Now is the window of opportunity! Teens are old enough to own their therapy, to take charge of their mental health. Teens are also young enough to benefit from involved and informed parents.
Treatment begins with assessment, and assessment can be either informal with the aim of guiding this episode of treatment or structured to produce a comprehensive diagnostic psycho-social report.
Following assessment, your child and you will learn about the neurological, biological, social, and psychological (thoughts and feelings) aspects of the presenting problems. You will feel more confident about being in charge when you understand what underlies the difficult feelings and behaviours.
You will learn strategies to take charge of difficult thoughts and feelings. Strategies include relaxation skills, communication skills, assertiveness training, problem-solving skills, and thought strategies to face strong emotions and urges. Treatment also involves developing challenges to complete, such as scheduling valued activities and facing fears step by step.
Therapy can even be fun!
Your child might be presenting with worrying behaviours and no clear indication of the underlying cause. Assessment will reveal whether your child’s difficulties are challenging but not due to a diagnosable mental illness or whether your child is struggling with a mental health condition. Treatment sessions will be tailored accordingly.
My areas of special interest and ongoing training are Assessment and Therapy for Difficulties Associated with:
- Emotion Regulation
- Distress Tolerance (managing upsetting thoughts and feelings)
- Fixed Mindset (e.g., won’t persist at challenges)
- High Functioning Autism
- Anxiety- Social Anxiety, Separation Anxiety, Generalised Anxiety, Panic Disorder, and Phobias.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Hoarding Disorder
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Tic Disorder
- Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours & Trichotillomania and Dermotillomania (hair pulling and skin picking)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
A Note for Older Teens: (Parents, you might like to show your young person this website before the initial appointment.)
- Until you leave home you are pretty much dependent on your folks and very much affected by what happens in your home day to day. This means that counselling might have to look for ways for you to cope with stresses at home or ways for you and your parents to have conversations that don’t end in World War Three.
- Your parents might want to be involved in your counselling and you and I would have to work together to decide if this could be helpful or not. Seeing as you are my client what you say is confidential (except in certain serious situations). You decide what to share with your parents. I might have a chat with them every now and then to help them understand your needs; you and I would work out what you want kept private beforehand.
- If you’re at school we might need to find ways to help school understand what they can do to help you cope better. We also might work on your study skills and any problems you’re having getting motivated. Each person is different so these things may or may not be issues for you.