I completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and have worked with teens in various capacities. I consistently receive the feedback, “But you don’t talk like a doctor!”
When working with teens, I specifically ask parents/caregivers to sign a confidentiality agreement for teens to understand their rights to confidentiality. If there are any safety concerns, I encourage the teen to discuss with their parent(s) during the session.
Adolescence is a period of raging hormones, multiple conflicting demands between school, home, friends, and now social media life. Also, their brains are rapidly developing while questioning, “Who am I?” and “What do I believe in?” I support the teens and families I work with to find the balance between autonomy/independence and having a safe “landing ground” to return to.
For my teens who may be reading this, please remember you are not alone! There are other teens out there struggling with self-esteem, relationship issues, academic pressures and overall questioning their identities (cultural, gender, sexual, familial, etc). But, they are finding tools to increase their coping and self-care strategies!