Families are integral to working with teens and young adults. A child grows up and begins branching out from their “tribe” during adolescents. During this time it can be incredibly difficult for parents to know how to help their son navigate the world. Make good decisions, protect them from harm, hope they meet good friends, learn lessons that will help them as an adult. It is a lot to navigate, and the BEST resource during this time is to have a solid, loving relationship.
Through family consultations, we can collaborate on what conversations are needed, how to heal old wounds, and create imaginative ways of being in each others’ lives in the coming years.
I will also add that families can be over-privileged in a teen and young adult’s life. Here is way: teens and young adults start to value their friends more, even more than their family. So, during counseling with me, it is not uncommon for me to ask that along with parents and siblings, friends and significant others also join our sessions. People need to tell the story of the life they imagine living, or at least experiments with identities that they want to try. And someone needs to be there to hear the stories. But not just anyone, those who ‘get it’.