I am struggling with my teenager. Please tell me about family counseling at BridgePointe.
Adolescents experience very complex developmental obstacles. The natural progression of adolescence is to begin to separate from the family and become an individual. They often rely more on peers than parents for their sense of self worth and purpose. Biologically the child is experiencing drastic changes in their bodies leading to mood swings and behavior changes. The child may isolate themselves at home, leaving the parents to feel disconnected and concerned. Advances in technology, and cultural and generational changes, are more puzzling still, increasing the parents' feelings of being further removed from their child. As a parent, you know that your child still needs your love and guidance, and you are absolutely correct. If anything, your child may need you now more than ever.
BridgePointe clinicians offer a variety of services for teens and their families. Variety is important because each teenager and each parent experience this time in very different ways. Our clinicians are trained to tailor the course of treatment around your individual needs.
In my experience, it is optimal for a teenager to work individually with a therapist that is just for them. Confidentiality and trust are crucial to understanding and helping. The parents would work with a separate clinician to learn about their child, their own feelings and reactions to the child, and how to cope and manage the family in the best way possible. Depending on the clinician and family, the teen will likely be included in some of these sessions. It is possible for your teen's therapist to accompany him or her in the family sessions as well if all parties are in agreement.
I have seen some incredible growth with this model of treatment. You'll learn about yourself and your family in the process. Your child may even thank you someday down the road, can you imagine that?
My name is Emily Wilson and I have worked as a child and adolescent therapist for ten years. I was originally trained as a behavioral therapist. I have deepened my practice with the Ohio Association of Play Therapy and the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute. To me, finding what is underneath a child's behavior is crucial to understanding and changing it.