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There are unique challenges that afflict the youth population as they bravely look for a way to make sense of their emotions, the relationships in their lives, and of life’s complex circumstances. Whether you’re a parent or a therapist, asking more questions may lead to silence.
With a career spanning over three decades, I’ve created books, workshops, and training programs for therapists based on my innovative strategies and proven methodology that keep transforming countless young lives.
ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH IN THE 2020s HAS CHANGED.
Never has the adage, “I was a teenager once too, you know,” been more tone-deaf to the experience of being a teenager today. So much has changed in the past decade, and it’s changed in ways that have altered the DNA of how:
… especially the embracing of mental health care among youth and the national dialogue that has been brought forward.
Kids now have the language and the courage to talk about how they feel and to reach out for help when they are overwhelmed or frightened for their own safety.
Through guidance and support, children and teens can find relief, build confidence, and experience the joy of making choices that positively impact not only themselves but also those around them.
Imagine them feeling more at ease in social situations, excelling in their studies or sports, knowing they have the tools to navigate life and relationships with newfound respect and grace.
“If we want to change the conversation we’re having with our teenagers, then we have to change the conversation we’re having about them.”
– Dr. Janet Sasson Edgette
Parents today often worry about losing touch and control as their children enter their teenage years. Communication becomes scarce, leaving parents in the dark about their teen’s life. Disrespectful behavior at home adds to their concerns, leaving them unsure of how to address it. Reports of bullying based on various factors like athleticism, appearance, or personality compound these worries, prompting parents to seek guidance as they aspire to reconnect with their teenagers, foster loving relationships, and reduce tension and frustration in the family dynamic. They want their teen to be ok.
An increasing number of kids are in distress, overwhelmed, depressed, experiencing anxiety and panic attacks, and unrelenting conflict with family or friends. They don’t know why or what to do about their big emotions or challenges. They either suffer in silence or act up in some way that raises concern for everyone around them.
The youth mental health movement of the past several years has done a lot to change therapy’s long standing blemished reputation among teenagers. Nonetheless, a lot of teens still don’t look forward to therapy, anticipating dozens of questions about problems they may not believe they have. Some therapists try too hard to connect with their young clients, scaring them off in the process. Others remain aloof and clinical.
I want to share my approach to working with the youth population, something I started developing thirty five years ago. Teenagers find it inviting, void of the awkward silences and going-nowhere conversations that so often plague therapist ~ teen encounters. Rather than wondering how I can get kids to open up to me, I pay attention to how I can become a compelling enough individual that these kids actually want to talk with me.
This changes everything.
“Janet Sasson Edgette should have been fictitious adolescent Holden Caulfield’s therapist. She is one of those rare adults who understands adolescents’ obsession with all things “phony.” She writes with chatty authority about what the experience of therapy feels like for teens, mapping the many shoals on which adolescent therapy can founder.”
Jim Naughton, Psychotherapy Networker
Providing assessment and treatment of a wide range of mental health issues such as depression, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder, attention problems (ADHD), school performance problems, lack of motivation, behavior issues (isolation/emotional withdrawal, defiance, refusal to comply with rules or responsibilities, family conflict), relationship issues with family or peers, self-esteem issues, self-harm, sexual or gender identity, anger management, divorce, mood disorders, personality disorders.
Designed to provide guidance and support to parents facing various challenges in raising their children. Personalized consultations and coaching sessions help navigate issues such as behavior management, communication, disrespect, mood disorders, tough conversations, bullying, and many other issues in the hearts and minds of parents. Gain effective strategies and tools to promote well-being and create a harmonious family environment while fostering a healthy parent-child relationship.
Too often, conversations between therapists and adolescents deteriorate into some kind of power battle — solicitous appeals or quasi-lectures on the therapist’s part and lead to a gamey withholding or anxiety-driven silence from the teen. Let’s do better. Learn innovative strategies that will get teens to talk.
Groups starting soon.
Need to make a difference in children’s lives? Reach a large audience? Let’s discuss how I can bring three decades of experience and a proven methodology to your audience and speak with parents, educators, or others whose lives intertwine with adolescents. Talks can be lectures, Q&A sessions, small group discussions, keynote speeches, or a combination of the above.
Learn about the ideas, philosophies, and strategies I’ve developed over the past three decades that can help you talk with, understand, and facilitate change in the teenagers you are raising, counseling, and educating.
Private and small group case consultation & clinical supervision is available.
Trainees are invited to bring their more difficult cases in for discussion and consultation—interactive role-playing and session improv in order to help trainees develop skills for communicating and relating with adolescents.
“… We aren’t taught how to talk with our children. We’re taught how to ask them a lot of questions and lecture them and make points …but there’s not a lot of conversation …”
– Dr. Janet Sasson Edgette
Three decades of experience parenting and doing therapy with kids and teens are packed into these short blogs, offering strategies for understanding, talking with, challenging, and inspiring the young people in our personal or professional lives.
As a therapist and author, my books reflect what I’ve learned and discovered along the way and discuss what I believe are among the most important principles and strategies for both raising and counseling kids. Seven books written in a sensible, wise, clear, and engaging way, offering stories, advice, and practical ways for parents and therapists to approach children and adolescents in ways that kids find inviting and can respond to more authentically.
From newspaper articles to interviews, podcasts and opinion pieces, I’ve had a lot to say about the challenges of parenting and counseling 21st century kids and raising good humans. Ideas range from relating with distressed youth in a more human, conversational way to minimizing the damage of over-stimulation from technology and social media.
Our youth are stronger and more charitable than we think.
And if they are like the youth I meet, they need conversation and connection to bring out their superpower.
Let’s make that happen.