I thought I hated teenagers, and then I realized...
they are full of hope and enthusiasm, envisioning futures of possibility, success, laughter...and a bit of nonsense too!
I work with youth who are high performers and achievers. Self-worth and confidence may be directly linked to grades or college acceptance letters. Performance or achievement anxiety may ensue due to academic pressure from needing a certain grade on the test or GPA. This can show up as hours of nightly AP homework, excess clubs, panic when grades are not “perfect,” and overscheduled tightly wound children. When you don’t perform the way you planned or expected negative self-talk may be magnified.
I also work with youth who need support in processing their emotions. Specifically, young adults who have experienced a loss; a romantic relationship, friendship, as well as death or significant illness of a loved one. Young adults are not fully equipped to process such tragic events, and often, will not reflect on them for years to come. This can cause unnecessary experiences due to poor choices to cope.
Often, all of these experiences are causing distress in other areas of the young person’s life; family cohesion, positive relationships, school difficulties, substance use, defying rules, and/or disengagement in previously positive interests.
I worked as a high school therapist for teenagers in California for 3 years and found it to be such a powerful and special position, I never wanted to stop! I get to be a trusted adult in a teenager’s life. Often, I am the only person my young client tells their secrets and future adventures to. As we all can remember, some are misguided, and I get to be in a unique position of saying, “wait a moment, is that a good idea?”
I feel lucky I get to help future adults with:
- Considering their choices (please don’t meet that online friend in person)
- Processing their current circumstances
- Learning about their emotional reactions as they mature into adulthood
- Increasing their emotional vocabulary to become more resilient, self-regulated adults