A note for my teen and preteen clients
When I was in middle school, I remember being utterly convinced that I had a giant nose. I would think about it all the time. It wasn’t until my mom sat me down one day, took a picture of me, and showed me in detail that my nose was, in fact, very average, that I was able to let that go and move on to more important issues. (Side note: The idea that women should have tiny, delicate, petite noses is silly anyway. They help you breathe and that’s all that matters.)
I also remember worrying a lot about where I stood in the social order of my friend group. I thought that if I laughed at the right jokes, made fun of the right people, and joined in with the group mentality enough, I could get by with my image intact. On days where I slipped up, I felt like I was at the bottom of the friendship ladder, drowning in shame and embarrassment. (Side note #2: Making fun of people in order to climb up an imaginary social ladder does not make you cool; it’s just mean.)
And then there’s family stuff. Growing up, my family experienced lots of big changes—some very sad and difficult. I struggled to figure out my own path while desperately wanting to hold my family together, acting as a peacemaker, includer, and comic relief at times. (Side note #3: It’s not your job to hold your family together.)
As a counselor, my goal is to create a space where you feel safe, supported, and encouraged as you sort through the many pieces of your life. Sometimes, that might look like helping you view yourself in a more positive light. Other times, it may be creating the kinds of relationships that build you up instead of tearing you down. And sometimes, it might be supporting you as your family goes through hard things. You might have stories like mine, or stories that are totally different from mine. Whatever your story is and whatever you’re going through—you’re not alone.
If we're not already working together, I'd love to get to know you! You or a parent/guardian can give me a call at 971-315-4781, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.