A professional who can help your adolescent navigate through this unique and particularly challenging stage of life.
Growing up has never been more difficult. With increasing social and academic pressure, adolescents can face overwhelming stress during what is one of the most crucial periods of development. My work with adolescents focuses on teaching them how to effectively manage and reduce stress. Adolescents can benefit greatly from having a safe place where they feel comfortable processing and making sense of the host of emotions they are experiencing.
Academic StressDealing with challenges at school and coping with the increasing academic pressure as college and career decisions grow near.
Family StressRelationships with parents and siblings are often most challenging during this period in one’s life.
Peer StressDeveloping and maintaining peer relationships while not being negatively influenced by your peers can often be a difficult.
Adolescent StressCoping with all of the changes in your body and your brain while at the same time feeling pressure from your family, peers and in school can often feel very overwhelming.
In order for therapy to work, there needs to be a positive therapeutic alliance between the adolescent and the therapist. Dr. Schnapp builds on each client’s strengths and has them set goals for themselves and together they regularly assess the progress towards those goals. In the first meeting, Dr. Schnapp explains the limits of confidentiality to the adolescent and their parents and answers all questions so that we are all on the same page. The session time is the adolescent’s time, and while communication with parents is an essential part of the therapy, time to speak with parents is set at a different time. Therapy works best with adolescents who are motivated and open to the process of therapy. Dr. Schnapp encourages her adolescent clients to openly communicate their feelings about the therapy and regularly checks in with them regarding how they feel the therapy is going. Dr. Schnapp aims to develop and maintain a positive trusting relationships with each client so that the adolescent feels comfortable in the office being themselves and opening up about whatever is going on in their world.
Parent involvement is required. I believe that regular communication with the parent is a necessary part of the treatment. I typically will have an initial meeting with one or both parents prior to meeting with the adolescent to get a full psychological and family history. I ask for parental concerns and we establish goals that I will be working on with the adolescent. I will often request updates from parent by phone or email in addition to meeting with parents separately monthly. Limits of confidentiality are discussed with both parents and adolescents at the first session.
Adolescence can be a turbulent time. It can seem like stress and anxiety lurk around every corner. Since some of these stressors are brand new – an important exam, a breakup, a fight with a friend – some of the reactions can be too. Depression, anger, and acting out are common ways to deal with this stress, however – they don’t have to be.
Adolescent therapy is about empowering the individual to handle stressful situations, and equipping them with the tools they need to face life’s trials and tribulations. I teach adolescents ways to cope with different situations and challenge them to consider each situation from different perspectives. I also focus on teaching effective skills to manage their anxiety and better cope with their everyday stressors. Together, we discuss and practice these skills in session so they can use them out of the office.
I make it a point to celebrate my client’s victories, and highlight and reinforce their positive behaviors and decisions. I consciously model our relationship after the things I want them to learn, because I believe it can be a powerful influence.