Welcome Teens!

Dear Teen,

You may have found this site by googling around, or perhaps an adult steered you here because he or she feels it would be a good idea for you to spend time with an adult who can offer you some insight and understanding. Regardless of how you landed on this page, I welcome you!

Here’s what I know about that amazing, scary, exciting, and confusing passage called “adolescence.” For one, it is really weird to see your body suddenly changing into some alien creature that you have never met before. It can absolutely feel like you are playing the starring role in your own version of THE INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS! And with changing bodies come those other little trouble-makers called HORMONES. They, too, seem to take over your life for awhile, causing you to feel up one minute and down the next. Hormones can create havoc on your mood and how your body responds to things. No worries. It actually does get better.

And then there’s school. There is so much pressure these days to work hard and get good grades. Maybe you are a smarty who doesn’t do so well in school (which has little to do with just how smart you really are). Or, you may be someone who walks around feeling that you don’t have any smarts at all. Or, maybe you are a smarty who gets straight A’s and feels like anything less means you’re not okay (which tells me that you once were bitten by that scratchy little perfection bug and have never quite recovered!). Sometimes school can feel like the Halls of Hell,and I get it.

Next, we move on to a social life. What social life, you may be asking? Or, you may be overly-involved in your social life and want to figure out how to make choices that best suit you. Friendships tend to change and move around during adolescence, which isn’t always easy. Throw on top of that some drama about the opposite sex, and WOW . . . how is it that every teenager isn’t hiding under their bed hoping to never come out again?! I give you all a lot of credit, that’s all I can say. Hey, if I made it through, you absolutely will, too.

Lastly, there is life at home. If you are like the majority of teenagers, you crave your independence and really want your parents to give you more space and freedom. You may feel like they just don’t get you. At the same time, every teenager I have ever spoken to (and that’s a lot of teenagers) sometimes wishes that they could go back in time and be a younger kid again, when it wasn’t so hard trying to figure everything out. This push and pull is one of the most challenging parts of being a teenager within a family. The question to ask yourself is this: How do I become an independent person while staying connected to my family, even if I don’t want to spend most of my time with them anymore? How can I still continue to give and receive love while establishing a more independent life? This is the true task of adolescence.

So, whether you are dealing with the more typical woes of life or maybe trying to figure out some bigger troubles, therapy offers you an opportunity to get some support from an non- judgmental adult who will really listen to you and be your personal cheerleader. I believe that every single person is born with an innate wisdom that never leaves them. Together, we will begin to access the wise inner-knowing that lives inside of you. After all, who is a better expert about you than YOU? Know that you will never have to answer questions or talk about personal feelings if you are uncomfortable. Believe it or not, we actually have fun while working to get to know you better from the inside out. That’s a promise.

Parents, teachers, dating, drugs, drinking, sex, friendships . . . the list goes on and on.  One of the very best aspects to seeing a therapist is that you don’t have to figure the hard stuff out all by yourself.  Going to a counselor does not mean that you are the problem. It simply means that you are wise enough to know that life is challenging and that gathering some support will lead you to enjoy your life a whole lot more and get more of what you are wanting.

Take a chance on yourself and come in for a visit. Begin your journey towards your own self-expression. You can feel good while you create the life that awaits you.

Exploring, Understanding and Transforming:


Here is what one teenager had to say about working with Julie:

I started seeing Julie when I was thirteen because my parents had just separated, and she has been in and out of my life ever since. I didn’t know, however, that there would be many other things that had yet to be discovfered within me that needed attention. Julie worked closely with me to find the things that I needed to work on most, through a variety of techniques including artistic creation, writing, and just talking through my feelings.  What I like most about working with Julie is that she recognizes that it’s hard for most people to talk about what bothers them most. She respects that everyone needs to approach doing so in a different way, but at the same time knows how to address the issues that are most important.  Julie’s support was great because even after I left for school, she continued to email me to just say hello and even to remind me of some of the things we had worked on together.  She’s taught me many good ways to handle problems on my own that, in our earlier meetings, I wouldn’t have known how to deal with at all.  I’ve learned that it’s okay to be wrong and to make mistakes as long as you learn and try to turn it into an opportunity to better yourself. I don’t think I could have accomplished this without her help.  I think Julie is the best because she’s always there to talk to, whether you have a problem and need advice or just want to say hi, and it’s more like having a really helpful and caring friend than just having a therapist.

Amanda, age 19