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Teenagers chatting and happy when having therapy for teens at Kimberly Schildbach Therapy.

Counseling for Teens

Kimberly Schildbach is a Neurodiversity Affirming Therapist

Helping teens integrate all parts of themselves into a healthy whole.

Kimberly Schildbach is a LGBTQ+ Affirming Therapist

You're here because your teen is.....

  • really sad and possibly suicidal but won't admit it

  • having panic or anxiety

  • cutting, abusing substances, or doing other risky behavior (Are you worried about your teen's self harm?) 

  • exploring their gender identity or sexuality  (To be clear, LGBTQ+ is not a mental health condition.)

  • sure of their gender identity or sexuality but struggling with discrimination or lack of support

  • striving to love their body just the way it is

  • stressed out

  • being bullied

  • living with violence

  • masking who they are to fit in (studies show masking can lead to negative effects on a teen's mental health.)

  • trying to make sense of the death of a friend or loved one

  • living with a disability that the world judges and discriminates against

  • struggling with what is happening in their family

  • in relationships with toxic people

  • worried they have to have it "all together"

  • pessimistic about the future

I'm glad you're here.  Read on to find out how my therapy for teenagers can help you regain your family harmony.

My teen clients arrive with uncertainties and doubts and leave with courage and confidence.  

This one's just for the teen.

Hi there - I'm Kim

I know things have been tough for you lately, maybe you don't really realize how tough because most of the time you just feel kinda "meh".  I also know that talking to a person you don't know about very personal things is the last thing you ever thought you'd do.

I want you to know that I would love to be the person you can talk to but I don't expect that to happen in our first session! 

In my therapy space you are in charge.  I might ask questions but you get the ultimate veto power on all topics. 

By just talking we'll help you explore all the parts of yourself.  The shiny bits and the dark and twisty bits.  All of you is important and valuable. 

You are not alone in your struggles but that doesn't help you feel less lonely.  Let me help you find some relief.  

FYI I don't provide updates to your parents unless you disclose you are going to engage in bodily harm or you are being abused.  Your therapy is your therapy.  If you are engaging in unsafe behavior I will suggest we talk to your parent(s) about it in a family counseling session but I will never speak for you.  I hope that through therapy your relationship with them will become less strained and you'll feel more open to sharing your life with them.

Your therapist circa 1984 when the music was better. :)  

A picture of Kimberly Schildbach as a teenager.
Students Sitting on Staircase

This one's just for the parents.

Did you find your way here because of...

  • the rise in mental health concerns in teens

  • worries about your teens behavior

  • concerns that your teenager won't talk to you, but you know they're unhappy

  • your teen's cutting, substance use, or toxic relationships

Whatever the reason that brought you here I'm glad you're searching for answers. Mental health concerns for teenagers are on the rise, so you're not alone in seeking services.   

Teenagers need a safe space where they can explore their worries, concerns and doubts without their parents around.  They need to space to reflect on their choices with an empathetic listener, one who doesn't have a dog in the fight.  They need a nonjudgmental person who isn't their teacher or their parent to talk through the big feelings they are feeling.  

With any client under 18 I expect one parent to attend at least part of the first counseling session to get a family history.  (If you're teen objects to you attending, that is also fine. I will find a work around.) After the first therapy session (if it is okay with your teenager) we will meet alone for counseling.  If you ever have a concern about your teenager, you have an open invitation from me to attend a session.

It is important to me that you both feel supported during this tumultuous time. I want to help you keep talking and keep connecting with your teen.

I've been working as a therapist for 20 years.  I'm also an adoptive mom, a mom of children with disabilities, and a mom of neurodivergent children.  My story is not your story but I come from a place of first hand understanding.

Please reach out with any questions!

Give your teen the wellness
tools they'll need for life.

FAQs for Teenagers

Why should I start counseling for teenagers with you?

Are you feeling isolated and alone - like no one really understands who you are?

Do you look around at adults, politicians, and the world and see only hypocrites and liars?  Are you scared about your place in this world?

Do you wish you could learn to like yourself, be okay with every part of who you are, not care so much what others think?

Are you anxious or depressed?  Are you engaging in risky behavior and yet you can't stop yourself?

If you are feeling anything even close to what I listed above then counseling for teenagers is for you! 

What are the benefits of teen counseling?

Therapy can provide you with a safe space to express your thoughts and feelings and work through any challenges you may be facing. Therapy can help you develop better communication skills, build healthy relationships, and learn to manage difficult emotions. It can also help you gain a better understanding of yourself and increase self-confidence. You can learn to cope with stress, trauma, and difficult life transitions. It can help you learn to accept where you've been and be sure of where you're going. 

What should I expect from a counselor for teens and tweens?

You can expect me to be warm, friendly, and easy to talk to.  I love to laugh with my clients. In therapy we can discuss school, your friends, movies and video games.  I want you to bring your real self to therapy and I promise to do the same.  If we get stuck - I ask great questions!

How many therapy sessions will it take for me to feel better?

Many people begin to feel better after the first counseling session.  There's something very powerful about sharing your struggles with a person who doesn't judge you, reprimand you, or tell you "that's nothing to be upset about". Relief may come from a variety of sources, including making changes in your thoughts, behaviors, relationships, and choices, and may take time to achieve.

What happens during my first teen counseling session?

The great thing about counseling is that I work for you (and by extension your parents).  That means I will ask questions but you get to veto any questions I ask.  Our first therapy session would be a great time for you to tell me your story and talk about any goals or what you would like to change.  You don't have to tell me everything on the first session!  I realize I am an absolute stranger to you.

I hope that during that first session or maybe the second one you will begin to feel just a little bit comfortable with me.  Then, when you're ready, we can really dive in to the counseling process.

What pisses you off?  When have you felt really hurt?  What makes you feel safe/unsafe?

Over time, you will begin to figure out some therapy goals; I will begin to figure out how to help you get there.

It is normal that you may feel a little apprehensive about your first counseling session if you have not been in therapy before. However most teen clients report that they feel a great deal of relief at the end of the session and that I was easy to talk to.

What about confidentiality? Will you tell my parents everything we talk about in our teen counseling sessions?

I keep everything we discuss in the strictest confidence.

If you are engaging in super risky behavior I will push you to have a session with a parent so they can be aware you're struggling.  I will not speak or report to your parents behind your back.  I will not speak for you in sessions with them.  

I want you to have the most open and honest relationship you can with your parents.  I realized parents come in many different forms and that goal is not always possible.  

 

There are a few circumstances under which I am legally required to release information.

  • If you are in grave physical danger to yourself or others.

  • If you disclose child abuse or neglect, elder abuse, or abuse of a disabled person.

  • If a court subpoenas my records.

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