unique challenges. Therapy can assist teens in coping with difficulties that have arisen as a result of social functioning. These include low self-esteem, bullying, self-harm, feeling isolated or rejected and poor interpersonal skills. I enjoy helping teens work through these problems to emerge with a greater sense of self-identity, self esteem and social competence.
Crucial to working with adolescents is creating a good connection and facilitating a space in which they feel safe and secure. This is fundamental to the issue of confidentiality which I discuss with parents and adolescents at the first session. I use evidence-based therapies that have shown to be effective in combatting various psychiatric symptoms, these include Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness. These tools will help the teen address poor coping methods, improve self-esteem and emotional regulation. I also work with a therapy dog (small Pomeranian named Thor) who helps with anxious or therapy ambivalent teens.
“It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.”