From emotional and behavioral issues to social trauma through cyber bullying or succumbing to academic/peer pressures, young children and teenagers could find themselves with very little to rely on, cope and mature through these life challenges. Even while they sometimes have adequate access to particular resources they could face great strife for want of a sense of belonging and knowing how they're valued in their social circles. It is also similarly not uncommon to suffer a loss of a stable sense of self while one's family goes through (usually) distressing transitions such as divorce and separation. The development of identity in these formative years is strained severely when one regularly feels isolated, misunderstood and unheard.
We often find that parents or care givers have great capacity to be pivotal instruments of change. However, the adult isn't always in a position to support a child given their own stressors be they emotional, financial, relational, health related etc. Furthermore, child related concerns may add layers of complexity to how smoothly a family may move across life transitions ensuring wellness for its members.
ASTEP family therapists help clients understand young individuals' struggles in the context of their development, family culture as well as the immediate social system that they are a part of. As we focus on the several underlying contextual dynamics (such as relationships that a youth may have romantically, academically, emotionally and so on), it becomes apparent to our clients how they can maneuver through their challenges by using resources already available to them, intrinsically as well as part of supportive relationships. Changes aimed at may include enhancing one's appraisal of self, managing daily tasks well, and bringing in meaningful shifts in close relationships.
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