Adolescents and Young Adults
Next to infancy, adolescence is the period of life in which the greatest and most rapid changes take place in our lives. In early adolescence (10-13 years of age), we are mainly confronted with puberty, physical growth, and our changing appearance. These new developments are the main factors that change our relationship with our family.
In mid-adolescence (14-17 years old), our cognitive development takes the foreground, and our newfound brainpower mirrors, or sometimes even exceeds, the capacities of adults. Among other things, in this stage there is an increasing ability to understand our life situation, a new self-identity is being created, our need for independence and privacy from our family is becoming more pronounced, and our peer relationships take on much more significance than ever.
Though this stage is not fully completed until the end of 'emerging adulthood' (18-25 years old), in late adolescence (18-20), we are in the beginning phases of preparing to leave our family of origin. There are many times during late adolescence in which we are functioning entirely independently, and often take on new roles of responsibility toward siblings and peers.
In early adulthood, there is generally a further integration and completion of independence and independent living. Work trajectory and career choice begin to take more concrete shape, intimate relationships become more long-term, and there is an orientation towards more secure future choices.
Needless to say, adolescents find themselves in the middle of deep life change. There can very understandably be struggles in trying to negotiate and accommodate all of these changes, and the right therapeutic approach is one primarily of compassion, understanding, and supportive presence. I provide age-appropriate and developmentally-appropriate psychotherapy to meet the needs of this group, and work with the families or guardians of the client according to what is most beneficial for their child's progress in therapy.