Therapy for Adolescents & Parent Coaching

Teen Counseling Kirkland, Teen Counseling Bellevue, Teen Counseling Eastside, Adolescent Counseling Kirkland, Adolescent Counseling Bellevue, Adolescent Counseling EastsideParenting an adolescent can be a challenge even at the best of times.


Adolescence is a time of change for parents as well as teens.



Is parenting your adolescent taking the joy our of parenting?

When I sit with parents in my office listening to their stories, I hear similar fears and concerns. As we talk, their faces express anger, sadness, despair, and ultimately confusion – What happened? Where has my child gone? Their stories are the same whether they have daughters or sons. One day my child was there – happy, bright, successful, and confident – the next day this change called adolescence happened and now I only see small glimmers of my child!

“We noticed a complete attitude change in our daughter. She really doesn’t seem to even want to be with us and when she is she challenges us! We feel our authority slipping away.” “Our son is always blaming others or the situation for his own mistakes. How can we make him accept responsibility for the things he gets into? Nothing is ever ‘his fault’!” “How can we understand our son and how can we control and persuade him to do what we feel is the right thing as we see it?” “I am really afraid. My 14-year-old daughter has always been a bit shy. Now she spends all her time with her friends and they (her friends) influence her greatly. She no longer wants to confide in me or, for that matter, listen to me about anything!”

Do these situations sound familiar? I know you are probably feeling stressed and confused as to how to handle things in what could be a slowly deteriorating relationship with your teen. After all, what you have tried so far has not brought the results you are looking for. And as the saying goes, this job doesn’t come with an instruction book.

The good news is you no longer need to handle this on your own without help. Wouldn’t it feel hopeful if you could learn proven methods to turn the tide and rebuild your relationship with your adolescent? Wouldn’t this be a good time to learn more effective ways to improve your relationship while at the same time teaching your teen to be more accountable and responsible?

Adolescence is a time of change and challenges for teens as well as parents. At times, you may feel so disconnected that you start to believe that you hardly know your child anymore. Communication cut-offs and anger have become far too frequent. The desire of your teenager to participate in the family appears to be decreasing and your relationship with your partner may feel strained and filled with the diminishing sense that you two are working as a team. Your child is growing up way too quickly and your sphere of influence is becoming smaller and smaller.

There is help. I work with parents and teens to create a home system based on mutual respect, choice making, and accountability. I can help you improve communication, decrease power struggles, and get your teen back on the road of success. One of the secrets to doing this is helping your teen to assert more self-control so that you can relax your need to always be the one who is in control.


Can we really change the way things are going?

At this point you may be thinking, “Well, you can’t teach an ‘old’ family new tricks, can you?” Many families have come my way feeling discouraged believing that they had tried everything. However, they found out that my new ideas had a common sense feel to them and that as they became more acquainted with this new way of responding, it began to feel like a more natural way to parent. The result being that the stresses in the family began to decrease. Even more importantly, the attitudes and behaviors of their teens improved dramatically.


From my case files:

In a family I recently worked with, the parents of a 16 year old found themselves in almost daily battles around house rules and school work. As the parents used a firmer and firmer hand, their teenager became more and more defiant and appeared to be less and less connected to the family. After the parents worked with me for several sessions they were able to implement a new way to conduct their relationship with their son based on respect, choice, reality, warmth and responsibility. At the end of our work together they reported no power struggles, a dramatic decrease in limit testing, and a new feeling of respect and closeness which extended to all family members.


How do we know we’re working with the right person?

ONE of the biggest concerns that my prospective clients have is one of compatibility – with the therapist! I strongly feel one of the most powerful predictors of success in counseling is the “fit” between the client and counselor. To ensure that this is the right fit and that you feel comfortable, I offer a full session introductory meeting. At the end of this meeting, if you feel “right” about what I say and offer then I will charge you my regular fee. If, for any reason, you do not feel our work together will be helpful then you owe me nothing.


When is a good time to start?

If your family is having way too many negative feelings, angry outbursts or simply avoiding each other, the time to take action is now! Please do not wait to repair your relationships. I am more than happy to talk with you about your specific family situation so you can decide if counseling is a good fit for you!


Costs: How can I afford this?

Of all the things you can purchase for your family, positive relationships, closeness in the future, and peace of mind would certainly be priorities. As one of my clients put it recently, “If we can get this straightened out, it will be worth any amount of money we have to spend now.” There is more than one way to afford counseling and I would be happy to work with you to find a way. Costs do not have to derail your plans for success.


It makes a difference!

I grew up in a family full of love AND conflict. My parents believed that tighter degrees of control yielded greater compliance from their children. That approach took a toll on my emotional health and cost the family dearly in terms of closeness and emotional safety with each other. This experience provided me with a deep understanding of the relational dynamics between parents and teens as well as empathy and compassion for teen and parent. Therefore, I have a special affinity for teens and parents because I lived what I am teaching now. I believe that if my parents had access to the tools that I will give you, well, let me put it this way, things would have been very different. Guiding you is my passion and has been for all of my professional life, lasting over the past 30 years (and still counting)! I provide adolescent counseling, teen counseling, and parent counseling in Kirkland, Bellevue, and Eastside area.