My Specialization

На русском языке

Adolescents & Family Counseling

We all have heard that adolescence is a transitional process from childhood to adulthood and that it may be accompanied by various challenges. This is a period of exploring one’s future choices, experimenting with various options through “trial and error,” establishing new relationships with grown-ups as a “soon-to-be-an-adult” as well as with peers.

Recent research in neuroscience suggests that adolescents not only go through a lot of hormonal and physical changes but also through brain restructuring which, on the one hand, creates mayhem in the previously existing brain connections (this is why a teen suddenly “loses” some previous “good behaviors”), but, on the other hand, opens up opportunities for developing new connections and new patterns of behaviors. This is a very exciting, albeit not an easy, period for teens and their parents. This time is often full of trials and tribulations, and it is easy to feel frustrated during this process. However, parents are extremely important in teens’ lives. It is crucial for teens to feel loved, understood, and connected to their parents while finding their new, adolescent selves. Both individual and family counseling may be useful in this process. 

Family counseling is helpful for things like:

  • Behavioral problems at school
  • Parent-child conflict resolution
  • Power struggles
  • Multiple home issues
  • Dealing with blended families or divorce
  • Substance abuse
  • Eating disorders

Family counseling helps prevent existing problems from becoming deeper and avoid an increase in emotional pain and resentment. While family counseling is very effective in the aforementioned situations, teens may also need individual counseling because sometimes a professional who keeps confidentiality can help see the situation in a new way and reassess a teen’s role in it. Individual counseling is also helpful for:

  • Interpersonal relationships, social problems
  • Worry, the feeling of guilt, anxiety
  • Sadness/depression
  • Anger and aggressive behavior
  • Peer pressure
  • Body image issues
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Grief and loss

Cross-cultural issues

I also have specialized experience working with people who are going through cross-cultural transitions (immigrants, foreigners, people who moved from other states or places). An ever increasing number of people are on the move for a host of reasons - from economic opportunities to family obligations. However, even a welcome and long-awaited move can, and usually is, very stressful. And I am not talking only about immigrants who cross half the world to come to America – sometimes moving from a state next door or even from another area within the same state can really wrack your nerves and be a very unsettling experience. As someone who moved many times in my life – first to the US and then several times within the US, I understand the challenges of adjustment and can offer effective coping strategies. 

Intercultural Couples 

Becoming a couple may be a truly cross-cultural experience. People can bring very different values and traditions into their partnerships even if they grow up in the same place, let alone different countries and continents. It can be a source of strength, but it can also cause painful misunderstandings and tensions. As a bicultural therapist, I can understand perspectives of both partners and help them overcome challenges and strengthen the relationship while respecting both cultures.

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