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

Typical issues I work with adolescents and their parents on, are ADHD, anxiety related issues and defiance, which is often disguised as poor anger management. During the initial appointment, I will meet with the teenager and his or her parents involved. The goal of which is to get all parties present to agree on what the main goals and objectives for treatment are going to be. After which I primarily work with the adolescent on the identified and agreed upon issues to be addressed and resolved. Periodically I will bring in the parents to check in on how things are going on in the home or homes.

— Ugo Uche, Counselor in Tucson, AZ
 

I have extensive experience working with adolescents in their search to understand themselves, grow into a more mature relationship with parents or family, navigate confusing life circumstances, and manage emotional dis-regulation. I enjoy conversations with adolescents who are challenging the status quo, as they are meant to at that age, and helping them to find a balance between their own desires and the expectations of others.

— Sue Wilhelm, Licensed Professional Counselor in Saint Louis, MO

I've worked with high schoolers, college students, & young adults ever since I was in college myself. This passion carried over into my counseling career, and I think it's critical to help adolescents navigate the challenges they're facing to set them up for a healthy future.

— Robert Vore, Counselor in Smyrna, GA
 

I would say about 60% of my caseload is working with adolescents and young adults. I get the stress and overwhelming day to day challenges that you have to experience at this age and work to address these and listen to understand your day to day life. There seems to be always something going on during this period of your life and my goal is to help you get through these years with the least amount of depression and anxiety as we can. Work to help you understand and teach coping skills to deal with the challenges that you are presented with.

— Amanda Woodard, Licensed Professional Counselor in Centennial, CO
 

An essential part of the teen years is exploring identity. Teens are in the process of becoming adults and trying to figure out who they are independent from their parents. This can be a scary time for both teens and their parents as teens try to figure out (often through trial and error), what kind of person they want to be. Therapy is a place that teens can explore aspects of their identity without the worry of disappointing their parents or being judged by their peers.

— Jennifer Newbloom, Counselor in Seattle, WA

Teens are on a unique journey of figuring out who they are. My work is to assist them in making powerful choices as they discover how they want to be in the world. My style is collaborative and even when parents tell me their kid doesn't share anything, teens open up to me!

— John Sovec, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in PASADENA, CA
 

My early work as a therapist concentrated on working with school-aged young children, adolescents, and young adults for over six years. During that time, the most common client I met with would be an adolescent who was faced with financial, cultural, social, familial, academic, behavioral, and legal difficulties. Different age groups require different interventions based on developmental stage, and I use this informed approach in tailor-making an effective treatment plan. Common issues I treat include depression, anxiety, Oppositional-Defiant Disorder, trauma, abuse, ADHD, anger management, decision-making, grief, PTSD, self-harm, self-esteem, social phobia, and family issues. I am trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), which is an effective, evidence-based practice commonly used in treating and healing the pain of trauma and abuse.

— Young K. Ju, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA

I have extensive experience supporting adolescents through understanding themselves, navigating difficult or traumatic circumstances, developing better relationship with parents or family, and gaining greater emotional control. I enjoy conversations with adolescents who are challenging the status quo, as they naturally do at this age, and help them to balance their own wishes with the expectations of others that they find stressful.

— Sue Wilhelm, Licensed Professional Counselor in Saint Louis, MO
 

A core focus of my work is supporting adolescents/teens and parents of adolescents/teens. Adolescence is a time filled with immense change and growth. Throughout the course of that growth can often exist encounters with various challenges, obstacles, and difficult experiences that the adolescent must navigate past. I specialize in working with adolescents and their parents because I am passionate about walking alongside them and assisting them in their journey through this meaningful life stage.

— Adam Cohen, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

I have 30 years of experience working with children and adolescents and worked in the juvenile and domestic relations courts for almost 20 years.

— Robin Knoblach, Clinical Psychologist in Herndon, VA
 

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
 

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

Growing up today is harder than at almost any other time in history. Teens are experiencing anxiety and depression in record numbers at a time when they have less resiliency than ever. Academic pressures, peer pressure, and FMO (fear of missing out) can be more than one can handle. Parent/teen relationships are often the toughest and yet most important to navigate. I can help teens who struggle with anxiety and depression to put things into perspective and learn coping skills to deal with life's pressures. I also work with parents in creating a healthy environment for and relationship with their teen. This age doesn't last forever--there can be light at the end of the tunnel!

— Tricia Norby, Counselor in Madison, WI
 

I help teens develop their voices, process their emotions, and think through their decisions. I work with adolescents on issues such as Anxiety Depression Anger expression Suicidal thoughts and behaviors Acting-out behaviors and aggression Self harm Alcohol and drug use Low self esteem Social media (over)usage Bullying Grief and loss Serious illness in the family Trauma Identity development Perfectionism Low motivation

— Jennifer Trinkle, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA

Throughout my career I have worked with adolescents in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Teens typically state that they find me relatable and trustworthy and are able to open up more easily so we can get started sooner on the big stuff that brings them into therapy.

— Jessica Stebbins, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Merritt Island, FL
 

It's normal for young people to feel ambivalent about coming to therapy, so it is important that they have a voice in determining what we work on — especially if therapy wasn’t their idea. We may sit and talk, play games, create art, or incorporate music, books, or other forms of media into our conversations about their lives and their goals. I believe in the importance of creating a strong relationship and focusing on strengths and solutions, not just on problems.

— Kristen Felter, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Austin, TX

I've been working with children and teens for years. I am passionate about allowing teens to have a safe place to process difficulties in their lives, encourage empowerment and emotional expression. I use transparency, humor and feedback to help teens explore what's going on in their lives. I believe in the value of autonomy and self advocacy for teens and work to support this.

— Cayla Panitz, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

Rebecca has worked with adolescents in inpatient, outpatient, home-based, and school-based settings. In graduate school, Rebecca was an Inpatient Psychiatry Unit Intern at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago's Inpatient Psychiatry Unit where she provided individual, group, and family therapy using evidence-based interventions (e.g. Collaborative and Proactive Solutions, CBT, etc.) to children and adolescents presenting with a range of psychosocial stressors and diagnoses, including anxiety, depressive, and psychotic disorders. After graduate school, Rebecca went on to work in community mental health where she provided individual, group, and family therapy to adolescents in a clinic setting. Rebecca also has experience providing mental health services to adolescents while working for LAUSD School Mental Health.

— Rebecca Neubauer, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Santa Monica, CA

My interest in the field of marriage and family therapy began over 20 years ago, when I took a psychology course in Adolescence and Young Adulthood. This course fueled my passion for psychology and I began working with teens at a crisis center. I even became a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. My enthusiasm for this field has continued to grow and working with teens holds a special place in my practice.

— Sara Collins, Counselor in Salt Lake City, UT

I am trained as a behavior analyst. I use the techniques I have learned to work with children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I offer individual and group sessions for individuals who are looking for more intense support then the schools can offer.

— Christa Vermillera, Counselor in Melbourne, FL
 

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, Associate Professional Counselor in Marietta, GA

In adolescence, the developmental task is to find oneself, while slowly becoming more independent from parents and community. Indigenous and non-industrial cultures often understood the importance of this, and facilitated this critical process with an initiatory experience. Today, neuroscience is catching up with ancient knowledge, as adults are counseled to find ways to support teens to take healthy risks so that inner resources can be cultivated and strengthened during this critical time.

— Eileen Brown, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Rafael, CA
 

Because I have found that teens tend to crave concrete skills and tools, I primarily utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques to help them overcome struggles related to negative self-talk and low self-esteem. I also use a variety of interpersonal techniques to assist teens in developing insight into their struggles.

— Sherry Fleydervish, Counselor in Chicago, IL

Adolescents are at high risk for mood challenges given new expectations, responsibilities, social pressures, and puberty. The combination of having ASD and going through 'normal' adolescent changes can feel like a 'double whammy' for people with ASD, as new issues arise and coping strategies that previously worked don't seem to work any longer. I help teens navigate these challenges and provide them with coping strategies that they can implement during stressful times and throughout their lives.

— Lindsey Sterling, Clinical Psychologist in Long Beach, CA
 

I have 20 years clinical experience working with adolescents.

— Jennifer Wendt, Clinical Psychologist in San Diego, CA

I have a background in educational counseling and years of experience working in high schools. I help teens cope with performance anxiety, body image and sexual identity issues, as well as college planning.

— Tamika Lewis, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Sherman Oaks, CA
 

For the last 10 years I have worked with adolescents in multiple arenas. Now I focus working with teens under a trauma-focused lens. I utilize art therapy, EMDR or talk therapy depending on the needs of the youth.

— Natalie Coriell, Counselor in Shrewsbury, MO
 

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

We can help identify if there is a need to be concerned and help establish a healthy relationship with technology. With the expected resistance, we can help both you and your child develop an appreciation for the positive and detrimental aspects of technology.

— Peter Rivkees, Counselor in Clermont, FL
 

This stage of life is one of the most challenging for the adolescent and the parent. During this time in life, children have begun to form their own unique way of looking at and experiencing the world around them. Often times, this is in conflict with what their parents have instilled in them and chaos ensues in the home. Teenagers and young adults (up to age 24 or so) are more interested in developing themselves (as they should be!) then forming bonds with their parents. Again, another blow to that parent-child relationship. It is temporary but these young people will need a lot of guidance and support as they bump and bruise their way through it. I'm here to help!

— Tiffany Ashe, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Durham, NC

I have experience working with youth and adolescents who engage in high risk behaviors such as alcohol and drug use, runaway, fire-related behaviors, truancy, difficulties at home, difficulties at school, physical violence, self-harm, suicidal ideation, etc. I also have

— Ande Cappellano, Social Worker in Portland, OR
 

Most teens enter therapy because an authority figure told them they must do so. This presents unique challenges to building rapport and trust that is instrumental in discovering insight and creating change. My approach to working with teens centers on creating an egalitarian, trusting relationship, where the therapist does not 'talk down', but rather ensures confidentiality and mutual respect.

— Raeleen Davis, Licensed Professional Counselor in Rochester Hills, MI

Getting through adolescence can be tough! This is why I have dedicated myself to helping teens navigate through the struggles of high school, social pressures, family dynamics, relationship changes, and tumultuous life transitions. Adolescence is a pivotal time for developing one’s personal identity and laying the foundations of self-esteem. I help teens better understand their emotions, behaviors, and develop stronger skills for self-expression, regulating emotion, and communication.

— Sage Grazer, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA

Teen years are difficult. Teens are individuating from their parents and their peers become their whole world. If this wasn't enough, now social media has become a major game player. As a parent we begin to wonder what happened to our child, often times not liking our child. For most, parents and teens survive unscathed; however, there are those who are struggling with fighting, excessive arguing, increased irritability, substance use, self harm, depression, isolating, defiance, and aggression, perfectionism, racing thoughts, difficulty sleeping, anxiety or excessive worry, inability to say no to friends, sexual activity during these years. Theres help. Family therapy and individual therapy are effective. Using a playful approach can bring you and your teen together. Expressive arts helps to increase self awareness. Teens do not enjoy sitting across from a stranger and talking; therefore, using play, art and sand often help the teen to communicate.

— Danyale Weems, Counselor in Carrollton, GA