Adolescence is a time of major external and internal change, characterized by rapid physiological, sexual, cognitive, and emotional changes. Teen issues arise daily and may consist of (but not limited to) difficulties with peers, sexual or developmental concerns, school challenges, relationships and family conflicts. The teen year’s focus and major goal is to begin to move into new roles and responsibilities. These new roles may include breaking away from parents and care-givers and beginning to assert your own independence in the world. During the teen years, it is easy for these major life changes to contribute to the development of symptoms associated with depression, low self-esteem, perfectionism, suicidal ideation, anxiety, emotional distress, and substance abuse.
In this context, teens experience emotions they have never experienced and do not have the skills or background to manage these emotions effectively. In addition, at this pivotal age, teens are searching for a clear understanding of who they are, while simultaneously struggling with the confusion of what others say they “should” be. Outside pressures tell them how to act and how to live, making it difficult for them to know who they really are and what direction feels authentic to them.