Adolescents and Families


photo by Nirav Patel

Adolescents and Families

I work with adolescents (ages 12+) and their families to navigate this transitional and often volatile stage. As teens seek to explore and solidify their identities and independence from the adults in their lives, new behaviors and issues rise to the surface: struggles with body image, peer relationships, sexuality, mood fluctuations, academic challenges, social media and video game addiction… just to name a few. These are challenging times for teens and the families who love them.

I provide a safe space for adolescents to just be and wrestle with the internal and external challenges they face. I offer a supportive, playful, and challenging environment for teens to be self-expressed and develop a healthier sense of agency and connection.

I help families of adolescents who find themselves in the exasperated place of “What do I do??” and “Who is this strange person living in my house?” move to a place of better understanding of the unique teenage brain. I advocate for relationships in which we, as the teen’s primary support system, can provide not only nurturing structure and boundaries, but also supportive, attuned interactions that encourage emotional regulation and personal responsibility – the skills and relationship patterns that can scaffold them into adulthood.

“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large – I contain multitudes.” ~ Walt Whitman

In my early career, I earned a masters degree in secondary education and taught high school English for five years. I know the frustrations of expecting appropriate, respectful behavior but getting something far different in return. But I also know the passionate depth and wisdom of the teenager who has something to say but just needs the right space and tools to say it and feel understood. It is a joy of mine to facilitate teen self-understanding and promote family connection and compassion during these years.

I also assist families in the navigation of co-parenting issues after separation/divorce and in the development of new blended family bonds after re-marriage. This is tricky, challenging business and I can offer support.