Teens and Young Adults

Counseling for Teens and Young Adults

One of our specialties at Tidelands Counseling is working with teens and supporting them as they navigate the complexities associated with this time in their life.  Teens are in the process of developing their identities - discovering who they are as individuals and how they fit into the world.  It is important to acknowledge that we all have basic needs for autonomy, connection with others, and a sense of belonging and feeling like we fit in.  These needs tend to be magnified during the teenage years, which can lead to individual and family stress.

Many teens feel pressure to be “perfect” in their academic achievements, sports, extra-curricular activities, to be attractive, to be popular...the list goes on,  and often the result is that teens are frequently comparing themselves to others, forgetting their own strengths and unique path and feeling like they are “less than” or not good enough.  Teens may develop symptoms of depression, anxiety, panic attacks, disordered eating/body image issues, self-harming, suicidal ideation, and drug or alcohol use.  Other significant issues that warrant clinical attention include bullying, trauma, as well as grief and loss. Learning, developmental and/or physical disabilities can create chronic stress for which teens often need ongoing professional support.

How Teens Manage Stress

  • Some teens who are struggling tend to be internalizers; they hold in their thoughts and feelings in an attempt to manage overwhelming stress or painful emotions.  These teens may be overlooked or “fall through the cracks” because it can be more difficult to detect that they are in need of support. These teens may be self-injuring, abusing substances, missing school, and experiencing symptoms of depression.
  • Other teens may be externalizers, where they act out their feelings of distress in ways that are overtly hurtful to themselves or others, leaving those around them concerned, hurt, and confused. They may lash out in anger, be disruptive in school, get into fights, find themselves in legal trouble, destroy property, get caught lying about behaviors, and act in other impulsive and self-destructive ways.  
  • Some teens may fall in the middle or alternate between the two styles of handling stress and difficult emotions.  It is important we get curious about what is going on underneath a teen’s symptoms and what support the teen might be needing.

Self-Awareness and Life Skills Development

At Tidelands Counseling we work with teens and their families who are dealing with a wide range of issues and tailor our approach to fit the needs of the individual and/or family. 

  • We believe in supporting teens in connecting with their strengths, values, passions, and hobbies, as well as teaching self-care strategies as a top priority.
  • Our goal is to equip our clients with an array of tools to effectively manage life’s challenges over the long-term to reduce the probability that they will fall vulnerable to “quick fixes” that don’t serve their health and well-being.
  • Our therapy approach with teens often includes working on healthy coping, self-care, communication, and interpersonal effectiveness skills to support a positive sense of self and the development of supportive friendships and relationships.  This can involve developing skills including:

> learning to identify/express emotions and needs

> managing conflict appropriately with peers and family members

> assertiveness and self-advocacy

> building social and interpersonal awareness

> coping with anxiety-provoking situations

> developing healthy emotional, physical, and sexual boundaries

> emotion regulation

> distress tolerance

> learning to self-soothe

> mindfulness

> self-compassion

> recognizing, challenging and reframing unhelpful thoughts

> sleep hygiene

At Tidelands Counseling we believe in matching our therapeutic approach to our clients needs, style, personality and what works best for them rather than taking a "cookie cutter, one size fits all" approach. We draw from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Schema Therapy and other therapeutic traditions to best facilitate client growth and change.