PSYCHOLOGIST FOR TEENAGERS AND ADOLESCENTS
As a certified psychologist, psychotherapist, mother of two teenagers and an observant and empathic person, I feel that I know what difficulties parents and children in the time of growing up and beginning of adult life encounter. A young person, looking for his or her own path in life, still needs support from his or her environment while the parents are trying to fulfill their role, be helpful and maintain good relationship with their child, not undermining his or her growing up and beginning his or her own life. Working with members of the family during psychological consultation, marital therapy or individual therapy, I am trying to find balance between those, often contradictory, needs and make the whole family system and all its members live better, more mindfully, effortlessly and happily, reaching their full potential.
Psychological work with teenagers and adolescents
Psychological and psychotherapeutical assistance for teenagers and adolescents is very similar to therapeutic work with adult persons. It always begins with initial psychological consultation (one or several meetings), during which the young person and possibly his or her parents present the issues that brought them to the meeting with a psychologist. After the initial session or sessions and presenting possibilities of therapeutic help, the parents, the young person and the psychologist together plan the further process. They define the areas they are going to work on, methods of psychological work, schedule of meetings, and, if this is individual therapy of a teenager, they also schedule additional meetings with the parents or the entire family.
Work with young people is very specific. I use more cognitive-behavioural methods of work while working with adolescents than working with other persons.
The language, metaphors and aids that I use may differ from the ones used with older clients. In such case, it is necessary to always take into account the development stage of the client, how impulsive, emotional, sensitive he or she is, as well as rapid physical and psychological changes. I take all this into account while talking with an adolescent person and providing psychological assistance or beginning psychotherapeutical work with them. At the same time, in many aspects, the sessions of work with young persons are similar to individual therapy with adult persons. More information is available here.
Therapy of a teenager: parents’ permission is necessary
A key aspect of work with young persons (under 18) is that all actions of the psychologist or psychotherapist need the parents’ permission. It is the parents that have all the responsibility and make all the final decisions over the essential issues. For these reasons, before beginning any form of individual therapy with and uneraged person in my psychological office, I talk to the person’s parent or parents, explain what the work will look like and obtain their permission for psychological work with their children (usually in writing).
In the course of a longer process of psychological assistance or individual psychotherapy with an adolescent person, I usually schedule additional informational consultations with the parents or a session of family therapy with the teenager, his or her parents and other family members. Those additional meetings are designed to keep the parents informed about what is happening to their children and on what issues I work with the child.
This helps the parents to support the entire process, for example cooperate over building and reinforcing their son or daughter’s new skills also outside the psychologist’s office.
Psychotherapy of young adults: parents’ support required
Psychological consultation and individual psychotherapy of young adults is different from psychotherapy of teenagers. When a young person turns 18, he or she does not need the permission of his or her parent to use psychological assistance or psychotherapy. Still, parents’ support is very helpful in the whole process and may even be key for its success. The parents often pay for or co-pay for the psychological sessions. The parents are still very important persons in young people’s life, also those rebellious, opposing, separating themselves and emotionally overreacting. Although supporting a young adult, especially during a psychotherapy, may be challenging to the parents, it is worth trying. If providing support is very difficult, we may try to talk to an adult son or daughter, ask him or her for instructions how to behave in specific situations and offer our help if he or she needs it.
Although consultations with parents of young adults during psychotherapy are less frequent than in the psychotherapy of teenagers, they still may happen. This especially applies to situations when during sessions with a psychologist issues related to the young person’s relationship with his or her parents arise and the client (young adult) wants to invite the parent or parents to the session to discuss it, explain something or negotiate something, with the assistance of the therapist. It may also occur that the parent provides additional information on the client’s functioning outside the therapist’s office, about the progress of the psychotherapy or reaction to drugs in a situation when the client is not able to do it himself or herself, for example during a depression episode when the client has problems focusing on a specific issue.
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If you need psychological help, contact me.