For Parents

For Parents

Teens and young adults are different

Teens face unique developmental challenges with brains that are not yet fully developed. They are simultaneously trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be. They are distancing themselves from parents and parental expectations while increasingly relying on peers (or the internet) for guidance and advice. They can be incredibly insightful and totally clueless, extraordinarily empathic and deeply selfish…all at the same time.

They need a therapist who understands these developments challenges and one who can embrace them with humor and warmth. 

How I work 

I have spent 25 years learning how to work with teens and young adults. I enjoy helping young people move through this particularly challenging life phase. To do this I emphasize alliance building and story-telling. Once an alliance is established I gently challenge counter-productive thoughts and behaviors with stories, each embedded with evidence-based coping strategies and time-honored life lessons. 

A walk in the woods 

I see most of my clients in my Brookline office but I will also see some teens and young adults for a walking session around Jamaica Pond. I have found this to be a particularly good strategy for young people who struggle to make eye contact and those who are under-active in their daily lives. 

A Favorite Client Story 

Clay was 15. He started treatment after multiple hospitalizations and almost two years of school avoidance. Now a year later and with trust established he leans in and says ”Dr. Richlin, you’re not going to believe what my dad did!” I was really curious, but I also knew enough to expect that this was a setup of some sort…so I played along. “Tell me,” I asked…”What did your dad do?” Clay responded that his hard working single father “walked past the trash can fifteen times without taking it out.” Here was my big chance. “Who was supposed to to take the trash out? I asked. “I was” Clay responded, now both flustered and a little embarrassed “but my dad had his sneakers on.” 

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