Behavioral challenges, emotional difficulties, and mental health issues often reveal themselves in childhood and early adulthood. These challenges and issues can impact a young person’s functioning at home, in school, and in community. We view therapy as a partnership between youth, parents, other caregivers, and the clinician. Together, we help young people identify and understand their feelings, learn effective coping skills, and begin to heal from life’s challenges.
Failing grades, truancy, acute behavior challenges, or drug and alcohol use can start early. That’s why intervention must start early too, if we want to divert and prevent the escalation into more serious and dangerous behavior.
For many young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or questioning (LGBTQ), it can feel like no place is safe. LGBTQ young people experience significantly higher rates of bullying, harassment, intimidation, and abuse at school, home, and out in the world. Add to this poverty, homelessness, and/or involvement in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems – categories in which LGBTQ youth have a disproportionate representation – and it’s not a surprise to also find increased risk factors like depression, school drop-out, increased self-harm, and suicide attempts.
Sometimes young students and older youth experience social, emotional, and/or behavioral challenges too acute for them to function in traditional schools. They require intensive therapeutic support and an education plan fitted to their specific needs.
Young people who will be transitioning out of foster care and/or probation need housing and specialized support to stabilize, grow and establish the kind of safe, self-sufficient existence many of us take for granted.
Too many young people get stuck in the juvenile justice system because they don’t have access to mental health services and comprehensive treatment. Their psychiatric issues may be precursors to their criminal offenses, and untreated, may impede their rehabilitation, too.