Adolescents or young adults who come to therapy are often stuck between two stages of development. While in reality, they may be between the ages of 13 and 25, they may be functioning at a much younger age emotionally. This isn’t because they are trying to irritate others (although this may be the case!), but rather that somewhere along the way they missed learning the skills needed to work through emotional “crises” when they arise. A crisis in this sense is not an emergency situation as we would typically think about it, but more of a “crossroads” or “coming of age” opportunity that he or she is facing but doesn’t feel equipped to handle.
In individual therapy, these naturally occurring roadblocks can be identified, worked through, and addressed through the therapeutic relationship that builds with their clinician over time. Missing skills such as emotional regulation, communication, decision-making, and personal goal-setting can be developed in session as these maturing clients begin to gain self-awareness, self-confidence, and the belief that they are capable of functioning independently in their own lives.
Patricia Emery is a seasoned professional who has worked with the adolescent population as Student Assistance Counselor in a high school setting for over twenty years. Holding advanced training credentials in substance abuse (CAADC) and clinical professional counseling (LCPC), Patricia connects quickly and easily with both adolescents and young adults.