Is your teen struggling? Have they been acting moody, irritable, or withdrawn? Do you feel stuck, frustrated, and unsure of how to help?
I know what it’s like, and I want to help.
My name is Michelle Webber, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and I offer therapy for teens in Los Angeles and online. Teens today face many unique challenges, and few are comfortable working through those with their parents. Therapy can give your teen a chance to be independent, have a non-parent confidant, and begin taking steps towards a thriving adulthood. As teens can be opposed to the idea of therapy, I encourage an adolescent to come in and meet with me once to determine if they are comfortable working with me.
Below you will find some answers to a few common questions about therapy for teens. If your teen is in crisis or in need of urgent assistance, please reach out.
Does my teen need therapy?
Most of us have trouble remembering exactly what it was like to be a teenager.
For most of us, adolescence is a time for experimenting, a testing ground for discovering oneself. This process can be stressful for parents and family members, as they want to keep their teens from doing something unsafe or problematic. But in addition to exploration and transitioning into adulthood, teens must face unique stressors such as:
- Academic performance
- Bullying and peer issues
- Overuse of screens and social media
- Divorce or separation of parents
- Family conflict
- Death of a loved one or pet
- Starting the dating process
- Developing a gender or sexual identity
- Feeling left out or rejected by others
Part of the transition to adulthood involves developing a desire to become independent and have a sense of privacy. Therefore, many teens feel uncomfortable talking about these sorts of issues with family members, especially parents. As they try to manage this process of exploration and navigating stress on their own, many teens can get involved in risky behavior.
If your teen is experiencing issues like these, professional help may be warranted. Therapy can provide a safe, third-party space for your teen to feel heard, understood, and supported.
How can therapy help my teen?
Therapy for teens is designed to help in three main ways.
First, therapy offers a chance for teens to share their thoughts and feelings freely and openly. Your teen can have a safe, confidential space to express themselves without worrying about upsetting or disappointing parents or family members. Of course, if your teen is at risk of harming themselves or someone else, or if something concerns their health and safety, their therapist will let you know.
Second, therapists can train your teen to use healthy, effective coping strategies for managing stress and emotional turmoil. I teach teens how to be self-reflective, use mindfulness techniques, and even meditate. Coping strategies such as these can make all the difference as your child navigates the challenges of adolescence.
And third, therapy provides your teen with a space to get to know themselves as they make the transition into adulthood. Teens can greatly benefit from having a stronger sense of who they are, what they value, and what they want in life. As your teen begins to understand themselves and develop comfort with sharing, they can also begin to feel more comfortable opening up with you as the parent.
Sometimes, teens may feel anxious or apprehensive about starting the therapy process. This is normal and expected, which is why part of the work involves helping them recognize the value of therapy. Your teen deserves a chance to feel well and thrive, and therapy can help make that happen.
What does therapy look like with Michelle?
Therapy with adolescents is a process of understanding their world. What do they want out of life? What problems are they facing? What matters most to them?
I strive to help teens feel independent, respected and valued. As a therapist, I keep all information completely confidential unless he or she is a danger to themselves or others. I attempt to build a foundation of trust, understanding, and truth with teens in a relaxed and down-to-earth style. I talk with teens in a way that effectively gets the point across without lecturing or pushing. I answer all of their questions with honest facts, I use appropriate humor to create a dialog, and I encourage interaction that shows them my respect. All these methods are combined to help adolescents face and deal with the issues in their lives.
All of my sessions are completely confidential and held online or in the privacy of my office here in Los Angeles, California. Parents or guardians can meet with me first to discuss your concerns about your adolescent and what encouraged you to bring them to therapy. I will then have an initial session alone with your teen to determine if they are comfortable working with me. At this point, we will discuss issues important to them and what therapy might look like.
Your teen and I will work together to help them:
- Develop comfort with vulnerability
- Identify emotional issues, such as depression, anxiety, and grief
- Use mindfulness and other coping strategies
- Make healthy choices
- Gain a sense of self-worth
- Work on strengthening friendships and feeling comfortable socially
- Restore damaged relationships with family members
- Decrease risky behavior
- Build goals for their future
Choosing the right therapist for your teen can sometimes feel stressful, so please feel free to contact me to learn more about my work.
If your teen is struggling, we can get them back on track. If they are feeling alone and disconnected, we can help them find a space to belong. If they are simply looking to improve themselves, we can provide that support.
Want to learn more about me?
I would love to hear from you.
Phone: (323) 301-0083
864 Robertson Blvd. Suite 104, Los Angeles, CA 90035
Some of the common ‘red flag’ signs that a teen is struggling include:
Interested in learning about what sorts of clients I see?
- An adolescent dealing with his need to belong and make healthy choices.
- A teenage boy whose parents called me because he was failing in school and coming home at all hours of the night.
- A teenage girl who refused to return to school because her mother was at home diagnosed with terminal cancer.
- A heterosexual couple whose communication had broken down and they had not had a sexual relationship in many years.
- A Lesbian couple who were living together and had different parenting styles and differences in money management.
- A young couple who reached out because he had been seeing another woman for a year.
- A recently divorced mother dealing with parenting issues.
- A young man who never grieved the death of his father 15 years earlier.
- A young man who was transitioning from a male to a female and dealing with angry and unaccepting parents.
- A young woman in her early twenties who was dealing with major issues of anxiety and depression
- An older woman in an unhappy marriage who felt stuck and afraid.
- A young man who was a high-powered executive with a new baby, but the marriage was falling apart.
Additionally, I have dealt with major medical issues throughout my life and because of this, I work with clients coping with long-term chronic illness and help them to live their lives in the healthiest way possible.