Mike King has been providing adolescent psychotherapy in Torrance, CA, and the surrounding areas for more than 25 years. This specialized therapy for adolescents involves working with a complex set of factors. Teenagers are in a constant state of physical and emotional change; they frequently transition from wanting support and emotional validation from their families to looking for those things from the larger world. This process alone creates confusion, conflict, and hopelessness for everyone involved. Additionally, depending on the economic, social, and emotional realities that they and their families have experienced, adolescents possess varying degrees of self-awareness, resilience, and coping skills as they move into adulthood.
Compounding all of this, today’s adolescents are bombarded with categories of information and social pressures unimagined before the arrival of the digital age. They are a highly sought-after “market share” who are continually being pursued by those who want to shape and monetize their values and habits. Moreover, being “liked or disliked” in a disembodied social world where anyone may be anonymous may have catastrophic consequences. No longer are families and local communities necessarily the most decisive influence on adolescent development; corporate, political, and economic forces are doing their best to shape and capture these emerging minds.
These young minds are still developing physically and cognitively; they are not simply “small adults.” They are transitioning through one of the most, if not the most, complex stages of human development. In today’s world, they face many challenging possibilities never before experienced by any generation. For most adolescents, the concepts of overpopulation, diminishing resources, and climate change are very much a part of their world and their consciousness, which affect how they see the future and themselves in the world. All of this is to say that working with today’s adolescents is perhaps more complex than ever before.