When working with Teens & Families, I draw from an array of therapeutic tools in order to best address the challenges you’re facing, and what you personally want from your therapy experience.

debraTeens are sometimes eager for help in sorting out the many stresses and pressures of their increasingly complicated lives. At other times, their parents or caregivers have grave concerns while the teenager is reluctant, or even resistant to seeking help. As an experienced Santa Cruz teen counselor and therapist, I work with teens in all their levels of readiness and am usually able to establish meaningful goals that engage their motivation. Often these kids are experiencing school problems, doing risky or self-injurious behaviors, or looking sad and unengaged in their lives. First, I help them create a self-definition of their choosing that integrates their best parts. Then we work together to reclaim their lives from fear or sadness, regain control of themselves, and create new choices and possibilities for their lives. I also work with parents to facilitate effective communication with their teens and provide tools and psychological education to support them in the challenging task of parenting.

Families often need help navigating challenging stages and phases of life. The concerns families have can cover a range from sibling conflicts, to depleted parenting partnerships, to changes in work, living or family structures. In some cases, I offer parenting coaching along with developmental psychological education. I also provide counseling and consultation for the often unexpected difficulties of step and blended families. And as experienced Santa Cruz therapist, in almost all cases, I help family members develop more successful ways of communicating and relating with each other. We work together to develop strategies that fit both your lifestyle and values and support you in living more peaceful and fulfilling lives together.

Resources: Visit the “Resources” section of my website for Suggested Books and Articles and Websites that may be helpful to you at this time.

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“The space between events is where most of life is lived.”Nancy Wood (poet)