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Dedicated To Helping Teens Have Satisfying Relationships
Teen boys & girls often struggle with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and relationship challenges. To the outside world, these girls may appear having everything going right. They get good grades, work hard, and are genuinely good kids. However, inside they can feel disconnected, disengaged, and dissatisfied. They may have trouble expressing themselves or being assertive for fear of disappointing others. They may talk about not liking, or even hating themselves, as they try to keep up appearances of perfection.
It can all feel so overwhelming!!!
Teen (11-19) Seek My Expert Help To Solve Everyday Problems In Their Lives
It's very common for adolescent, teens and preteens to struggle with their feelings. They may exhibit moodiness, irritability, anxiety, sadness, anger, isolation, loneliness or stress? Is your son or daughter engaging in concerning behaviors? Do their moods change suddenly without warning? For teen boys and girls, it can be scary and stressful to not fully understand their own changing bodies, moods and feelings. Sometimes, their moods can change when their parents are fighting, in the process of separation or divorce, or during the post-divorce time when they begin time-sharing with each parent in different houses. Teens need support outside of parents, friends or family. Therapy and counseling allow teens to safely share feelings about their moods in a non-judgmental setting. Let Erica Help.
Changing bodies. Raging hormones. Irrational thinking. All too often these sudden and uncontrollable changes cause adolescent and teenagers to feel out-of-control, uncertain, and alone. They can struggle with exploring their changing identity. In today's society, there is immense pressure on boys and girls to grow-up quickly and look and engage in actions more suitable to adults. According to a 2014 study published in Psychology of Men and Masculinity Journal, teen boys excessively worry about their body image, which is a risk factor for elevated depressive symptoms among adolescent boys. As their body changes in appearance, teenage girls are likely to feel vulnerable and insecure. They may ask themselves is my body changing and developing too slowly or too quickly? Teen boys may ask themselves if their muscles are as big as their friend? Is their friend shaving yet? Why are they taller or shorter than their peers. It's normal for all teens to feel overwhelmed by all of these changes, especially as they compare themselves to their peers. These are all real and powerful questions and concerns. Let Erica Help.
Self-esteem is impacted by a teen's perception of their body, social standing, academic performance, and parental approval. Peer pressure is an intense and powerful influence on teenagers - which often conflicts with messages being given by schools and parents. It’s no secret that societal norms tell teen boys and men that seeking help for life’s problems is a sign of weakness. When teen boys exhibit behavior changes or mood changes, they are frequently labeled as “problem boys.” Conversely, when teen girls have similar issues, they are frequently associated with an overwhelming emotional overload that is understandable and typical. Such inconsistent messages from parents, schools and society can become internalized and compromise the self-worth and confidence of teen boys as they work to find their voice in an increasingly complicated world. Research shows that 75% of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities like cutting, bullying, or disordered eating. This compares to 25% of girls with high self-esteem. Research also shows that 7 in 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members. Let Erica Help.
Teen boys and girls often present to the world as having two personalities: one in which they display to parents, family and teachers, and the other that they are free to "let out" with their closest friends. The personality that teens display with their friends is often met with acceptance and appreciation by their peers, but, at the same time, is often met with frustration and annoyance by their parents and teachers. Teen girls will likely become more reliant on peers and less reliant on parents. Teen girls commonly use the word "friend" to describe anybody from acquaintances to besties. Honoring the active, playful, and at times painful process of male identity formation gives young men the space and support they need to define masculinity for themselves. When teenagers are in an environment in which they feel safe to be seen and heard for all that they are, they are more open to talk and share their deep thoughts and feelings. Let Erica Help.
The relationships between parents and children creates a bond that can never be truly broken. It's common for young boys to gravitate and be attached to their mothers when they are young. As they get older, that relationship changes as boys tend to connect more with dad or another male figure in their life. On paper, there may be no closer relationship in the world than that of a mother and her daughter. The relationships between parents and children alone create a bond that can never be truly broken, but mothers and daughters typically have an even closer bond to each other. Unfortunately, with that strong bond, can come even stronger conflicts and challenges. As daughters grow from childhood into their teen years, they often stop relying on mom for everything as they find their own place into their developing womanhood. Sometimes, these patterns work in reverse. In either case, for parents, this shift in connection can be understood intellectually, but emotionally, it is often a very different story. During the teen years, moms and dads of teens tend to struggle as they feel their 'motherhood,' 'fatherhood' and guidance is no longer welcome, or, in some cases, rejected by their 'rebellious' teen. Let Erica Help Restore That Bond.
Teens are complex and unique. They each may experience a similar situation or problem in vastly different ways. Is your teen experiencing academic/school performance changes? Excessive worrying or isolating? Destructive behaviors? Recent or sudden changes in sleep or appetite? A desire to develop his/her sense of self? Changes in social groups or increased isolated? Irritability, anxiety, self-hatred, or feeling sad? Loss of joy in things was once excited about? Regardless of the "problem," it is solvable. Let Erica Help.
Empowering boys and girls to develop assertiveness skills, self-acceptance, and identity-building is our passion. Can you imagine how different your life might have felt if you had someone to talk to that wasn’t your parent or teacher, that gave you their undivided attention with non-judgment and compassion, and whose goal was to help you navigate all the moods and challenges that adolescence presents? What a gift that would be for your son or daughter!
Experienced and Dedicated Professional, Former Teacher & Mom of 2 Teens
I am passionate about working with teen and pre-teen girls and boys who are searching to feel heard, validated, and, above all else, accepted. Your teen son or daughter wants a safe space to process their feelings in order to balance life, school and family pressures. This unique population often finds comfort to share their inner thoughts and feelings with me as an unbiased, non-judgmental and relatable adult. As the mother of two teens, - a boy and a girl - and, most importantly, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I am dedicated to providing a safe, understanding and non-judgmental place to help teens of all ages and backgrounds to “explore their emotions” so that they can process their feelings and grow healthier as young women and men.
I work with parents and the teens to create a plan with specific, tangible goals unique to your son or daughter and your family. We may cover topics such as perfectionism, procrastination, self-harming behaviors, anxiety, depression, guys, girls, friends, identity, school, body image, and becoming proud to be authentically themselves. I don't believe that only working with your son or daughter is the solution. My philosophy is that all problems are relational and that is why I often involve the parents and/or siblings in some sessions. I focus not only on your teen, but on how your teen son or daughter interacts with others in their world.
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I firmly adhere to the belief that the person isn't the problem - the problem is the problem. That means that when I work with a teen boy or girl, I don't see or view them as being the problem. Rather, my focus is on how a situation or condition in her life become a problem for them or for relationships that he/she has. This perspective is fundamental to my focus on patterns and relationships. I work with teens to discover how they relate to others in their life, how those relationships impact their own identity, and how to cope and adapt to their ever-changing nature. Most importantly, I accept my clients where they are in life – and do not focus on changing them. Remember, its the problem that needs to be solved - not your teen that needs to change.
Our experience working with teenagers taught us that even the most clinically sophisticated approaches and interventions are only effective if the therapist delivering them comes from a place of connection, compassion, and hope. We pride ourselves on joining with teens using different strategies and modalities best suited to their unique needs and personality. Therapy helps teenagers process and cope with the feelings, emotions and issues that they face on a daily basis. It provides an effective way to combat insecurities, feeling misunderstood, find their inner-voice that may feel lost or missing, or to simply develop better tools to cope with life’s endless challenges. Despite the best intentions of parents and family members who may occasionally lend an-ear to hear a teenager's stories and sympathize or give common-sense advice, they are often not equipped to help teenagers process and explore their emotions in a healthy and productive manner.
Who IS ERICA?
ERICA is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Family Trauma Professional and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator. I've earned Masters Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy, as well as in Education.
PASSIONATE, experienced and sensitive therapist specializing in working with Teenagers, Adolescents, and Families. I accept my clients where they are in life – and do not focus on changing them. It takes tremendous courage to face your fears, address your weaknesses and ask for help, guidance and compassion from another person. Allow me the honor to show you the respect you deserve, and embrace your stories and unique experiences with the goal of helping you reach your dreams, overcome difficulties, and thrive as you traverse life’s paths towards Discovering your True Destiny..
AFFORDABLY priced private-pay session fees accommodate almost all budgets. One advantage of choosing the private-pay option is that only my clients and I are the ones who determine the number and frequency and length of sessions - not an insurance company.
INSURANCE is accepted only for individual (not couples or families) clients who have mental health insurance benefits provided by: Aetna, Optum (Oxford, UMR, Oscar Health, Avmed) Cigna, and United Healthcare. Insurance benefits are verified and claims are processed through out billing/administrative partner, Headway Florida Behavioral Health Services, P.A. and/or Grow Healthcare Group, P.A.
There are many pros/cons about choosing between private pay and insurance options.
Most teens feel misunderstood and isolated that no one else understands what they are going through. I provide a non-judgmental atmosphere for teens to say what's on their mind.
Many teens have difficulty expressing their emotions and feelings. I give them a safe place to explore and develop communication skills to better cope with life's experiences.
This concept is about two related words. The "Self" is answering the question: who am I now as a teen? "Esteem" is answering the question: how do I value who I am now?
Therapy doesn’t need to be reserved for life altering events or major concerns. Having your teen meet with me can prevent minor issues from turning into major problems.
My goal is to equip your teenage son or daughter with the practical skills, experience, and ability to learn to make intelligent and more satisfying decisions for themselves.
While some therapists focus on "fixing" the teen, I believe that all problems are relational. I often involve parents in the therapy process to work on parent-child dynamics. .
The percentage of youth in grades 9-12 who made at least 1 attempt to take their own life in 2017.
The percentage of teens with anxiety that don’t get the help they need.
The percentage of mental health conditions that start by 14 years of age.
The percentage of teen boys (13 to 18) years old who experience anxiety on a regular basis.
You missed out!
The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be…” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Her strategies were fun and creative... a safe space... without feeling judged...
" As a teen, it can feel overwhelming to go into therapy. Ms. Erica opened my eyes up to all these new possibilities I never knew existed. Her strategies were fun and creative, allowing me to really understand the root of my anxieties or stressors. It made me feel safe, it was like a safe space where I could say anything and everything without feeling judged in any way, shape, or form... "
I don't know where I would be without her...
"From a pre-teen/teen perspective, dealing with anxiety and feeling alone is hard. Especially while balancing out school and friendships. Therapy has helped me so much, strategies to help cope with anxiety, ways to calm down and much more, Mrs.erica has definitely helped me these past I think 8 months. When I first started therapy I had 2 friends, hard school work and a lot of overwhelming thoughts. Now, today on September 7th, I am very happy and have many friends. I definitely recommend mrs.erica :) I am beyond thankful for her help, I don't know where I would be without her.
She is sweet, caring, and tactful in the ways that she addresses your needs...
I highly recommend Erica as a therapist. It takes a lot of work to rewire your thinking patterns, but with Erica’s help, I am now much more comfortable. I highly recommend seeing Erica for any issues you may be having. She is sweet, caring, and tactful in the ways that she addresses your needs and challenges you to improve. I am so happy that I did therapy with her, as I feel I am at a much better place in my life now."