Youth psychotherapy

Youth and adolescent psychotherapy is somewhat specific, since adolescents are not adults yet and they are not children either. This is turbulent period of development characterised by many changes and challenges for both adolescents and their parents. Adolescents’ needs for distancing from adults, strong ambivalence regarding dependancy, changeable relationship with both parents, impulsive behaviour, irrational decisions, solitude etc, are some manifestations of behaviour in this phase of development that actually present an attempt of leaving the childhood behind and to be able for self – realisation (McConville, 1995).

However it sometimes happens that adolescents “get stuck” in the process of development and they need the support from the therapist in order to better understand themselves, their needs and all the changes they are going through while reorganising their psychological Self. This support is also beneficial to parents, since they are often scared and they are not sure how to behave in contact with adolescents.

Sessions last 50 minutes and they are the meeting between an adolescent and the therapist in safe environment, online or in person.

At the beginning of therapeutic process, the therapist talks to parent(s) of the adolescent and after that he/she continues to work individually with the client - adolescent. In certain phases of the therapeutic process, the therapist talks to parent(s) in order to also support them during this process without revealing the contents of the conversations he/she had with the client. Thus the confidentiality of the conversations is guaranteed. It is also possible for some meetings to be held together with all family members, with one or both parents depending on the dynamics of the process.

It is important to emphasise that the adolescence is the first time the being is called to go through reorganising Self, i.e. transition from childhood to adulthood. If the being fails to do that (stays stuck in a phase, which can last for years), it will keep coming across the same challenges later in life.

McConville, M. (1995). Adolescence: Psychotherapy and the Emergent Self. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc.



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