When our children are experiencing difficulties, it can be challenging to know how to help. Psychotherapy allows young people a chance to discover a safe space where they can explore their thoughts, feelings and behaviours without feeling judged. The aim of therapy is to “make sense” of their world as it is now, and then to create the opportunity to explore other possibilities.
Developmentally they are often exploring their own identities; creating new and meaningful relationships with peers; testing the boundaries of the family and beginning the path of career development.
Psychotherapy with teenagers is more beneficial when there is an open and understanding relationship with both parents. I therefore may want to initially meet with the parents before commencing therapy with a teenager. This meeting is aimed at establishing the nature of the problem and explaining the role of a therapist and therapy with minors. It is important that the expectations are clear from the beginning.
Although I do work therapeutically with adolescents who are going through a divorce in the family, I do not do any psycho legal work, and will not write reports for custody or mediation purposes.