Teen Counseling To Help Your Adolescent As They Grow Up & Leave The Nest
Welcome! Below please find my approach to providing counseling for teens, available to clients in Oregon, New York and Vermont.
Teen Counseling Is For Kids Ages 12-22ish ?
Teenagers are some of my favorite people to work with, because of their complexity. A teenager’s job is really to push the buttons and the limits of the adults, norms, and structures around them, and the challenge is for families to weather the storm of being the safe container to push against.
From my perspective, teens are working to understand the constraints, boundaries, and limits of their lived experience as well as to understand their own power, freedom and abilities. One way to say this is that they are trying to learn the rules, in order to break them well.
The technological landscape means that the teenage world is increasingly complex, and impulses can get our teens in trouble much more quickly than was possible a few decades ago. Because of that, I structure therapy as a safe place to share and work through their impulses in a safe way.
What Teen Situations Or Challenges Do You Work With?
In my work as both a clinical psychologist and a school psychologist over the past 10+ years I have had the opportunity to support teenagers and their families across the contexts of home, school, hospital settings and beyond.
I have just about seen it all, and I love working with teens and their families to address concerns both large and small. This can range from friendship or academic challenges to eating disorders and substance use. I also work a great deal with neurodivergent teens. More specific information about my approach to working with autism and ADHD can be found here
My approach with teens and young adults is always to help them align with their own optimal and unique developmental path. From there, they can focus on finding connection, joy and freedom in their lives.
Can You Help My Kid If They Are Exploring Life As A Gay, Lesbian, Queer, Or Transgender Teen?
Absolutely! A primary aim of my work is to affirm and protect queer kids. My overall approach in this realm can be read about here.
I often work with teens exploring questions related to sexuality or gender. I aim to take an approach of respect and curiosity, helping kids learn how to be true to themselves in a developmentally appropriate and safe way.
My Teen Is Neurodivergent And Struggles With It, Can You Help Them?
Yes! I often work with kids who are neurodivergent. This term is most often used to describe autism and ADHD, although it can also describe a wider range of differences in ways of thinking and perceiving the world.
I align with the social model of disability. This means that I see neurodivergence not as an impairment, but as a true difference that the world needs! These differences can cause problems when the needs of the neurodivergent person run against the expectations of a world that often assumes that everyone is neurotypical.
Do I Attend Therapy With My Teen?
Building trust with teenage clients is one of the most important, and potentially challenging parts of my work. Because of that, I do my best to offer my teenage clients a similar level of choice and confidentiality in how their information gets shared that an adult client would have.
At the start of therapy I will clarify with the teen as well as their caregivers that I will share with caregivers if there is anything going on that presents a clear and direct threat to the teen’s safety, but otherwise the teen really gets to choose how much caregivers are involved.
On my part, I do always advocate for clear and abundant communication between kids and their families. I will often suggest periodic family sessions especially if there are difficult conversations that I can help facilitate, however I will respect a teen client’s wishes if they do not want to go this route. While I may not always share very much with parents if that is what a teenage client requests, parents are always welcome to share information with me that they feel is important to the therapy, and I can always answer general questions about parenting teenagers.
Do You Offer In-person And Virtual Teen Counseling?
I offer primarily virtual counseling, with limited availability for in-person sessions for clients based on Portland, Oregon. My virtual license extends to Oregon, New York and Vermont. If you are in any of those states and interested in working together, please reach out.
What Does Counseling Cost?
My rate is $225 per session, and I can help you submit for out-of-network benefits if your plan provides those. Under certain circumstances I am also able to offer sliding-scale with some flexibility on cost.
Dr. Gillian Boudreau At NYU Steinhardt
Social Hangouts for Autistic Teens
Gain an understanding of parents can approach facilitating social time for autistic adolescents. This workshop covers pre-teaching around hidden rules and expectations and finding activities that can be enjoyable for teens with varying interests to do together. Also addressed are family-based strategies for assisting teens in dealing with the emotional intensity that goes along with adolescent peer interactions.