Adolescence is an increasingly challenging time in a person's life. Gone are the days of relaxed family life. Instead, today's teens face more expectations than their parents did, socially, academically, and emotionally. This increase in responsibility comes with an increase in mental health disorders, most commonly anxiety and depression.
Our therapy for these disorders is strongly grounded in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is a highly researched, evidenced based treatment that is "time-sensitive, structured, and present-oriented". Treatment is "directed toward solving current problems and teaching clients skills to modify dysfunctional thinking and behavior." (link)
Even with the most evidenced-based, well researched therapy, the most important component to therapy, especially with adolescents, is the relationship between the therapist and teen. We will begin our relationship together talking about the importance of this relationship and empowering the adolescent to advocate for themselves in finding the right fit with a therapist. So many times, a teenager will not speak up for fear of being considered rude, ungrateful, or simply just being difficult. We believe that self-advocacy is a crucial life skill and hope to help empower these young people to practice this.
At the beginning of our therapeutic relationship, we will also discuss confidentiality. While our goal is always to provide the teen a safe place to discuss any aspect of their lives, there are certain times when we must break this safe place to ensure the safety of the client and others. We are required by law to break this confidentiality if we are concerned that the client is being hurt by someone else, that they are planning to hurt someone or if they want to hurt themselves.