Psychotherapy for Adolescents

What size do you want to be? It [the Caterpillar] asked. “Oh, I am not particular as to size,” Alice hastily replied; “only one doesn’t like changing so often, you know.”

Therapist speaking to an adolescent. Both sitting in chairs

Define the Adolescent's Main Difficulties & Therapy Goals

The goal of therapy is to understand what the current difficulties are, identify what might have led to their development, and help the adolescent restore a path toward well-being. Generalizations about adolescents often do not take into account the differences between sub-phases of adolescence. Each phase presents with specific developmental tasks and conflicts that I carefully consider when working with an adolescent.  I help parents understand these differences between adolescent sub-phases which gives parents a clearer idea of what their child needs.

Build a Trusting Relationship with Parents & Adolescents

Obtaining the adolescent’s trust is the most important goal of therapy before any further in-depth work can be done. Depending on the age of the patient, parents may or may not be involved in therapy. When parents are involved, gaining their trust and working collaboratively with them to better understand their child is very important.

Adolescent in group therapy with parents
All the family hands holding each other
Older Happy Family Hugging with dog

Address the Parent-Child Relationship

Depending on the age of the adolescent, I may still meet with parents to help them with parenting-related issues. The goal is to restore the parent-adolescent relationship that often gets disrupted by the patient’s challenging behaviors.

Raffaella Braga PhD © 2023

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