Counseling with teenagers is a special process. First of all, teens need direction. Your teenager will have an easier time meeting goals if the problem is well-defined. Usually, this takes a few sessions. Many people come to counseling very aware of what symptoms are bothering them. For example, your teenager might say they are feeling a lot of anxiety. Once we can define what is behind the anxiety, resolution becomes clearer.
Secondly, I care deeply about your concerns and goals for your teen and will involve you as much as necessary to help your child. I am a parent too, so I understand how valuable your input and insights are.
By contrast, I don’t think therapy is all that successful when the therapist is in the position as “expert” and everyone else is in the position of “patient.” For that reason, let’s work together as a team to improve how your teenager is feeling. When you, your teen, and I all collaborate, there is power in that togetherness. Ultimately, I want to help your teen remove the roadblocks that keep them from discovering who they truly are.
I believe therapy should address physical, spiritual, psychological, and relational aspects of your teenager’s development. Because of this, my treatment plan for each client is unique and is designed specifically for your teenager’s needs. Consequently, I aim to support your values in the counseling room. We might spend some time discussing what the values mean and how to live them, but this is with the intent of supporting what you are trying to instill in your child.
For some clients and families, having a therapist with a Christian worldview is very important. In these situations, please note that I am a practicing Christian and am comfortable integrating faith into our treatment. However, I also understand that not everyone shares the same belief system and I do not impose my values on my clients. Faith can be as big or little of a focus in treatment as each individual chooses.
Why Teens Love Working With Me:
I make your teenager feel important, because I truly believe they are! My honesty and authenticity gives me a unique way of connecting with teenagers. As a result, your teenager knows his or her thoughts, feelings, and opinions are worth sharing. I give your teen respect and dignity. As a result, the way I relate to teens help them feel understood and valued. I speak truth into their lives, so your teen is challenged and motivated.
Also of importance, I don’t take myself too seriously. Teenagers truly appreciate this. It means they can spot the absurdity in parts of life, which enables them to laugh at their situation a little bit. Nevertheless, we will still deeply feel feelings in our counseling sessions. We workd on painful emotions while still finding joy.
Why I Love Working With Teens:
Your teenager is at a point in life where they start to think differently. They are beginning to wrestle with major life issues that will have lasting effects on their future. I consider it a blessing and honor to walk with your teen through these critical crossroads. In fact, teens often share insights that blow me away. They are deep thinkers! Counseling is a chance for them to safely work out their thoughts. From there, it is a great joy to see them courageously take steps towards who they want to be.
Benefits of a Male Therapist for Teens:
Less than 25% of therapists are men. And yet, in roughly half of counseling situations, seeing a male therapist makes sense. Situations where having a male therapist is powerful includes: teens who have a difficult relationship with dad, teens with an absent father, teenagers who have been belittled or treated with insensitivity by a male authority figure (Counseling with a male therapist provides the opportunity for a corrective emotional exeperience), adolescent males struggling with pornography addiction, and teen males struggling with the cultural message that they are toxic because they are naturally masculine.
To speak more to that last issue, many of our young men of today (and teenage boys) need someone to look up to. Oftentimes, having a male therapist provides that opportunity. I am in a unique position to show your sons that it is okay to talk about feelings in a sensitive and compassionate way while still enjoying very traditionally masculine hobbies and acitivties.
I personally like to hunt and fish, and I build things. My mind is wired this way. I have a ton of energy. As a child I couldn’t sit still and was curious about everything. Your teenage boy benefits tremendously from working with someone who understands the way boys think. One of my primary goals in working with young men in today’s culture is to model strength under control, which means learning when to let it all out and when to be patient with that energy. I want your son to know he’s not wrong for having certain thoughts, a high amount of energy, and the natural drives God has given him, he just has to use all those things in the right ways.
I have over 20 years of experience leading, teaching, mentoring, and working with kids and adolescents in a wide variety of settings. This includes working in schools, churches, counseling centers and a locked psychiatric hospital. I have always had a heart for those who hurt. It has been my joy and privilege to work with adolescents going through tough times.
Vanguard University: Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology
Biola University: Bachelor’s degree in General Psychology with a minor in Bible.
I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California: MFT #52849.