- Social Skills Groups – One of the challenges for a person in their teenage years is gaining a sense of who they are and how they fit in with others. Social skills groups are particularly useful for teens who feel isolated or are described as having social anxiety, being oppositional or having high functioning aspergers/autism. Groups focus on developing fundamental skills required to successfully navigate the social environment. At the same time, the goal is to have fun while there and make the experience both useful and enjoyable. Groups usually run 1 hour long and are offered on weekday evenings during the school year.
- Individual therapy – Individual therapy allows the focus to be solely on one’s own situation. This can be particularly useful when you need someone to understand your point of view, are looking to figure out why you are stuck in a particular dynamic or want to push forward and make a change. Individual and group therapy need not be exclusive, in fact, they can be used together for a greater impact. Sessions usually range in time between 45 minutes and 1 hour and can be scheduled on a weekly, semi-weekly or an as needed basis
- Family therapy – Although teenagers are often the one acting out, sometimes they are just the most obvious expression of a problem in the way the family interacts. Having sessions with the parents and the teen can be used to establish clearer patterns of communication and a better understanding of the viewpoints of all involved. Sessions can be of similar length to individual therapy or can range in time based on the need of the situation and frequency scheduled.
Rare is the individual who does not grapple with long term challenges or at times come face to face with a significant personal crisis that they fear is overwhelming. Most of us find talking with a friend or family member to help. Having someone not personally involved, who has heard many speak about these issues, and is trained to listen and offer constructive comments can also be quite beneficial.
My own approach combines what is called a “cognitive behavioral” perspective with respect for the individual and their unique situation. Initial sessions are forums for the person to begin sorting out their ideas and defining what they want to get out of therapy. As therapy progresses, I use my practical inclination in support of an active and genuine exchange to help the person develop the right tools and mindset to better handle the issues confronting them.