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Teen Counseling San Diego, CA

Is your teen struggling to overcome or process difficulties in their life?

Teen counseling can provide the skills and techniques your teen needs to overcome their struggles and guidance to reconcile who they want to be today and every day after...

Is your teen struggling to express themselves in a healthy and productive manner? Does your teen experience difficulties in their relationships with others? Is your teen struggling with self-esteem issues due to a specific event or sequence of events? Are your teen’s struggles with self-esteem causing your teen to isolate from others, experience difficult mood swings, feel hopeless, or be hypercritical of themself or others? Does your teen struggle to understand and express their emotional process in a way that appears healthy and productive? Has your teen lost interest in activities that they once enjoyed? Have you or your teen noticed side effects of these struggles; such as muscle tension, headaches, poor sleeping patterns, stomach aches, decreased/increased appetite, inattentiveness, and risky/careless behaviors/choices. This is important because teen behaviors are refined versions of childhood behaviors that were repeated and later engrained; a process that continues and evolves into the adult behaviors we have later on. The more a pattern repeats itself, the more momentum it gains and the harder it becomes to break and even recognize as we get more accustomed and diverse with our use of the pattern.

The teen years are arguably the most developmental and influential years of one’s life.

Group of Teens Happy After Teen Therapy Session in San Diego, CA Not to say this can’t/doesn’t happen earlier or later in life as well, but it’s that middle stage… the in-between… You have enough experience and understanding to have outgrown the title of “child” and sometimes “kid”, but not enough to experience the trust and autonomy you get with the title of “adult”. It’s as if we know just enough to know all the things we don’t, so we know where to pretend for others; as well as ourselves… I remember that all too well, and it seemed to endlessly rotate between exciting and stressful; with “stressful” getting the lion’s share of my time. This is a lot, and it’s before including the specific hardships and life events that set our beliefs and choices in motion. So, if your teen is struggling, it’s important to remember that it’s a natural part of development and you’re not alone.

Why Do Most Parents Seek Therapy for Their Teen?

Teens typically experience one or more of these issues throughout their development and establish strategies that they believe produces the best results most easily. As they add, remove and refine strategies from childhood, they eventually figure out an apparent solution or resist/accept their circumstances in numerous ways; depending on what they’ve learned from peers, adults, and personal experiences.

Seeing a Teen Counselor Can Help!

Young Adult Who Needs Teen Counseling in San Diego, CA Teen counseling and therapy teaches numerous perspectives, techniques, skills and strategies that promote the self-soothing, problem-solving and emotional awareness/expression necessary for avoiding/overcoming obstacles and achieving goals. Most importantly, a teen counselor intervenes at the stages right before young adulthood; which is a crucial time for self-discovery and establishing the patterns we will take into our adult years. It is during this crucial time in your teen’s life that I will be there. I will provide the space and safety required to make real change, and I will listen to their side of the story and never waiver in my support. As long as you both will have me, I will be there. In addition, I will make time for you (and anyone else that your teen sees as a support person) to assist, simplify and educate wherever needed so that your teen can experience consistency and support wherever possible. Simply put, if it benefits your teen, I’m in!

Benefits of effective teen therapy and adolescent counseling can be:

Why Book a Teen Therapy Session With Me?

Spencer Chernick, LMFT - ADHD, Couples, Teens, Children - San Diego, CA 92109 I have worked with teens and their families all throughout my career in a variety of circumstances and treatment settings including school, community-based mental health care, and private practice. Additionally, I very much remember the trials and tribulations of my teenage years, and the pressure and expectations that came with it. With my self-esteem-focused approach, I have successfully helped many teens and their families process significant events and overcome obstacles through improving self-worth, emotional awareness, communication, problem-solving, and overall perspective of their circumstances and options.

I have found that I really connect with teenagers. Not only because of my positive psychology background and relaxed and friendly approach, but because many of my personal interests align with theirs; including sports, music, video games, movies/tv shows, and experiencing adventure. Furthermore, I personally understand what it’s like to try and navigate middle school and high school during times of great hardship in my personal life. I find this creates a very specific and special bubble of trust and safety because, as a result, I am often viewed as an adult they can trust and as a peer with whom they can relax. I will use this unique relationship to relate and empathize with their struggles, so that they can feel more confident and better trust approaches that I have found to be effective and helpful.

Are you ready to help your teen overcome obstacles and feel more confident?

Contact me today to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation and see if teen counseling in San Diego is right for your teen!

Prefer a longer session time? Just ask for details!

I do not accept insurance but I do offer Superbills that can be presented to insurance companies for reimbursement. Learn more about my rates and insurance.

Here are some typical questions regarding teen counseling and therapy...

I get this question all of the time, and for good reason. Without a doubt, raging hormones don’t help with all the other things teens deal with on a daily basis; and yes, some things can and do improve over time. However, even in the cases where it’s just hormones that will “fix itself” over time, teen counseling and therapy can assist in the development of healthy behavior patterns and mindsets that improve current struggles and increase the chances of overall satisfaction in life. Additionally, there is the preventative aspect! Seeing a teen therapist can possibly prevent one or more events that your teen may grow to feel negatively about into and throughout adulthood.

Teens and families often find immediate improvement because they’ve learned techniques that they didn’t know before. That excitement can be very motivating and euphoric, and result in the most important element of therapy; consistency.

That’s a great question! Therapists and psychiatrists have different roles and serve different purposes. People visit a psychiatrist when they are looking to get evaluated for potential psychiatric medications. People see a therapist when they are looking to process emotions, work through a difficult time, identify/improve patterns that create obstacles, or any other reason emotional work would be beneficial. So to answer your question, both can be helpful but for different reasons. I always recommend starting with a therapist and assess from there whether a psychiatrist referral is necessary.

Another very common question for an even more common experience. Without knowing the specifics, what I can say is that there is a need not being met or a triggering pattern that they may or may not even be aware of. Even when they are aware, teens commonly don’t know what to do or how to communicate it in a clear and productive way. A teens need can range from literal to symbolic, and can be due to an isolated event or patterns of events. Teen counseling and therapy can help your teen identify problematic sequences, self-soothe and better manage their anger and frustration with an improved mindset.

Although there is no all-encompassing answer to this question, common instances where parents seek teen counseling and therapy is when their teen is struggling with…

  • Low self-esteem
  • Persistent nightmares or feelings of anxiety, worry or fear
  • Preoccupation with physical illness or their own appearance
  • Regular conflict with peers and/or support figures
  • Changes in patterns of sleeping or eating
  • Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • An inability to concentrate, think clearly, or make decisions
  • A sudden, unexplained drop in grades at school or work performance
  • A loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Constant anger or sadness, and a tendency to overreact to situations
  • And more…

However, in all honesty, I believe this question is best answered with another question: could your teen benefit from additional support with regard to a specific pattern, event, or circumstance in their life? If you’re still not sure, you can always contact me for a free 15 minute consultation and to see if I am the right therapist for your teen!

What to Expect in a Session With a Teen Therapist?

Young Adult in Teen Therapist Session in San Diego, CA A teen therapist can assist your teen in understanding harmful patterns they engage in and how/why they were created in the first place. Improving a teen’s pattern recognition gives the control and awareness to avoid falling back into similar – if not the exact same – patterns and adjust existing strategies to achieve desired results more effectively. Teens can often forget how much more control they have compared to their childhood, so reminders from an unbiased person they trust can make a world of difference. No judgement. No criticism. Just support and understanding. Once your teen feels comfortable, sessions with me will just feel like having a conversation with anyone else who supports them… I’ll just know more and have less of an agenda than they’re used to. This becomes incredibly important during times of repetitive struggles and the self-deprecation that often follows. Where someone in their inner world might express emotions that could interfere with a teen’s ability to be receptive and effectively move forward, a teen therapist has the ability to provide support, patience and guidance; while remaining neutral.

Approaches I Use in Teen Therapy

Positive Therapy

Positive Therapy is a relatively new therapeutic model that reorients the therapeutic approach to be more focused on supporting clients to use their inner resources to overcome challenges, understand and recognize areas of growth, and focus instead on working towards resilience and a greater sense of well-being. Its core focus is on moving away from what’s ‘wrong’ or the negative aspects of an individual, and instead move towards what’s good and positive; which promotes solution-focused problem-solving, self-esteem, and a positive mindset.

Mindfulness Therapy Practices

Engaging in mindfulness practices assists in calming down the nervous system and decreasing the impulsivity, restlessness, and struggles with memory and focus that are so often experienced by teens with ADHD, or its symptoms. However, what I love most of all about mindfulness practices is how easily and seamlessly they can be incorporated into our lives. Although mindfulness is often associated with specific approaches, such as yoga, mindfulness can be as simple as focusing on your breathing; or what you are eating.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a therapeutic modality that focuses on the cause and effect patterns we fall into and the power of mindset. Through increased awareness of the negative thinking patterns and factors that influence our less-desired behaviors, CBT provides the tools necessary to effectively break the patterns that put us in our own way and develop productive patterns to put us back in the driver’s seat.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a therapeutic modality that focuses on solutions and what has worked in the past. Instead of examining negative patterns or identifying “problems”, SFBT promotes solution-oriented and positive thinking that is so beneficial for the decreased self-esteem and repeated frustrations that are so often experienced throughout childhood.

Teen Counseling in San Diego, CA

If you and your teen want to break free and overcome obstacles, and want to learn more about my teen counseling services, please use the form above or call (858) 634-0502 for a free 15-minute phone consultation.

Spencer Chernick, LMFT
ADHD, Teen & Couples Therapy
5330 Carroll Canyon Rd Suite 120,
San Diego, CA 92121
(858) 634-0502