When there is a problem with children/teens, it’s crucial to first work with them to identify what it is they are trying to achieve through their behavior. The second step is helping them realize that their actions are keeping them from achieving their needs. For example, if they are constantly breaking the rules to feel empowered, I help them understand that the empowerment they feel is temporary, because in the long run, they will get in trouble.
The feeling of empowerment is simply a want. What they need is to work on how to tolerate frustration and channel that energy at something productive, typically into doing things they are good at. That can be a sport, problem-solving, or anything that engages them in something that they see as a strength. As a result, they tend to comply instead of reacting with opposition to achieve a goal (empowerment, in the example) that is not an actual need.
Typical Child/Teen Issues that I help work on:
- Refusal to follow basic rules.
- Poor academic performance.
- Depression and suicidal thoughts.