I’ve stopped smoking marijuana, and I feel a lot better socially, and I want to thank you because I think you gave me the wake-up call I needed to help me go down the path I truly want to go down.
2012 (Teen Male, Petaluma)
Together, we can discuss your concerns about:
Benefits of therapy for teens and their families can include:
Most teens in Petaluma live in a relatively safe and opportunity-rich environment. Petaluma has a reputation for fostering family-oriented activities and valuing community. However, these efforts and safeguards certainly do not prevent teens and young adults from struggling with the challenges of adolescence.
Teens everywhere navigate changes in social expectations, developing sexuality, choices around drug and alcohol use, and the beginnings of major life decisions such as education, employment, romantic relationships, and peer groups.
As teens grow, their point of reference shifts from their immediate family to peers. Great importance is given to the opinions of others as teens reach out beyond the familiar to explore new ideas and experiences. Shifts in brain structure also make adolescents more willing to take risks, seek pleasure, and minimize the costs associated with their choices.
This is a natural process that can lead to exciting discoveries, identity formation, and new connections, but it also involves significant hazards. Many young people face depression, anxiety, anger management problems, obsessions, addictions, social isolation, and difficulty in family and peer relationships. Teenagers often need support and guidance from mature adults to make informed, wise decisions.
Teens, much more than younger children, are reactive against efforts to control and direct their choices, and parents must also undergo a major transition in the way they interact with their teen children. Parenting, to a greater degree, becomes a matter of letting teenagers find their own solutions to problems and deal with the natural consequences of their choices.
The whole family often struggles with this transition, and guidance from an experienced therapist can be helpful in addressing patterns of communication and transforming expectations.