When I opened TouchingTrees Counseling, I was asked all the time who I preferred to work with. Did I like working with couples? Individuals? Families? Who? Who? Who?
Of course I answered "everyone"! One of the groups I specifically like to work with, however, is teenagers and young adults.
Right now I provide therapy to some young adults, ages 18-21, who are in a transition program. Some of the students are working on completing their high school graduation requirements. Some of them are working on independent living skills, like cooking, cleaning, paying bills, being employable, etc. Some students are working on how to read social cues and participate in family and school life. All of them have a number of challenges.
And all of them are great. Frankly, teenagers are some of the most resilient, creative, and hopeful people I know. That's not how we always think of them, though, right?
I've liked working with and around young people/teenagers since I was barely past being one myself. When I was a teacher, I especially preferred middle schoolers. When I coached and administered lacrosse, I liked seeing young people try hard and learn sportsmanship lessons. I've also had that house where my kids' friends stop over to chat or chill or snack. Every time I've had the opportunity to work with a young person, in whatever capacity, I've been struck by the delicate balance our kids have to try to achieve during those teen years.
Teens want to feel loved, first. They are prickly beings to love, though, because they also want to feel like they have power in their relationships. They are trying and needing to pull away, but they are also hoping they don't get too far before someone says, "Wait -- I miss you!"
If you or someone you know is struggling with a teenager or young adult--or you are that teenager or young adult and you're struggling with your parents, please reach out. There are people like me who care a ton about you as parents and care about you who are the kids. We can help restore some positive communication in your family as well as change the patterns that keep everyone angry, sad, or frustrated. It's never too late (or too early!) to get help.
For more information, check out:
Children's Hospital MN
Teen Mental Health
Of course, if you're in the Twin Cities and want to stop in to see me, please feel free to visit my website: TouchingTrees.
I offer a free consultation by phone or email, as well as the ability to schedule online.