Monday, March 19, 2012

Bryon Remo Primer on Creating a New Experience for Teens in Therapy

Not surprisingly, teens are often the most difficult population to try and get into the counseling office.

It is not so much that they have little to say, it is that they have an erroneous perspective as to what effective therapy can look like. According to Bryon Remo, M.Ed., LMFT, who specializes in working with teenagers in Connecticut, teens are looking for a different experience than what predominately exists. Sure therapists all offer a safe, confidential and supportive environment; that is par for the course. But today's teenagers are looking for a therapy experience that is much more honest and "real" than previously occurred. This means that they desperately want to know that a therapist "gets it."

Teens do not want to attend therapy in many ways because they do not believe a therapist will truly remain unbiased. According to Remo, teens are also worrried that they are going to be grilled with endless questions prompting them to open up in ways they are not ready for. It is important that teens feel that their view of the world is understood before they can be challenged to consider an alternative perspective.

Too often today parents want to see change quickly in their adolescents and assume the therapist will wave the magic wand that brings about such dramatic change. And although therapists have many tools at their disposal it is the relationship that always trumps the interventions in order of importancy. Teens need to know that they are fully accepted.

According to Bryon Remo, teenagers today want to know that they are not going to have to be so appropriate in therapy. They do not want to have to monitor each word that comes off their lips for fear of being judged as being inappropriate. When a therapist is able to speak the language of a teenager it does not suggest an endorsement of behavior unbecoming, but rather an acknowledgement that their style of communicating is recognizable and workable to the therapist. A therapist needn't be "cool" to connect well with kids, he/she just needs to know what's really on their radar.

Bryon Remo, M.Ed., LMFT is a licensed marital and family therapist practicing in Southbury, CT. He specializes in couples closeness and challenging adolescent issues. He serves Southbury,Watertown, Oxford, Monroe, Seymour, West Hartford, Naugatuck, Farmington,Thomaston and Southington, CT.


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