Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.

Anne Frank

Thank you for being a parent who is caring and interested in seeking therapy as a way to support your adult son/daughter’s transition into independent, empowered living. The 21st century young adult faces a new set of challenges, risks, opportunities that you may have never experienced at that same age. Issues of faith, sexuality, career choice and options, relationships and marriage are complicated by a culture that can isolate and overwhelm young adults.

What I know about designing uniquely meaningful therapy for young adults is that it’s a deep investment for their current and future lives. Clients leave knowing that they have a safe place to speak honestly, explore deeply, and are encouraged to try out the goals and strategies we develop in session. Your role as parent can be to encourage their decision to come to therapy and support of the goals and skills they develop in session.


When you visit the Teens Page you’ll see the ways I effectively work with adolescents. As a 25+ year career educator, I know the range of experiences and crises that face your teenager today. I’ve worked with hundreds of middle school, high school and college students. I love the work because even when they are reluctant to admit they need support or therapy, we somehow always end up
in deep conversations. Therapy is an investment in your adolescent’s present and future wellbeing. I’m honored to be part of your family’s team.

When your adolescent is facing issues at school – attendance, performance, anxiety, and discipline/legal issues – they need to find a place to figure out what’s going on, why they are making their current choices, and how they are experiencing the consequences. Therapy is a place that is safe and designed for the way they best process information and develop goals. Your teen will actually look forward to coming to work with me; and you will find that they are willing to experiment with new ways of making decisions or dealing with the anxiety and depression that is overwhelming them right now.

When your adolescent is dealing with drugs and alcohol, relationships, sexuality and high levels of anxiety or depression that are creating tension and isolation for them and for your family, therapy is a great place to be honest so they can figure out new ways of coping and confronting things that aren’t working in their life.

What can I expect as a parent?

What I know is that your teen will leave sessions feeling like they’ve been honest, been heard, and found a new way of thinking about an issue. They’ll know what it’s like to create goals and experiments to work on between sessions. Sometimes you’ll notice growth and change, and sometimes you’ll walk with your teen when they seem to be taking a step back. But all of this is part of growth – and that’s the best part of uniquely designing therapy for adolescents!


College years… “Where did my kid go?” OR… “Why won’t my kid go?”

Whether your young adult goes away to college or stays home, the relationship changes. What used to be a “parent/child” stance starts to push its way into an “adult/adult” experience. You aren’t able to protect or control what happens in their life like you did when they were younger. Their decisions will become their consequences. Your role becomes one of listening and advice, and then releasing them to forge ahead into their next steps. Freshman year at college can be incredibly lonely. Many kids call home or come home feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, depressed, disconnected, lonely and disillusioned. You may notice significant changes in eating, sleeping, friendships, spending, attendance at school or job. It feels like you want to swoop in and rescue them, but you know they need to experience life in a more independent way…even the hard stuff.

Therapy with college students is specifically designed to regulate their emotions with goal-setting, and talking through issues. Therapy includes a safe place to figure out what’s working and what is necessary to move forward. Students leave therapy feeling ready to face relationships and issues with skills and confidence.

Career and Young Adults

Parenting your kids in their 20’s means that their goals and decisions are focused on transitioning into relationships and work that are separate from home. Life becomes very real, very fast. As a parent, you might notice signs of depression, anxiety, relationship issues (including abuse), sexuality questions, the use of drugs and alcohol to avoid stress. You might also find that your young adult is getting ready to get married or take on a career they’ve worked hard to get. You may not know how or when to intervene.

enCOURAGE Counseling is a unique place for young professionals and young adults. I have worked with hundreds of twenty-somethings, both individually and in pre-marital couples. Their worldview and identity are thoughtfully honored and integrated as foundational for therapy goals and sessions. Often within 6-10 sessions, clients find that they’re ready for healthy relationships and challenging careers. Clients also tell me that therapy provides them a safe place to figure out their whole identity.

Therapy for YOU

As a parent, it can feel like you’ve lost your teenager or college student. You don’t recognize who they are becoming. You not sure about the choices they are making, and you’re worried about their future. You are getting feedback from friends, family, school and even the law that tells you your teen needs support or that. I’m in your corner and ready to support your teen AND you as their parent. You will leave sessions feeling heard and supported as well as ready to engage in important decisions about boundaries and conversations you need to have. You will feel empowered and supported in your role as a parent to your teen and young adult.

Sometimes parenting can be complicated because of your child’s depression, anxiety, self-injury or disordered eating. You’re not sure if you can discipline or set boundaries because you’re afraid it might set them off or send them over the edge. During therapy, we can talk about what it means to parent an anxious or depressed teen. You will learn about what it takes for you to love your child well and find the support you need to live your full life as well. You’ll leave feeling supported for what you’re doing and equipped with some new skills to communicate love, boundaries and your needs with your family.

I also offer support groups and individual sessions for the following parenting challenges:

  • Parenting the Anxious Teen
  • Parenting the Depressed/Suicidal/Self-Harming Teen
  • Learning to Transition Parenting Skills for Young Adults
  • Letting Go…Learning New Boundaries for Pre-College and Young Adult Children



Contact enCOURAGE Counseling!

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