teensAdolescence is an amazing time of identity formation and growing independence. The path from child to adult can get rocky. Some teens show their distress in extreme adolescent behaviors such as rebellion, aggression, mood swings, running away, volatile anger and verbal outbursts. Some kids become withdrawn, depressed, anxious, sullen or show signs of eating disorders. I work with teens across the spectrum by providing a safe place for them to talk about themselves, their lives, goals, struggles and dreams. My experience with teens includes welcoming and working with straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, gender fluid, queer and questioning youth.

In the State of Washington, children 13 and older have a legal right to seek therapy, sign their own consent forms, involve parents in their therapy, or see a therapist by themself. Parents are always welcome to phone me and provide information to me, as their teen’s therapist. If the youth has signed a release of information (ROI) form for me to talk with parents, I gladly do so. This open communicaiton is usually the best situation. Sometimes teens are not initially ready to involve parents and siblings in family sessions. I do so when and if the teen is ready and consents in writing. If I learn information regarding behavior dangerous to the teen, or others, for safety reasons I legally break confidentiality and inform parents, school, whomever involved who can provide or ensure safety.

I enjoy adolescents–their energy, questioning, humor and intensity. I often tap the creativity of youth through their art, writing, collage and music to empower them to engage in positive change.