Therapy and Counselling for Young People Mt Albert, Auckland

A psychoanalytic or psychodynamic approach to therapy and counselling can help a young person or teenager through the transition of becoming themselves in a challenging social and cultural environment.

A psychoanalytic psychotherapist attunes to and attempts to meet a person just as they are in the present moment. 

This can lead to an engagement which is deeply supportive to a young person through gaining an understanding of the acute distress and behaviour patterns affecting their lives and wellbeing. The development of a therapeutic space to think together about  behaviours, symptoms, complex emotions and thought patterns can be life-changing and support them to become the person they are. 

In this challenging stage of life, relationships are the basis of learning how to feel connected and to develop authenticity, self-esteem and independence. The development of a helpful therapeutic relationship can lay the foundations for more supportive and healthy relationships in the future.

A psychoanalytic psychotherapist may be able to help a young person to begin to express themselves in the sessions, if communicating with others, particularly adults or health professionals, has been difficult for them. Sometimes psychoanalytic therapy can promote profound shifts where behavioural therapy or teaching skills has not worked. Feeling that they are being listened to and helped to understand themselves at a deep level is the basis for change and growth.

Finding the right therapist for the individual is crucial to the process, along with specialised training. It varies how long it may take for changes to be consciously felt or for external changes to occur. Often, within a few sessions the person can sense that they have found a space for themselves, where specialised help and support can reach them.

The length of the therapy can be negotiated or evolve according to the individual situation. The therapist is responsible for observing and monitoring whether shifts and development begin to occur in sessions and to discuss continuing or ending when appropriate. Sometimes symptoms remain for long periods even if work is progressing because of the complexity of the underlying issues, but usually there are signs of subtle change despite this.

I work with young people aged 14 to 25 years. Depending on the age of adolescents, risk factors and needs, parents or caregivers are more or less involved in the consultation process. Medical professionals or other mental health services may be needed as a support for a young person when risk and safety issues are a serious concern.