Therapy for Youth and Adolescents
A lot of changes and shifts occur during adolescence and early adulthood. Some youths experience being in mental and emotional distress to such an extent that they need more help than what the people in their daily life can provide. If you, as a youth of 15 years of age or older, experience your life being so influenced by distressing feelings and thoughts that you need help to get better, it is possible that speaking with a psychologist will be beneficial for you.
You can also contact me if you are a family member to – or a professional in contact with – a youth about whom you worry. It can be helpful to talk about whether seeing a psychologist could be helpful for the youth, as well as how to approach this.
Due to varying laws in different countries, I only have sessions with citizens of other countries than Denmark that are 18 years or older.
How It Works
We will start out having a session where we will talk about why you are here. It is important that both of us leave the first meeting with the experience that we have a good sense of what is important to talk about and work with. This does not mean that we will know everything from the beginning. There will always be a development from consultation to consultation, and new things will arise. It does, however, mean that we will be getting off to a good start.
In the first talk I will tell you more about the way I work as well as how the consultations will proceed. This is to make sure you walk away from our first meeting with a good sense of how it will be talking with me.
For some youths it can be a bit of an odd experience having to speak to a psychologist. There may be thoughts like:
- What if I don’t know what to say?
- Will the psychologist even understand me?
- How will the psychologist react if I tell her about thoughts I have never told anyone before?
My experience is that these questions will be answered – or disappear by themselves – already after the first couple of sessions. For some they have already vanished after we have met the first time. The most important thing for me is first and foremost to create a trustworthy relation. This is necessary for you to have an experience of being able to say exactly what you think, feel and experience.
The goal is for you to leave the first meeting with a sense of there being good chances that speaking with me can help you.
When It Can Be Relevant for a Youth to Speak to a Psychologist
Some youths are so impacted by mental and emotional distress that it is noticeable in certain aspects of their lives. Some withdraw socially. It can become difficult to keep up in school, and some stop going to school altogether. Some youths find ways to try and relieve the inner discomfort that create new challenges. This can be by consuming alcohol or doing drugs, unhealthy eating patterns, or doing physical self harm.
For many youths, however, it is not clear to the world around them that they are struggling. It can often seem like everything is fine despite the youth experiencing a significant degree of distress. This is sometimes seen with anxiety, stress or depression. For these youths, seeking help will either require them becoming aware of their challenges and having a wish to get help. It can also happen by a person close to them becoming aware of it and supporting them in seeking help.
Bringing a Parent to the First Consultation
If you are under the age of 18, one or both of your parents will participate in the first consultation. Both you and your parents will get to share your impressions of your challenges. We will also talk about when and how your parents will be involved in the consultations. I will never speak to your parents about you unless you and I have spoken about it first.
Even if you are 18 or older, you can still choose to bring one or both of your parents to the first consultation. For some, it creates a sense of comfort to bring their parents. It can be for support, or it can be for them to share what they experience regarding your well-being. It can seem overwhelming going to the first consultation alone. Some doubt whether they will be able to tell everything they find important to tell. In this case, it can be helpful to bring one or both parents. Other youths at the age of 18 or older find it important to come alone from the beginning. This can be with a wish to feel like it is only their space.
If you are in doubt as to whether you should bring someone to the first consultation, we can speak about it over the phone before our first meeting. Write me a mail or text and ask me to call you.
The Dilemma of the Parent
As a parent, you do what you can to help your child. I meet many parents who feel frustrated and powerless. They have done everything they could to understand and help their child but have gotten to a point where they no longer know what to do. For the youth to get his or her own space in the consultations has the potential to not only help the youth him- or herself. It can create significant changes in the dynamics in the family. First and foremost, it will have an impact on the entire family when the youth starts feeling better. Aside from this, what happens is often that the family starts feeling like they can be together in a different way than when worries and frustrations are dominating everyday living.
The experience of having someone support your child in his or her mental and emotional well-being and development can give more calm and surplus. It can become easier to focus on providing parental care. To have fun and do the things you used to. Perhaps finding new things to do together. One’s child can also experience a wish to speak to someone else about the painful or frustrating things and what they need to work with. Part of this can be the wish for their parents to be more focused on being with them in a more relaxed, less problem focused way. At the same time, the consultations will most often also entail working with how the youth can find and seek support in their immediate environment.
My Experience with Youths
I have many years of experience with youths within different fields. Click here to get an overview of my work experience. Among other things, I have worked with
- emotional challenges
- school, education and employment
- relations with peers and family
- physical self harm, addictions and substance use challenges
- psychiatric challenges
I have had group sessions as well as individual sessions with youths for many years. Aside from this, I have done psychological assessments. The assessments have been a tool to give informed guidance and counseling to the youths themselves, parents, professionals and others in the immediate environment. The assessments have for instance been focused on emotional as well as social well-being and development. They have also been focused on psychiatric challenges as well as learning difficulties.
This means I have experience with both identifying as well as working with a lot of the issues that youths can be confronted with and experience.