Adolescence is a time of emotional turbulence and identity exploration. The causes for anxiety at this age are many; physical change, peer pressure, sexual identity, conflict with parents and siblings, and more. These processes are a natural part of development, but therapy can ease the distress they evoke.
Therapy provides adolescents with a place to examine their emerging identity in a containing and non-judgmental environment. It enables them to be heard and helped by an adult who is not their parent, thus allowing for independence which is exercised in safety. for this reason the therapy is usually conducted with minimum involvement of the parents. There are however situations, (such as risk behaviour or with younger adolescents), in which parent-consulting is needed alongside the therapy.
I start almost all interventions with adolescents by meeting the parents. In this meeting I hear about their child’s difficulties from their point of view and learn about the child’s earlier years. This includes going through major developmental stages and understanding if there were earlier indications to the current issues. It is in this meeting that we can better ascertain if parent guidance is necessary as well. I then meet the child, and if a good connection is established, the therapy can commence.