Teens and adults often come to therapy with specific issues or concerns, seeking a neutral and comfortable place to express their thoughts and feelings with someone who can objectively listen and guide in self-exploration around awareness, direction, letting go or how to move forward. The therapist role is to support and validate the experience of the person while facilitating a process that will lead to healing or self-growth. Outcomes may include development of better coping strategies or improved relations with others.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
This form of therapy explores how our thoughts contribute to both our feelings and how we act on them. By recognizing patterns of negative thinking that cause feelings of discomfort, anxiety and low-self-esteem, an individual can learn to change their automanic response to a more adaptive thought, which can lead to improved emotional feelings and positive changes in outcome. Cognitive Behavior Therapy will often be used in conjunction with "Talk" Psychotherapy or other modalities depending on individual needs.
Creative Arts and Therapy with Pre-teens and Teens
Sometimes talking about a sensitive issue or area causing anxiety can be difficult for anyone. Pre-teens and teens may find other modalities combined with therapy as an outlet for self-expression, means to gain self-awareness and insight and facilitate changes they wish to make in their lives. These creative modalities may include art, interactive games, writing, music and mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
Sand Tray Therapy with Teens and Adults
The method of using sand tray with this age group is different than when working with a younger child. A teen or adult is directed to choose from "miniatures" objects that represent all aspects of life including "light" and "shadow" elements. It is the role of the trained Sand Tray Therapist to facilitate processing of the completed "sand" picture with the client to bring new insight and shifts in unconscious patterns, healing of loss and other issues.
Sand Tray can offer another medium for reluctant teens to express themselves. Both teens and adults may experience emotional release through the use of symbolism and projection of feelings unto the sand miniatures. Sand Tray also can use techniques geared to specific issues or situations such as problem-solving format, reality tray, and family sand genograms.
Individual Sand Tray and Focusing
Individualized Sand Tray sessions offering self-awareness, clarity and self-growth can be scheduled for one or more sessions. Issues that may benefit from sand tray work include: grief and loss, relationship issues, life transitions and developmental periods, family issues, personal growth and insight. Selection of objects often comes from an unconscious level that is similar to Jungian therapy or dream work, rich in symbolism and meaning.
Focusing Sand Tray Therapy
This is a specialized means of using sand tray therapy that allows one to focus specifically on a problem, issue or fear. It might be a problem or place where one feels repeatingly stuck. This sand tray approach uses mindfulness meditation techniques combined with guided exporation or dialogue leading to deeper insight into the problem, issue or fear. It involves tuning into one's somatic (body) experience and feeling affect awareness. The experience of Focusing Sand Tray can be profoundly meaningful.
EMDR Techniques with Teens and Adults for Increasing Sense of Empowerment and Feelings of Relaxation
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) uses varied techniques and exercises that can deepen the feeling of relaxation, provide tools that can assist in containing and regulating uncomfortable emotions and can increase a feeling of being grounded. Specific visualization combined with EMDR techniques can assist in preparation for anxiety provoking situations from giving presentations or preparing for an interview to going through a new transition or social situation.