“The question isn’t do your teens need help?
The question is what help do they need?”
Many parents who contact me seeking help for their teens, do so for one of three reasons:
#1: Their teen is exhibiting concerning behaviors and they are seeking immediate intervention to turn-around a life that seems headed in a bad direction. Often conventional interventions, like counseling and psychotherapy, have failed to resolve the issues. They typically are very closed minded towards adults in general.
#2: Their teen is struggling with social pressures and social complexities and it is creating distractions that either consume inordinate amounts of time and energy, or are having concerning effects on self-confidence. They need help from someone who totally ‘gets-it’ and who can teach them an attitude and skills that will help them build far more mature, stable relationships.
#3: Their teen is loaded with potential, is bored with conventional education (though they may excel there), aspires to lead a more meaningful and significant life than is the norm in popular peer culture. They are in need of a truly sophisticated, mature relationship with an adult outside of home who can open up new perspectives of the world to them and help guide them to lead a huge life.
Most of the teens I work with are exhibiting behaviors that reflect a lack of maturity and the requisite coping skills needed to handle the complex situations they get into. They struggle with inordinate amounts of stress that is created by school and social expectations in modern youth culture – stress that would make most adults crumble.
They typically don’t need psychotherapy because they aren’t mentally ill. They definitely don’t need more drugs.
Instead, they need help growing-up!
They need an education that empowers them with far more mature ways to handle life’s challenges, and a requisite relationship with someone whom they truly trust and feel respected and regarded by and who lives life in a way they want for themselves.
Traditionally – and still in cultures that are far healthier than ours – it was always the role of experienced, often wise, elders in the community to assume the role of entering into the lives of teens in a meaningful way, just when they are coming of age. Their role and responsibility was to teach them the ways of the world, helping their parents to ensure their sons and daughters, the community’s future leaders, become truly ready for the rigors, challenges and responsibilities of true adulthood.
That is what I offer, what I specializes in and why my methodology and approach often proves so effective with teens whom others have either failed to truly help or with teens who otherwise would never have built a meaningful relationship with an adult like they do with me.
For countless reasons, Modern America has all but lost its regard for this critical aspect of growing-up though, deferring instead to institutions (mostly schools), machines (the average teen spends 6 hours per day on computers and tv’s) and excessive time with peers. None of these are prepared nor effective at filling this most ancient and critical role. This leaves teens and young adults to learn mostly though trial-and-error, taking unnecessary risks, experiencing unneeded struggles and wasting lots of valuable time that they can’t get back.
Some who are struggling academically quickly get shuffled off to academic tutors- adding considerably to family budgets.
Some who struggle with personal issues get shipped off to psychotherapists who have been trained to treat them as if they have mental illness or psychological disorders, forming a “clinical” relationship that many teens find useless and patronizing.
The more extreme cases get prescriptions and go on daily doses of drugs that turn them into people who are more tolerable for institutions, and big money for pharmaceutical companies – without ever addressing their legitimate growing-up issues.
It is not that there aren’t exceptions to each of these “treatment intervention specialists” where they actually prove to be effective and just what the teen needs. They do exist and I even refer to a few of them from time to time, just as some of them refer clients to me.
It is more a matter of the absurdity of putting someone into clinical treatment when they are just dealing with normal growing up issues, and aren’t mentally or psychologically ill at all.
Ultimately what I am offering my clients is an introduction and entree into a remarkably powerful way of life.
A way of life that orients towards possibilities… towards positive people and healthy relationships… towards pursuing careers that offer personal gratification and meaning… towards standing out from a crowd and garnering respect from adults whose help they will need… towards avoiding the pitfalls of gossip, victimhood and shallow thinking, to instead become powerful communicators… ones who take responsibility for their lives and learn to think critically and make excellent decisions not as followers like most people do, but rather as their own personal leaders who lead their own lives, write their own script and grow into the kind of thoughtful, sensitive, uncompromising young adults that our world desparately needs.
If this sounds appealing to you as something to offer your teen and to help you in raising them into extraordinary adults, contact me and let’s talk. I offer every potential new client a FREE 30 minute phone consultation. We will only know if what I offer is right for your teen, when you take this next step.