DTC Counseling for Teens & Adolescents

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Working With Teens

Anna Carnes specializes in working with teenagers.

When your teenager needs counseling, it’s a big deal for parent and teen alike.

I understand – it’s important to know as much as you can about the person your child will be working with. Here are the questions I’m frequently asked. I hope you find them helpful in your decision-making process.

Why would a teenager want to go to counseling?
The truth is, most teens don’t want to go to counseling. The majority of teens I meet enter my office because of a recent crisis or because their parents are concerned about them. So my first goal is to establish a positive, honest relationship. I make sure your teenager understands he or she isn’t being judged. Then, your teen and I will find ways to establish responsibility – in a way he or she (and you!) can understand and be excited about.
Why do you specialize in adolescent issues?

Working with teenagers is one of the greatest joys of my counseling career. Some people look at me as if I’m from another planet when I say that, but let me explain:

Teenagers are interested in learning about themselves.

When a teen makes a commitment to therapy, they make changes quickly and willingly.

Teens like having a safe place to talk about things they can’t tell their parents or friends.

It’s a great time out from the pressure of their usual routine.

Even though therapy can be difficult at times, they understand what a difference it can make in their current and future relationships, life choices, coping mechanisms, and self-esteem.

Counseling opens up a new world of possibilities that puts them on a path to a better life.

People are more likely to seek help in the future when they have a positive experience in therapy as a teen or emerging adult.

How do you establish a trusting client/therapist relationship?Open or Close
I genuinely care about my clients and want them to experience the best possible outcomes. Many of my clients have told me that I’m easy to talk to and approachable (I avoid “businesslike” and “clinical” demeanors as teens typically don’t respond well to these). My clients understand our sessions are confidential, and I aim to establish mutual respect. We work together to set and reach their own therapy goals. Also, I communicate with my teen clients directly via phone calls, texts, or emails to make appointments instead of working through their parents.
How do parents participate in their teen's counseling process?
Therapy is a time for your teen to explore his or her own path to healing by using an extended support system. You’ll be able to voice your concerns. Understand there will be a customized therapy plan in place and be open to the possibility of participating in family therapy sessions.
What is your philosophy and therapeutic approach in counseling teenagers?
My approach is based in Family Systems Therapy by valuing each family member and their relationship to my teenage client. When teens have the right “tools in their toolbox” to cope with life’s difficulties, they are able to take positive action. Teens build self-esteem by learning who they are as individuals. I use a casual, non-judgmental approach while challenging your teen to think or behave differently. I believe teens need to set their own therapy goals and find their own voice. Because when they are involved, change happens!
What sets you apart from other therapists?
I make house calls. Some teens or families are more comfortable meeting in their own home, and I find these sessions are often very effective. In many cases, we’ll meet outside of my office. Teens tend to open up in non-threatening, informal settings, so we might plan to talk while walking the dog or chatting at Starbucks or going to the mall. I want your teen to be in his or her comfort zone. Also, I’m available to both you and your teen to answer questions and be a resource for your counseling needs. I answer my phone, texts, and emails within 24 hours in non-emergencies and absolutely as soon as possible in emergencies. I’ve been counseling teens for a long time – as a youth group volunteer, as a school chaplain and counselor, and in private practice counseling for more than 20 years.

DTC Counseling for Teens and Adolescents

Helping Denver area teenagers open up and address their struggles in a safe, open, non-judgemental, caring environment.