The Broken Wing Counseling

Teen Counseling and Psycotherapy

It’s been a great experience working with teens and has become an area of specialty over the last few years. Admittedly, watching adults grow was why I got into this field and will always be a great source of professional satisfaction and joy for me, but in the past few years, as more and more teen clients have come my way, I have really enjoyed being a part of their growth process as well. Some teens have been clients from high school into college — what an amazing gift it’s been to watch their maturation over that span of time.

Here are some things to think about with teens: Do they want to come in for therapy? Some are super-resistant, and while they may warm up to therapy there are some teens that just aren’t going to want to come in no matter what. Others are mildly resistant and often make for really great clients once they’ve bought in to the process and experience the relief they feel when sharing and being understood. Then there are some who want to come in, even ask to (wow!) — as a parent you should feel pretty blessed. teens like this can grow really quickly and tend to love the process. And some, based on their disposition, may need it desperately. Why? Because they are put into a position where they have to communicate and be understood. They flourish through dialogue but need more than peer interaction, and often want to have some boundaries between themselves and their parents. This is healthy. In the therapy environment, they can connect emotionally, and if that gift isn’t nurtured and brought out, it can’t grow as it should.

Teen therapy almost always requires a parent to have the ability to work with the therapist in partnering to make their child’s progress smooth and productive. Sometimes it can require very active involvement or minimal.

One option, and a more vulnerable one for you parents. Sometimes, when the child is resistant, I take on the parents as my client instead of the child. Here, we try to understand your child and yourself, and begin to come up with strategies on how you can help them yourselves. This may be by setting new boundaries or learning to understand their needs. After all, we all have blind spots. But we may be able to help the family via counseling you. For an example of this, please read below for SS’s testimonial.


A Mother
I love my children and I tried to do everything to make them feel better after they were hurt deeply by my divorce. Many years later my children were still bitter, angry and rebellious and it escalated to daily physically dangerous situations. I tried to deal with it myself for as long as I could, partially because I was embarrassed to have lost control - partially because I didn't know how to get help.

I finally confided in a friend who encouraged me to immediately get professional help. I was refered to Drew and I was a bit confused when he suggested that where there are problems with the child there are usually problems that parents need to address. Well, I'm an extremely successful, strong professional and wondered how it could possibly be about me? I agreed to meet first with Drew.

That's when the magic started. Drew worked tactfully and insightfully to help me begin to recognize many psychological dimensions of life. He helped me to understand myself, my children, and my interactions with people in my personal and professional life. He coached me to establish consistent boundaries with my children. He helped me to see that my children were looking for structure and consistency and not to give them everything they wanted and be their best friend. Initially I was skeptical, but I followed Drew's guidance and have seen phenomenal change in my children. They are becoming self-motivated, responsible, and happy children.

Drew has changed my life. I now understand my previous relationships and am prepared for approaching new relationships in a healthy way. I have less guilt, less anxiety, more joy and peace.– SS

A High School Freshman dealing with stress and new challenges
Between the summer of 8th grade and the start of high school I could feel myself going down a road that I didn't want to go down. I could see myself becoming friends with people who would only influence me in a bad way and losing friends that were good influences. I became very stressed due to family problems and instead of thinking about ways to cope with it, I ignored my feelings. I became sad and blamed myself for family problems. I found myself lying to my parents more and more and doing things that I knew were wrong, but I saw my friends doing them and allowed myself to join them.

I decided I wanted to come to Drew because I was going down a bad road and didn’t want to lose all of myself. I also knew high school was quickly approaching and that would only add to the stress.

For the first few sessions, I felt shy and scared to open up my feelings to Drew. However, I liked what I heard when I did say something and was able to talk about my feelings. As I felt more comfortable, I also learned more. I learned about myself - the kind of person I am, how I react with other people in certain situations, how I can be encouraging to friends. From this help, I have become so much more confident. I know what makes me, me: from my hobbies to my personality.

I learned about my family - I started understanding my parents’ concern for me and why they did what they did. I understood emotional reactions better in my family. I also became more in touch with my emotional side and no longer ignored my feelings. In particular, I learned about my father and how to cope with his Aspergers. I understood why he didn’t always act like a mature parent and would often get angry about things. I learned how to cope with it and what to do when he is angry.

I began reconnecting with my real friends. I no longer felt that I would be taken in by anyone who would accept me but like I was valuable enough to choose my own friends. I was able to see what sort of people I wanted to have relationships with and from there I was able to decide which relationships I would want to grow and flourish, and which ones I would keep just as acquaintances.

Though I have come a long way I still have areas in life, like everyone, that I need to work on and will continue growth. I understand there will be more tough choices to make as life goes on and more stress. I know I will need to keep in touch with my emotions and not ignore my feelings. I know I will need to keep my self-confidence consistent. Fortunately, I have been equipped and continue to be equipped with the tools I need to deal with stress, choices, and finding my blind spots. I am continuously learning and practicing with Drew, even today. -NK

2 North Finley Ave., Basking Ridge, NJ 07920 (908) 451-5592