counselling for teenagers

counselling for teenagers

The needs and challenges of adolescence can sometimes be overwhelming.

Parents most often hope for independence and happiness for their teens. They want them to learn who they are and who they want to become,so they can make good choices and live a healthy, fulfilling life.

Counselling Can Help Teens:

  • Work though anxiety and depression, learning what’s normal and how to cope with difficult feelings

  • Heal from traumatic experiences, such as bullying

  • Become more resilient and able to cope with problems in school and family life

  • Improve self-esteem

  • Learn skills for developing friendships

  • Support personal development to aid transition to independent adulthood - for example, career exploration, goal setting - exploring "who am I and who do I want to be?"

  • Make life decisions

Signs Your Teen May Be in Need of Teen Therapy:

  • Abnormal amount of anger, acting out, arguing or changes in eating habits

  • Changes in academic or athletic performance

  • Engaging in risky or self-harming behaviours

  • Teen appears sad more than normal, lives in isolation or has large swings in mood

  • Teen has changes in groups of friends – i.e., hanging out with different people and ignoring old friends

  • Changes in activities they once loved

  • Aggressive behavior towards others

  • Changes in sleep patterns

  • Complains of: headache, stomachache, or not feeling well despite being healthy

  • Major changes to family life – i.e., divorce, re-marriage or death

  • sexual, physical, or emotional abuse

  • problems with drugs or alcohol

Other helpful resources

resources for teens & children

To start counselling now:

meet our teen counsellors

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Jasmine Fulks
My experience working in a children’s and adolescent mental health unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital has given me a unique perspective and skill set... read more
Adolescence is a time of extreme change and growth. I have experience and education working with this population, which includes assisting youth to work through addiction, divorce issues, self-harm, trauma and mental health concerns. Jasmine's Full Bio

Lisa McMorrow
“Every child is gifted. They just unwrap their packages at different times.” I believe that underneath all actions and reactions is the need to be loved and to truly be seen....read more
Being a teenager can be a time of heightened emotions and uncertainty which is difficult to navigate for both the teen and their caregivers. To transition through this time, I work with both parents and teens to establish connection and relationship. I also aim to build a strong therapeutic relationship with teens so that we can work together to address any concerns of anxiety, depression, self-esteem, grief and loss, everyday stressors and self-harm they may have. Depending on the interest and personality of the adolescent I may introduce art and sand based therapeutic strategies in addition to traditional therapy. Lisa's Full Bio

Lori Tiemer
I have experience counselling teenagers dealing with concerns such as anxiety, depression, and self-esteem. I also have experience working with teenagers in group settings, counselling them on career and educational planning... read more
Through the development of an accepting and collaborative therapeutic relationship, teenagers can work through their concerns and experience personal growth. Depending on the teen’s preference, we may spend our sessions talking or incorporating different modalities such as art or sand tray therapy. Although much of my time with be spent with the teenager individually (if they are comfortable with that), it is also important that the parent(s)/caregiver(s) are involved (to an extent that does not intrude on the personal privacy of the teen). This may occur through individual parental consultations and/or parent/teen sessions, if appropriate. Lori's Full Bio

Charlene Remenda-Madra
Every event touches our mind, body and spirit. As a therapist, I strive to see the whole person and the whole picture that has shaped you and the events leading up to our first meeting... read more
I have experience in the areas of early developmental and emotional trauma, motor vehicle accidents, sexual abuse and I am currently enrolled in a specialized three-year body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma called Somatic Experiencing, or SE. I completed a four-year post graduate program in Integrative Body Psychotherapy (IBP) with a strong focus on early developmental trauma and attachment injuries. IBP is a comprehensive body-centered model of therapy that combines breathing, movement and presence to gain access to the wisdom of the body – something that is often interrupted, no longer accessible or just too scary to connect to after a traumatic event or series of traumatic injuries. I am compassionate, emotionally present and take a gentle approach to working with individuals. Charlene's Full Bio

Christine Crocker
As a Registered Psychologist trained in Marriage and Family Therapy, I believe that relationships are central to the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities... read more
Christine Crocker is a Registered Psychologist who has been providing services to families, couples and individuals since 2007, both in private practice and for agencies. Christine has a Masters in Science in Marital and Family Therapy through Loma Linda University and a Bachelor of Science Specialization awarded from the University of Alberta. Christine holds membership in good standing with the College of Alberta Psychologists (Reg# 3311) and the Psychologist Association of Alberta. Christine Crocker Full Bio

Petrina Runke
Adolescence is a crucial time of development. Teens are exploring their identity, and wanting more autonomy and independence from their parents or caregivers... read more
Yet, this is the exact time that they need their parents or caregivers to remain close, engaged and involved in their lives. I have worked with adolescents for 15 years, and have supported teens with issues such as addiction, trauma, self-harm, family/peer conflict, anxiety, depression, and gender and sexual identity. I help teens safely explore questions about their identities, relationships, and future direction. I use an attachment-based approach to facilitate emotional healing through the therapeutic relationship. I incorporate activities that draw on the teen's interests, like music, games, painting, and writing. I also support parents by providing information and resources that will benefit their parent-child relationship. Petrina’s Full Bio

Lindsey McColl
Adolescence can be a very difficult time to navigate. Everything seems to change so quickly and so immensely that it can be quite overwhelming... read more
I work to build a strong therapeutic relationship with teens in order to help them cope with self-esteem and identity issues, everyday stressors and mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, and self-harm. I use a variety of modalities with teens, depending on age and interest, from sand tray and art therapy to more traditional talk therapy. I also work with caregivers on parenting and relationship building with their teens. Lindsey’s Full Bio


Marti Lysek-Behiels
I am a Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists and a member of the Psychologists Association of Alberta. I have worked with children, adolescents, adults, families and couples in a variety of settings including non for profit and school settings... read more
I work with adolescents where they are at in a non-judgemental, empathic way. I empower adolescents to take ownership of their choices and I suggest tools and ideas to deal with issues like depression, anxiety, anger, frustration and low self-esteem. Within the family system I support the adolescent to try to dissolve the blocked trust and I support the caregivers to heal the blocked care. Marti's Full Bio

Nicholas Renaud
With over 15 years of experience working with young adults and their families, I understand the unique challenges that take place during this transitional age... read more
I have supported adolescents with a wide variety of issues such as depression and anxiety, substance use and process addictions, emotion and anger management, self-harm, sexual and gender identity, and interpersonal conflict.  As well, support and education for caregivers can be crucial to helping to ensure young adults have the resources they need to navigate these difficult issues.   Nicholas' Full Bio

Andrea Thrall
I view adolescence as a rich period of growth for both teens and parents. By understanding the neurological changes happening in the teenage brain, I encourage parents and youth to embrace this exciting phase of development... read more
I enjoy working with teens and supporting their emerging sense of identity through a variety of creative approaches. For example, I incorporate elements of talk therapy, artistic expression, and mindfulness skills. I believe that unconditional acceptance and compassion are essential in any therapeutic relationship, but especially so with teen clients. Andrea's Full Bio

Ramona Kotke Gapp
My experience working with teens includes raising two of my own and volunteering as a billet parent for four additional teens. In my practice I have experience helping teens overcome a variety of issues including grief, trauma, relationship problems, anxiety, depression, addictions, goal setting, and career planning...read more
During this particular developmental stage, teens experience a tremendous amount of life-altering growth as they transition from childhood into early adulthood, and change is not always easy, so when stressful life events arise, teens may react by feeling very overwhelmed and out of control. With teens my approach is client-focussed and strength-based. Therapy is often just the right place for a teen to explore their feelings without fear of judgement or an expectation to be all grown up. A healthy relationship with their parents is integral to a teen’s therapy and as such, effort is made to foster communication between the teen and their parents. At the request of the teen, I can facilitate teen-parent sessions to help the teen communicate complex topics that the teen may feel too intimidated to discuss on their own (e.g. sexuality, addictions, career choice). Ramona's Full Bio

Dr. Olive Okraku
I have worked with adolescents and young adults in post-secondary institutions, community and in hospitals. I also have experience working with youth who struggle with issues relating to substance addiction, anxiety, depression, stress, bipolar disorders, trauma, self-harm, academic pressures, cultural identity, as well as a challenging relationship with guardians....read more
I use CBT and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy as they are evidence-based treatment approach for these issues. I also use Emotion-Focused approach and coaching with parents and their children (with child’s permission) to enable parents to validate their children’s experiences and have a better understanding while undergoing stressful periods. I also use Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to process any traumatic experiences as well as life stressors. Olive's Full Bio

Audrey Stevenson
Adolescence is a truly one of the most difficult times in one’s life. It is a time for self- discovery, identity exploration, and finding a balance between independence from family and dependence on family. My first goal is to build a strong therapeutic relationship in order for them to feel heard and safe and know they are accepted as they are...read more
Depending on the teens comfort and interest level, I will use art therapy, sand tray therapy, mindfulness and talk therapy. I work with teens to heal and cope through life stressors as well as through mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. Audrey's Full Bio

Katherine Henderson
Raising confident, healthy, and happy teenagers is a goal all parents strive for. However, teens today face issues unseen by previous generations. Advances in technology can create complexities to an already sensitive transitional life stage...read more
Through counselling, teens can get help navigating these struggles. Whether concerns are related to low self-esteem, academic issues, peer pressures, or depression and anxiety; counselling can help youth discover their best selves. My approach to adolescent counselling draws from a combination of modalities including CBT, Mindfulness, and Solution Focussed Therapy. Katherine's Full Bio

Kristeen Britton
Since my days as a high school teacher I have had a passion for working with youth. This time of life is full of struggle and self-discovery and often young people need a safe space to feel heard...read more
My primary approach when working with adolescents is to build self-awareness through mindfulness-based work and then focus on self-compassion. When we accept ourselves as we are, we are capable of growth and change. Kristeen's Full Bio

the right fit

At River’s Edge Counselling Centre, we work with each new client to ensure they are matched to the right therapist. See how we do it: