Therapy for Teens
We understand that teens have a set of social pressures that they didn’t expect to be placed upon them by teachers, peers, social media, movies/tv, and themselves. They’re still those amazing kids they were when they were younger, but their thoughts and feelings are more complex, as are the issues they’re dealing with. Sometimes they just need someone unbiased to see the bigger picture and help them learn healthy ways to navigate it all. We can help!
We also provide sessions for parents! Sometimes parents just need to talk about the stress of navigating all the different personalities in their home along with everything else they have on their plates. Having a place to organize their thoughts and emotions can be a healing experience that lends itself to improved relationships within their family. We’re here for the parents and for the teens!
Jessica may own the business of ILC, but she also acutely remembers what it’s like to be a teen. She remembers blasting her radio in 1996 to Meredith Brooks’ song about having so many parts of her personality and wanting each part of her to be loved and accepted, “Take me as I am…” was such a powerful lyric to her heart those days.
Jessica genuinely enjoys spending time with teens and teaching them what she wished she knew back then: how to interact with parents so they actually hear you (communication strategies), how to tell your friends no and not lose those friendships (boundaries), to be able to process weird and hard topics without freaking out the people closest to you (unconditional positive regard).
Jessica works with young people age 12 and up, and prefers that the young person either wants to be there or is open to exploring what this might be like. While Jess might be their parents’ age, she’s not actually their parent (even though her “mom radar” is always on for suspicious ways someone can hurt her young client), and she wants an amazing future and family life for them.
“Teens will be with their families for the rest of their lives, and will be with me for a finite period of time. My hope is that by working together they learn how to communicate boundaries to friends and even family in a way that’s respectful and maintains relationship, and that they might learn discernment for when to know certain peer relationships might not be worthy of maintenance and need to be released.” Jessica
Lauren Heinrich is an associate marriage and family therapist who works under the clinical supervision of Jessica Wilkerson. Lauren has a soft and sweet demeanor, and teens genuinely feel like she has been listening to understand and can truly “see” what they’re going through. During a time in their lives when they don’t really feel seen and known except by their BFF, she’s an adult who can actually understand them.
Lauren’s personality is gentle and she smiles easily. Teens are funny! They make jokes for coping, or sometimes they hear something hilarious at school and start off a session sharing their humor. When a teen is working with Lauren they see all the sides of Lauren, just as much as her seeing them. She’s a true soul.
Lauren works with teens from age 12+ but currently her only availability is in the mornings. Most kids get a note that they attended an appointment at their office and their school excuses the late attendance, and teens don’t mind going to counseling when it means they get to be late to school.
Marti Tourville is an associate marriage and family therapist who works under Jessica Wilkerson’s clinical supervision. Marti is a friendly and gregarious therapist who connects easily with teens and young adults. When she first began working at Inspired Life Counseling, many of her teen clients chose to follow her to our office because they were enjoying learning about themselves and learning coping skills from Marti.
Marti has professional training in DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) skills, and she uses this training to teach teens specific ways to look at situations, understand their thoughts and emotions, and connect those two concepts so they are more successful internally as well as with outside relationships. Marti understands the struggle that teens with ADHD experience with their teachers, parents, and friends and she has an extra soft spot in her heart toward working with teens who think and behave a little differently than the rest of the people they know.
“I find working with pre-teens and teens to be one of my favorite experiences. I am honored and feel privileged to have a pre-teen or teen trust me with what is happening in their world. I have come to realize their lives are full of daily navigations in peer relationships, family dynamics, and school/ work interactions. I recognize the experiences they are having can be big and uncomfortable, and I pride myself on forming a solid connection that will allow growth opportunities.” – Marti Tourville
Emily Emmerman is an associate clinical social worker under the clinical supervision of Deborah Duell-Stephens, AMFT. Emily has happy energy, and her teen clients get the feeling that she’s a really, super smart version of their future selves. She is truly real, truly authentic, truly invested in the journey and growth of the teen in front of her – and young people have great instincts, they can feel this from her.
Teens don’t want someone who’s going to b.s. them, look at them like a series of symptoms, or write in their secret notebook about them. That’s what movies have portrayed sessions with therapists are like, and that can’t be farther from the truth! At least at Inspired Life and with Emily!
Teens can choose to sit and talk, have a soda and chips, enjoy a cup of coffee or cocoa, and they can also talk while playing Yahtzee, Uno, Jenga, etc. Sometimes it’s easier to talk about the hard stuff when you’re also engaging in fun stuff. Emily let’s the teen call the shots in how they navigate their session, while Emily listens to understand what is going on in their lives and hearts, and she helps them work through the hard stuff, organize it, and then get the skills they need to move forward with their friendships and family relationships. Emily values the contribution families play in the therapy room, and with her teen client’s permission, she will often encourage communication skill building by facilitating conversations between the parent and their teen.