Adolescent counseling and therapy are not for the faint of heart. Adolescents are a unique demographic from a counseling perspective because they don’t necessarily respond in the same ways adult do. It takes genuine experience and quite a bit of skill to help troubled adolescents through tough times.
We are firm believers in experience. It matters a great deal to every counseling session, but it is especially important when trying to reach adolescents who communicate in different ways. We are thrilled to be able to say that our counselors have the necessary experience and skill.
Adolescents Need Breathing Room
One of the first things you learn when counseling adolescents is that they need breathing room. When we say breathing room, we don’t mean the physical space to actually breathe. We mean a counseling environment that gives an adolescent the opportunity to feel comfortable and accepted. It is in an environment that allows a teenager the freedom to be who they are without fear of judgment.
We strive to make our Rye, New York office as comfortable and as welcoming as possible to every client. Yet when it comes to adolescents, the physical makeup of our office environment may not be enough. Adolescents frequently need their counselors to be just as warm, welcoming, and open as the physical space.
Opening the Right Doors
A key to successful counseling is opening the right doors. In other words, counselors want their clients to open up. They want access into what their clients are thinking and feeling. Gaining such access requires some sort of door. When it comes to adolescents, their available doors rarely look like the doors adults tend to offer.
We have noted an interest in music over the years. Likewise, some very wise therapists have discovered that adolescents are very keyed in to music on both an emotional and psychological level. Many of today’s kids are so attached to their music that it is nearly impossible to pull them away. Music provides them with a connection to a world they have trouble understanding.
We can use music as an open door in adolescent therapy. We can use it as a means of understanding what a client is thinking. More importantly, music can be a tool to help clients express their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.
Encouraging Productive Communication
The most difficult aspect of adolescent counseling may be encouraging the client to engage in productive communication. Even adolescents not experiencing relationship troubles may struggle to communicate with adults. It is perfectly normal. Adults and adolescents exist on different planes. They see the world through different eyes. That makes communicating difficult between them.
Among the many goals adolescent therapists bring to counseling sessions is that of encouraging positive and productive communication. Sometimes it takes many sessions to get a client to open up. Sometimes it happens in the very first session. It really just depends on the individual and their willingness to participate.
It should be clear that adolescent counseling and therapy can differ quite a bit from similar services offered to adults. For that reason alone, experience helps a great deal. An experienced therapist has learned how to communicate with adolescents. They have learned how to find appropriate doors and encourage clients to open them.
Are you looking for qualified adolescent counseling and therapy for your child? If so, we are ready to help. Our office is in Westchester County, north of New York. We can work with you and your child in person or online. We have the experience and knowledge you need to turn things around.