For starters, your teenager isn’t broken. A “bad attitude” to some extent, is developmentally appropriate; however unfortunate that may be for the rest of the household. I can often be heard telling caregivers/parents in the initial interview, “If you feel like your teenager hates you, you’re doing something right”. Pushing back against rules, and testing boundaries is part of developing a sense of self and discovering who they are in the world. It should be noted however, that there is a difference between healthy expression of autonomy and outright chaotic disobedience. Helping your teen express, navigate, or discover whatever is happening for them is something I am passionate about; this includes helping them to understand the impact they can have on their environment and the tricky position their caregivers may find themselves in.
At Coherence Associates, Inc. we take a full family system approach to treating teens whenever it is appropriate and possible. As a parent/caregiver, we recognize that this life transition is not easy on you either, and will always recommend that you check in with a therapist yourself (one of ours, or we can provide outside referrals if desired). We love doing collaborative work, and find that the quickest results are achieved when we can take the “divide and conquer” approach in which each part of the family gets their own treatment space with the goal of everyone meeting together at some point.
The road to adulthood is a bumpy one at best. We at Coherence Associates, Inc. would be honored to have the privilege of assisting your family on the journey. We have groups for teens covering key topics in “Growing up” as well as clinicians skilled in working with teens in an individual setting (which is most likely where everyone needs to start). If you have further questions about treatment options or which route is best for your teen or family, please call 760-942-8663. We look forward to your call!
Reannon Kerwood, MA, LMFT
Coherence Associates, Inc.