A Letter For Your Isolated and Hard to Reach Teen – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT and Steve Legallet, LMFT

    As family therapists, we are seeing more and more young people who are suffering from various degrees of depression, anxiety, addictions and social isolation as they try to mask all of the emotions and negative consequences associated with theses self-defeating behaviors. We also see many concerned and baffled parents who struggle with trying to find ways to help their wounded and isolated kids. If you have a son or daughter who is suffering, addicted, depressed, anxious, isolated, angry and/or shut down, here are some words that you might consider writing or saying to open the door to a new avenue of communication: Dear Son or Daughter, We see that you are struggling and suffering. We imagine that there are many thoughts and feelings underneath your anger including confusion, fear, hopelessness, and pain. We understand that you are going through a very difficult time in your life, and that… Continue reading

Watch, Listen, Talk: Supporting Your Teens Mental Health – By Jeanne Foot

  Raising a teenager can be challenging enough on a good day, let alone when they suffer with mental health and or addiction struggles. We long for our “little girl or boy”, the sweet and compliant child in awe of their parents. But, every parent who has lived through the teen years can tell you about their day of reckoning, the grim day when your child suddenly knows everything and you know nothing because you just don’t understand! The struggle for a parent is found in the tension between meeting your teens need for independence with your own need to remain in control of their safety and well being. How do we keep them safe and out of harms way?  We worry about whether or not they will be influenced by their peers. Have we taught them all they need to know? How do we navigate their constantly changing moods?… Continue reading