Oppositional Defiance, Self-Harming, Suicide Risk, and Aggression in Adolescents

Adolescents' brains are incredibly complex, fast-changing, and fast-developing, and they solve problems and approach the world in a different way than those of adults. While this leads to their ability to nurture creative solutions to the problems they are presented, it can also impact their relationships with others and their own understanding of who they are. 

For those teens and pre-teens who are struggling with relating to others, aggression towards peers, low-self esteem, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, family conflict, legal involvement, and those at-risk for suicide, these problems can feel overwhelming. Parents may often feel the same - overwhelmed and uncertain of how to help and how to develop a better relationship with their child. Families can become frustrated with one another and begin to develop a pattern of negative interactions that lead both the adolescent and the adult(s) to feel dissatisfied. 

As the therapist for the at-risk adolescent, I provide individual therapy to allow them to have a safe and confidential space to talk about those problems that are most frustrating for them, to explore and develop their sense of self, and to build skills and resiliency to face the often difficult-to-navigate world. Additionally, when it is appropriate to do so, I will invite the family to participate in family sessions or meet with parents/guardians individually to identify how they can best support their struggling teen.