Adolescent Issues

Today’s teens and adolescents face a variety of unique issues. Adolescents are still figuring out who they are and what their place is in the world. They may be struggling with questions of identity, sexuality, and relationships. Adolescence is also when a number of mental health problems (such as anxiety or depression) may first develop or become noticeable. A mental health professional who specializes in adolescent issues can be a great asset in helping a young person navigate this distinctive time in their lives. Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s experts today!

Meet the specialists

Adolescence is such a time of transition! For many, this transition results in anxiety, questioning of identity, and maybe a few mistakes. I have years of expertise helping teens to turn this time into an exciting exploration and expression of who they are becoming. Whether there have been concerns about drugs or alcohol use, sexual experimentation or pregnancy, or skipping school, I am confident that I can help both your teen, and yes, you, too, moms and dads!

— Colleen Hennessy, Licensed Professional Counselor in San Diego, CA

Adolescence is a time of transition and identity formation. Academic challenges and social pressures can create even more demands. I aim to help teens manage the emotional, behavioral, and physical changes of this life phase. I build a trusting rapport with every teen while facilitating healthy self-expression and teaching emotion regulation skills. Teens will also learn tools for goal-setting, effective communication, and healthier relationships.

— Daniele Lewin, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Beverly Hills, CA

I was the one that was bullied, that went though abuse, and that dropped out of high school. Because of my painful experiences during my childhood and extensive experience working with children, adolescents and their family, I am specialized in working with children and adolescents and their family. Also, I have found that being a male therapist can be huge advantage for male adolescents since they tend to be shy with female therapists and have difficulty opening up to them. Adolescent can be such a difficult stage. They hate parents yet they need them. They believe they can do anything yet they also know they cannot do anything. They don't know themselves yet. One of the reasons they rebel to the parents is this: it is one of the few ways they know to find their own identity. Having an adult whom they can talk to about anything is a huge plus for them, and that is what I am here for. Because of my painful experience, I can relate and understand them.

— Tatsuya Arakawa, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Torrance, CA

I assist my adolescent clients with transitional struggles, peer relations, and issues related to individuality while letting their voice be heard and giving them the option to be the leader of their treatment.

— Brittni Williams, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Hampton, VA

I have worked with adolescents since 2008. I enjoy working with them as they also enjoy working collaboratively with me.

— Marie Vernal, Social Worker in Jacksonville, FL

I have been a college professor and academic advisor earlier in my career, so the identity, career, and relationship tasks of young adults and college age students are my passion.

— Julie Carbery, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX

I have worked with adolescents since 2010 with a variety of mental health and substance use disorders. Because of the nature of my work, I have also worked with their family system as a whole to help heal the family together. Adolescents need to know that despite their age they have a voice and it matters. I am an advocate for my adolescent patients as well as a support to the family system, as I believe recovery from any hardship require support and positive communication from all parties.

— Dena Paniccia, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Fort Myers, FL

I have worked with teen throughout my entire career, for about 15 years, in the school setting, with military families, and in the court system. I feel that I relate well to teens and can understand what they are going through.

— Allison Welliver, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

I have worked with adolescents through adults during my entire career. I enjoy working with young people because they are going through a lot of "firsts", and during a time where they need to built independence. It is important to have adults in the corner of adolescents and young adults; I like to be able to support adolescents and families during this transition time to adulthood.

— Jessica L Packman, Clinical Social Worker in Marietta, GA

Adolescence is a time of becoming, working to understand ones' self, and leaning more fully into an authentic lived experience. This transition period can be one of anxious excitement or stressful angst, but often it is a mix of the two. In my work with adolescents and their families, I value creating space for all experiences, supporting each member in gaining skills to grow through this metamorphosis, and helping adolescents discover and establish their values for a life worth living.

— Alycia Smith @ C.H.E.R.I.I.S.H. Counseling LLC, Clinical Social Worker in Gresham, OR

Adolescents experience many difficulties through the years. I help teens navigate the passage into adulthood, along with all the issues that come with that time. I also help parents to navigate this difficult time.

— Brandy Ray, Counselor in Lake St. Louis, MO

I love working with adolescents ages 12 and up. It's a really tough time to be a teen, and it is my great privilege to help kids develop healthy coping skills and strong(er) filial relationships as they navigate adolescence. I have a special affinity for working with intellectually gifted adolescents, as well as LGBTQ+ teens.

— Heather Hunnicutt, Licensed Professional Counselor in Marietta, GA

Being a teenager is rough especially in today's world. I work with all adolescent issues including low self esteem, self harm, substance abuse, mood disorders, and anxiety. I also work with parents to help them effective communicate with their teens and how to effectively parent during this trying time.

— Shannon Hargrave, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

I work with ages 14 and up. Adolescence is always a tricky and emotionally-ruled time with transitions for everyone. My goal is always to establish a bond with the adolescent and then shift that back between adolescent and their parent. I also work very effectively with later adolescents and young adults; a time when most mental disorders (i.e. anxiety, depression etc) begin to display true symptoms. This population is generally highly motivated to make changes and a joy to work with.

— Laura (Lori) Patin, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Eagle River, AK

I have worked with teens (ages 14+) since 2004. I absolutely love working with the adolescent population. My approach is collaborative with teens and their caregivers so that we can create a treatment plan that works for everyone. When working with teens, I focus on building rapport with the teen and showing the teen that I understand their experiences.

— Minon Maier, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Scottsdale, AZ

Therapy for adolescents can help you tame anxiety and stress, enhance self-esteem, navigate academic, social, and family stressors in more effective ways, or even learn to replace self-harming behaviors with healthier ways to cope. I can also help you find better tools to manage anger, sadness, anxiety, and depression, improve your relationships with your partner, friends, or family, and create and hold to boundaries that support you and the life you want.

— Tiana Leeds, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Barbara, CA

Teens are often misunderstood, while well-loved and highly frustrating. Connecting with them over their incredibly intense developmental challenges is the foundation to therapy. When the urgency becomes what adults want them to do or be (or not do or not be), teens feel dismissed and disrespected for who and what they are. Teen works starts with eliciting and then reflecting to them their developmental challenges AND their cross-cultural dilemmas trying to enter into an unfamiliar adult life.

— Ronald Mah, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Leandro, CA

You have an idea of who you are and who you want to be, but cannot quite articulate it yet or figure out how to get there. You feel like adults don't hear you or see you for who you are. You are struggling with the demands of transitioning from childhood to adulthood in a world that can seem so chaotic and isolating at times. I've been there, and I will listen to you.

— Laura Pearce, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Long Beach, CA

There are a lot of choices for teens to deal with in today's world. Teenagers and their parents are struggling with the teens wanting independence while still needing parental guidance. Teenagers often have problems expressing their thoughts, feelings and needs to parents. These communication conflicts often result in behavioral problems that can be long lasting. Teen Crisis Management using cognitive behavioral skills will achieve a positive solution for all members of your family.

— Lisa H. Lang, Therapist in Flower Mound, TX

Teens have their own style and needs when dealing with difficult issues, which they often find difficulty meeting. I provide space and permission for teens to be themselves fully by modeling my own expression and inviting the opinions and thoughts they may not have shared before due to fear of repercussion. Teens in my office are given full autonomy to engage with therapy in the way that they need so that they can foster the skills they need to support themselves in pursuing their goals.

— Rayne Banneck, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

I empathize with the struggles of adolescence; academic, peer and family stress are a recipe for anyone to want a good therapist. My philosophy is to help adolescents understand that they are not in this alone. All teens struggle with identity and most struggle with some form of anxiety or depression, but they don't see it on their peers. I tell my clients that they are comparing their insides with others' outsides. The mask can be deceiving, but talking about it can be healing.

— Laurie Levine, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Herndon, VA

Adolescence can be a tough transitional period for anyone, and therapy can help with this transition. It is my desire to assist adolescents in finding their identity while working with them to manage the daily stress of high school; tests, gossip, romantic interests, relationships, and peer groups.

— Austin Knight, Counselor in Grand Rapids, MI

Adolescents are a paradox of being both the strongest and most resilient of our species, while simultaneously being extremely sensitive and fragile. I feel honored to hold space for the youth of today as they struggle with the surmounting pressures of the world, rapidly changing technology, suicide and self harm becoming commonplace, all while their brains are not yet fully developed. In this I offer youth a place to make sense of their identity, purpose, and adverse experiences.

— Marc Heuser, Counselor in Golden, CO

As an adolescent therapist I look at the context and relationships in teenager’s lives that are important to them and how those relationships inform their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. ​Family dynamics can be difficult, and I often incorporate family members in my work with teenagers to address relational issues, family interactions, communication difficulties and destructive patterns that keep families stuck. I ask parents to respect their teenagers’ privacy in individual sessions as much as possible. Although parents have the right to know about the content and process of their child’s therapy, it can delay or stall a teenager’s progress if a parent gets overinvolved. It takes a trusted and safe environment for a teenager to feel comfortable enough to open up and talk openly about their feelings, challenges and fears. Therapy is most effective with teenagers when parents respectfully give teenagers space to explore their own challenges while being supportive.

— Filippo M. Forni, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

I have worked with adolescents in a behavioral health hospital and a resident treatment center. During that time I have helped adolescents through trauma, self-harm urges, and family conflict. I have helped adolescents as well by helping them deal with peer conflict and ways to build social skills.

— Kimberly Davis, Licensed Professional Counselor in Cypress, TX

I have been working with adolescent issues since I was an adolescent myself! I dealt with my own problems during adolescence, and provided support to my peers through various leadership organizations. I have continued to work with teens in both outpatient and inpatient settings. Specific issues I've helped teens deal with: depression, anxiety, substance (ab)use, self esteem, self harm, suicidal thoughts, not knowing how to connect in healthy ways, ODD, ADHD, and conflict within the family.

— Jackie Currie, Counselor in Bend, OR

Michael’s professional experience includes working with older youth in a residential setting who struggle with behavioral and mental health issues, including inappropriate sexual conduct, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and more. He has also spent time as a central Ohio caseworker working closely with families involved with the Juvenile Court system.

— Michael Gacnik, Counselor in Groveport, OH

For over 12 years, I have worked with teens struggling with self-esteem, behavioral issues, school stress, anxiety, depression, self-harm, and family conflict. I enjoy building relationships with adolescents and assisting them in their path to finding themselves and finding happiness. Working together, we can build coping skills, learn to identify and express feelings, and build confidence. I also work with the families of teens.

— Melissa Barton, Licensed Professional Counselor in Katy, TX