We all come from different walks of life and have different experiences. Firstly, I want to listen to and understand your story. Your family must feel heard to succeed in therapy. Secondly, the most lasting changes in therapy come when teens help set their treatment goals and are invested in the process of achieving those goals. Thirdly, we create a team where you, your teen, and I are working together to positively support your teen. We’re in counseling together to better understand your teen’s challenges, what tools can best support your teenager, and how your family can help your teen meet their goals.
Overall, I believe therapy should be a safe, non-judgmental space for your teen where your son or daughter can communicate needs (big and small), and we work together to address those needs. It is a place to feel trusted, heard, and validated. Consequently, there will be times when therapy is uncomfortable and change is hard, but I will be there to support you and guide you every step of the way. In particular, we work towards finding joy even while things are hard. Many teens these days believe they should always feel happy. However, as adults, you and I realize that isn’t how life works. We can always feel joy by practicing gratitude and taking the time to see the little steps we can take towards bettering our situations. I love working with you as parents to help your teen realize they can do this!
Also, I believe faith can be helpful in meeting your goals. As a Christian, I feel comfortable integrating faith into the counseling process at whatever level you and your teen feel comfortable. On the other hand, I know not all will share my same beliefs, and I will never impose my beliefs or values into the counseling process for those who do not specifically request Christian therapy.
Why Teens Love Working With Me:
Teenagers are unique. They are at a time in life where they desperately want to be seen, valued, and validated. Because of this, I make sure our sessions are tailored to each adolescent who comes through my door. I bring honesty, integrity, and openness to every appointment. My approach allows teens to trust me and be equally open to growth and change.
And yet, I respectfully challenge teenagers on the thougts and behaviors they maintain that are obstacles to meeting their goals. I am not afraid of compassionate confrontation. Surprisingly, most teens feel more connected to therapy once they are respectfully challenged. It shows them I believe in their ability to get better. It also increases their internal locus of control (Locus of control is a psychological term for what someone thinks primarily impacts their destiny. An internal locus of control means someone believes it is within their power to effect positive outcomes for their life. Generally, an internal of control indicates a stronger sense of self and less of a victim mentality). As a result, teens and families feel empowered. All in all, this is why teens love to work with me.
Why I Love Working With Teens:
Teens are at such a pivotal point in life. I feel honored to work with and help guide teens on their path. This time can be challenging, amazing, stressful, and great all rolled into one. Seeing life through your teen’s eyes is rewarding as they take the steps to make lasting change.
In fact, I love working with teens so much that I created the group therapy program at Teen Therapy OC so that I can work with teens in either individual therapy or group therapy. For some, peer group counseling is a profound experience. Adolescents are highly concerned with what others think and with making connections. For a teenager, group therapy creates chances for connection, support, and for the teenager to feel like they aren’t alone in their struggles. If your teen partakes in group counseling with me, then it is my hope your teenager will feel accepted, and gain perspective that they can help others even while fighting through their own struggles. I absolutely treasure running group therapy sessions with our teenagers at Teen Therapy OC.
To illustrate, you know those moments when you look at your child and think, “I am so incredibly proud of this kid!” As a therapist for teens, I am fortunate enough to have those moments all the time. My teen clients are sassy, fun, authentic, joyful, hopeful, and most of all, courageous. They come into the office and open their hearts. They wrestle with feelings and situations that are as intense as any adult might face. So overall, I love working with them because I am proud of them. They amaze me with their grit and determination.
I have always had a heart for working with children and teens, and have done so for the last several years in a variety of settings. These include church, agencies, and homes. Before coming to Teen Therapy OC, I worked with children and teens in a school setting. From these experiences, I learned to help children address their behavioral challenges and social-emotional development. Accordingly, my goals in therapy are to increase self-worth, identify triggers and replacement behaviors, increase positive coping skills for anxiety, understand and process traumatic experiences, and cope with and manage depression.
I have a certification in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), which is a specialized type of therapy to help teenagers with emotion regulation. If your teenager has been cutting, raging, or showing other signs of struggle to control extreme emotions, DBT might be very helpful. Call me to talk about your specific situation and we can determine if DBT is a good next step.
California State University, Fullerton: Master’s Degree in Counseling
University of California, Merced: Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology
I am licensed in the state of California as a Marriage and Family Therapist: MFT # 107121