Services for Teenagers

Treatment Philosophy

The teenage years (ages 13-18) are a time of exploration, adventure, challenges, rebellion, self-discovery and emotional upheaval....usually all occurring within the same day! For many teenagers it can be a very turbulent time, especially when social, academic and family pressures seem overwhelming and incredibly uncertain. For parents it can be a time of frustration and confusion, with the discovery that parenting strategies which were once highly successful are no longer effective.

The primary focus in providing therapy for teenagers, is to ensure that all of the struggles encountered by each family member is respected and addressed. When the transition from childhood to adulthood is occurring, the need for parents and teenagers to strengthen their connection and communication is vital. Due to extensive research on adolescent brain development, it has become increasingly less complicated for parents to understand why teenagers behave and think the way they do.

The Therapy Process

The First Step

Consider these questions (as the parent of a teenager):

  • Has your teen talked about problems they're experiencing?
  • Has your teen stopped talking to you about problems or issues?
  • Does your teen struggle in school...academically, socially or both?
  • Has there been a recent change in the home environment?
  • Does your teen experience extreme episodes of depression, anxiety or anger?
  • Do you know or suspect that your teen has been using drugs or alcohol?
  • Has your teen faced disciplinary actions from school or law enforcement?
  • Do you have concerns regarding any behavioural, social or emotional problems that your teen is demonstrating?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then it may be time to make an appointment with a qualified professional to explore these situations in more detail.

The Next Step

What happens during the first meeting?

  • The initial appointment is for the parent(s) only, without the teenager present
  • All relevant information (including any diagnostic evaluations, teacher reports or formal assessments, if applicable) will be gathered
  • Some suggestions for various communication approaches with your teen will be offered, to give you the opportunity to try them out at home
  • We determine if your teen is willing to attend an individual appointment
  • Confidentiality policies are discussed regarding privacy concerns vs safety concerns
  • If an appointment for your teen is scheduled, we determine the best approach for effective, collaborative communication
  • During the entire process, any and all questions are openly welcomed

Due to the nature of the therapy process and for confidentiality purposes, "free consultations" are not available.    During the first appointment, the process begins with a collaborative approach for creating positive changes.

Core Treatment Values

Collaborative Approach
Working with teens and parents to create a balanced approach towards positive change
Age Appropriate Communication
Recognizing each teen's developmental level and connecting with dignity and respect
Non-judgemental and Empowering
Providing an atmosphere that is empathetic and informative, not critical or condemning