I think we all agree, being a teen in 2018 is quite different to when many of us were teens.
Supporting our next generation is a minefield.
Do I/We? Don’t I/We? – Should, would, could… Ahhhhhh! STOP!
The only thing we know for sure is that it is bloody hard work.
- Relationships with peers of significant others
- Too much screen time
- My teen sits in their room all day with the door shut
and the list goes on.
From a practitioner’s perspective it takes time and effort to establish a rapport with your teen. Often this is not achieved in the first session, developing trust and a supportive environment is crucial to achieving a successful outcome.
Just like beng a parent there is an element of experimentation in the process to take the time to understand how to best support your teen. Often they will believe you have sent them because you believe there is something wrong with them. This alone is a significant barrier to over come in developing the essential rapport to achieving success.
So what may we do in sessions?
Often I will invite your teen to tell me about their interests, pets, sports, play board games, listen to music, offer them art supplies, etc., to develop trust.
I appreciate for you as parents it is a huge challenge to feel like you are handing over your teen and manage the process of confidentiality. Often parents experience high levels of internal conflict in regard to this area of the process. Please know that I am bound with a strong duty of care to let you know about any instances where I assess your teen or child is at significant risk of harm or harming another.
At every appropriate stage in the intervention I work with your teen to encouarge them to open up to you about their fears, concerns and worries.
All this can take some time, so asking how many sessions your teen will need is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string..? I simply can’t answer that question and I won’t try to. The process is guided by your teen.
It is really common for teens to get to a place where they feel like they are doing well and you notice significant improvement too. Some time later it is also common for your teen to hit a flat spot and feel like they need a top up of service. Often in these session we revise what has been covered in the initial sessions and go through a refresh of the skills they have developed in sessions.
In my experience this is not unique to teens. We as adults also appear to go through this stage.
Often what our teens require is an independent space to get stuff off our chest, understand in many cases what they are experiencing is quite common but no one dares speak about it or show their vulnerabilities.