Adolescence is the developmental phase where you start to ask questions like Who am I? Who have I been? Who do I want to be? They start to look at what kind of person they want to be separate from their parents and try on many different ways of being. It’s healthy for teenagers to change their clothing style, or cut their hair differently in attempts to find their way as an individual.
I ask most clients to tell me about their family history so we can build a cohesive story of how they came to be as a person right now, and how they fit into a much larger story. Through doing that we start to see patterns of relating, and characteristics in my client that came from someone else in their family. This is important to start to understanding who you are today, and it allows a more clear picture for the client moving forward to change characteristics they don’t want to carry on.
Values are another thing to understand on a deeper level throughout adolescent years. It is their task to consider what they were raised with and how they will choose their own values as they come into adulthood.
I encourage clients to think about their futures. Build a loose plan and some dreams of what they want. Are they the kind of person who wants to be very social, or enjoys quiet time, wants to live in a metropolitan city, or a small town, stay close to their parents, or move away. All of these things are important and many kids don’t think to contemplate their individual preferences separate from what friends, parents or teachers are expecting of them.