Parent/Adolescent Communication

We are in a time of uncertainty and evolving change. I am offering video therapy or teletherapy via HIPPA approved software, including Zoom. Video platforms are easy to access and utilize —I email you a link and you can click on it at the time of our session.

Parents and teenagers must navigate a difficult process as the teenager begins to separate from the parents and form his or her separate identity. I work with both parents and teenagers to help in this process in terms of developing strategies for communication, conflict resolution and ways to begin connecting more effectively. I help both the teenager and the parent find ways to better understand and to develop greater tolerance for one another.

More than any other developmental stage, the teenage years necessitate that parents alter their typical ways of parenting, become more flexible, more patient, more emotionally attentive. We sometimes think that only young children need this kind of nurturing but this is not the case. The major shift, however, is that old rules often need to be altered to accommodate the teenager’s burgeoning sense of independence. She has to feel more in control over her choices so that she can become her own person. Of course, all of this needs to be done with appropriate (not rigid) limit setting so that she can try out independence in a safe and boundaried manner. Psychotherapy can help with this process.

At times parents and teenagers feel roadblocked–they can’t seem to form or achieve mutually agreed upon goals, set limits that both agree to, or find ways to empathize and validate one another. When parents and teenagers enter therapy they often find that talking with a third party helps them to better understand the others’ perspective. This understanding and compassion for each others way of seeing things often sets the stage for moving forward and not being stuck in rigid ways of managing one anthers behavior.