My most frequent request from clients is: Will you please work with my teen? Up until now my answer has usually been: no.
The reason is that often parents bring me their kids hoping that I will fix what they see as broken; but the child has no interest in making any changes. I can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped.
I realize though that in taking that position, I am leaving out kids who really do want help and who are committed to working for change. And honestly, I am great with teens.
So, if your child is 100% on board, let's dive in and discover how I can help.
1. A safe space:
Successful coaching relies on a person's genuine desire to engage in the process. When teenagers actively seek help and show commitment to their personal growth, the results can be dramatic. Together, we create a supportive and nurturing space where they can explore their thoughts, emotions, and experiences.
2. Changing Thought Patterns:
Ah, those thought patterns! During adolescence, emotions run high, and reaction-based thinking can wreak havoc on a teen's well-being. As a coach, I step in to guide them toward healthier thought patterns. By establishing a strong bond and trust, we work together to identify cognitive distortions that might be holding them back. Then, we kick them to the curb and replace them with more adaptive and constructive ways of thinking.
3. Taking on Thought Errors:
We all have those sneaky thought errors that can mess with our minds, and teens are no exception. From black-and-white thinking to catastrophizing or personalization, these thinking traps can significantly impact their emotional well-being and decision-making abilities. As their coach, I help teens recognize and address these thought errors head-on. We challenge them, explore alternative interpretations, consider evidence, and ultimately develop a more realistic and positive outlook.
4. Holistic Growth and Empowerment:
My role as a coach extends beyond tackling immediate challenges. I'm committed to nurturing the holistic development of teenagers—emotionally, socially, and academically. Using evidence-based coaching techniques, and practical exercises, I equip teens with essential skills to navigate relationships, manage stress, and make informed choices that align with their values and aspirations.
A couple of important notes: I cannot take teens who would be better served by therapy, unless coaching is specifically recommended by the therapist as a supplement. This includes kids who are having thoughts of suicide, who have any moderate to severe mental illness like depression, or are who are engaging in any form of self-harm. And finally, while coaching does not legally require me to keep what my clients tell me in confidence, I absolutely will except in cases where I suspect the life or safety of the child or someone else is in danger. Please don't ask me for information about your child.
I am currently accepting new clients for Fridays only. If you'd like to chat with me about your child, sign up for a mini session here.