Being a Tween or Teen is difficult. They are caught between two worlds with one foot in childhood and another in adulthood. During this time of their life they are struggling to become their own person and peers become important influences. Relationships with family can become stressed for some. School can become more stressful. Social pressures abound.
When working with this group, I mix play therapy in with more adult talk therapy methods. I will work where my client is most comfortable. For some, therapy may be a unique experience with an adult who will listen and with whom they can be honest and “talk back” without danger.
For these clients confidentiality is key and many of the specifics of therapy remain between client and therapist. I work with these clients to help them ask for what they need and communicate with their parents.
Issues that could bring a youth to therapy include depression, anxiety, stress, peer relations, and life disturbances.
Methods, in addition to play therapy, expressive arts, and optimistic existentialism, include the following:
Narrative therapy aims to help a client understand that they are not their problems. Through narrative therapy, the client will be helped in an effort look at their life as being full of possibilities and the client learns that they, alone, have the tools and ability to define their goals, their future and find their true self outside of the stories of their past.
Strength-based therapy focuses on a clients strengths and self-determination and encourages a client’s ability to see their own resourcefulness and resiliency. This type of therapy is especially beneficial to those with low self-esteem and victims of abuse. The aim is to reframe the way a client thinks about their experiences to stop seeing themselves as a victim and start seeing themselves as a survivor.
Mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.