Adolescence is often a tumultuous developmental phase for every teen. Conflict between parent and teen is very common, and is to be expected as part of adolescent development. However, in some cases, the normal developmental process of adolescence can go astray, and more serious problems may develop. Such problems may include poor school performance, serious behavioral problems at home or school, drug use, and legal problems. To address these and other issues related to adolescence, a psychologist can often work directly with a teen and his or her parents to help reduce problematic behaviors while supporting the normal adolescent process of gaining greater maturity and developing the life skills needed for independence and autonomy.
While some teens experience difficulties in adolescence by acting out with behavioral problems, others experience more “internal” problems such as symptoms of depression and anxiety. This is often the result of difficulties in adjusting to new social pressures and demands placed on adolescents. Teens vary in their pace of development from childhood to adulthood, and the demands placed on them by schools, peers, and families can be intense. In such cases, working with a psychologist can help teens navigate the new social context they find themselves in, and to relieve difficult symptoms.