Teens are awesome. Being this age can be rough, hopeful, frustrating, encouraging, and it always comes with big emotions. It’s a critical time when you need to have someone supportive in your corner.
A lot of people understand “issues” they’re struggling with but they don’t understand mental health very well. Learning strategies of how to take care of yourself and how to understand what you’re feeling can be helpful.
There’s a lot of exploration going on – gender identity, social groups, substance use, screen addiction, dating, study habits. It can seem like the conversation is all about taking other people’s advice, but therapy is about learning to listen to your own advice.
Therapy is a setting and an opportunity to learn to create a space where we can explore, challenge, and resolve.
It gives us the space to re-explore how we’ve always addressed difficult moments
It helps us create another way of telling our stories with compassion and understanding. We don’t have to be defined by what has happened to us in our past.
It shows us what coping skills, strategies, and means of survival we’ve been using to get past difficult moments in our lives. Sometimes we learned ways to cope that aren’t really working anymore – often we were taught to cope that way by people we trust, or we were doing the best we could to survive. We can work on challenging those lessons/mindsets/patterns if they negatively impact our growth
It teaches us to see our own strengths – it took a lot of resilience and perseverance to get to where we are today, despite all that we have gone through.
The Nuts & Bolts: What to Expect
We discuss our current coping skills: do they help? Do we use them enough? What gets in the way of us using our coping skills? Are they sufficient for what we need?
We will explore new coping skills that we’ll add to our everyday lives to help us when school, work, relationships, or life becomes overwhelming
We will always practice adjusting our old/new coping skills so that we learn to trust that we can adapt to situations that prove difficult to us
We will explore our symptoms: what are they? Do we realize when our symptoms are starting to show/increase? Do we treat ourselves fairly & with compassion when our symptoms impact our lives? Even as we work to manage symptoms and create a better quality of life, we don’t let our symptoms define us as people.
What your therapist will do:
Lead by their words/actions to create a space where you know that they are always on your side
Create a space where you’ll be able to openly share, redirect them if their interpretation of what you’re saying is off, and help you retell your story with the values/ethics you use today
Create a space that is engaging, caring, positive, and
Create a space where you’ll feel like your therapist is never going to judge you