Counseling for Adolescents & Emerging Adults
Are you the parent of a young person who seems lost, out of control, or stuck?
Does it feel like you're part of the problem at home but you're not sure how?
Do you constantly argue about house rules or unrealistic expectations?
Are anxiety, depression, focus, or attention issues keeping your child from success in areas of their life?
Does your child not know what to do with their life or how to start figuring it out?
Would having a space where your child can be honest help prevent the interrogation and blame cycle?
Young people today face a nonstop barrage of challenges. While in some ways this has always been the case, things like high-pressure academic demands, the rapid expansion of technology, the growth of social media and its effects on youth culture have made adolescence today a much more alien and hostile landscape - especially for parents. Teenagers and emerging adults today are reporting unprecedented rates of anxiety and depression, largely due to the impact of shifting cultural expectations, uncertainty about the future, and increasingly disconnected social lives.
At Salem Counseling Center, we work with clients ages 12+ (both individually and with their support networks) to help them navigate this season of life. We don't take lightly the struggles brought on by things like cyber bullying, anxiety about fitting in or missing out, having healthy relationships, or challenges that happen at home. In many ways, adolescence is a time of life where the volume is cranked up to 11, and that can be really hard. At SCC, we help young adult clients develop the skills they need to build relationships with themselves and others that will help them become healthy, resilient, and thriving individuals.
Scroll down to see some of the issues we help our young and emerging adult clients address.
If you know a young person who may benefit from counseling, call our main office to find out more.
How is counseling for teens and young adults different?
First and foremost, at Salem Counseling Center we take the privacy of our adolescent and young adult clients very seriously. For any client who is 18+, that means they are provided with the same rights to confidentiality as any other legal adult - whether they are living on their own or not. For clients younger than 18, we do our best to involve parents and other primary caregivers in the therapy process, while also maintaining the client's personal privacy.
This means that therapists may not share with legal guardians the specific details of what is discussed in counseling sessions unless a) those details are relevant for the purpose of addressing broader family issues, or b) it involves immediate safety concerns. With this said, research shows that the most effective types of counseling for young people often includes active engagement from their primary support system. Because of this, Salem Counseling Center takes a very firm "pro-family" stance when it comes to getting as many people involved in therapy as our young adult clients (and their families) believe will be beneficial.
Some examples of how we balance client needs for privacy and family needs for information include:
Adolescent and/or young adult clients providing approval for therapists to give a "general impression" report to parents about things like symptoms of depression, substance use-related risks, or other specific concerns
Having occasional check-in sessions with clients and their families together to assess where we are in the process and assess any ongoing or unaddressed issues
Offering parent-coaching and family support sessions that do not involve the specific content of clients' individual discussions with therapists
Younger clients creating a contract with their therapist that outlines conditions when the therapist would be allowed to disclose information to an adult (for example, if a young person's use of alcohol became problematic)
For many parents and legal guardians, a real concern for their young person's safety makes it hard to trust that their therapist will alert them if there is a legitimate need for worry. At Salem Counseling Center, primary caregivers are immediately brought into the conversation if there appears to be any risk of imminent harm to our young clients or other people. This can include situations involving suicidal gestures, substance use that poses immediate risk of severe injury or death, or concerns related to physical aggression toward or from others.
At Salem Counseling Center, we value the resources that our younger clients' support systems provide for them, and work hard to create space for those resources into the counseling process.