Janette Berne LPC

Teen Counseling

Janette Berne is a Licensed Professional Counselor

Today’s teens live in a world where they need to be “on” 24/7, and these pressures are taking an emotional toll on them and their families. According to the National Institute of Health, nearly one in three adolescents between the ages 13 to 18 will have an anxiety disorder. This number has been rising since 2008. Disappointment and discouragement are all too common in modern life, where we compare ourselves, sometimes 24/7, to unreachable paragons of perfection. Young people commonly suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) because they have yet to realize that it is impossible to experience everything, to attend every party, to travel to every country. Even if we could experience more than we already do, the time we spent having that experience comes at the price of missing out on something else, something more essential, like having unstructured time or adequate rest.

Given the rapidly changing role of technology, high stakes testing, changes in family roles, increases in school violence and eco-anxiety, our teenagers and young adults need more support than those of times past. I give adolescents a safe place to talk about whatever they are finding problematic. Different people have different paces when it comes to tackling their problems, and this pace is honored as well. Specific therapeutic techniques that I find especially helpful for this age group are primarily talk therapy with an emphasis on discovering how my client is perceiving their issues. Sometimes these perceptions need to be examined to see if they are serving the teen or harming them. Occasionally creative approaches like art therapy and mindfulness can help as well.

Adolescence is one of the most challenging time in a person’s life. It can also be one of the most exciting. My goal is to help teens take a realistic look at the pressures they are experiencing and aide them in coming up with realistic ways to handle those pressures. Every teenager I work with has their own set of circumstances, their own temperament, their own situation, and their own goals. I take the time to listen to the unique voice that either exists or is developing within the client, while being aware of adolescent development, particularly in the areas of identity formation and sexual orientation. Societal and family expectations are taken into consideration as well.
During my time working as a school counselor and in private practice, I have helped many girls who were victims of bullying or cyber bullying. Relational aggression, or the mean girl phenomenon has been growing in intensity in recent years. Social media has become the perfect weapon to fuel the flames of exclusion, cyber bullying and clique expulsion. While trivialized for years as being part of being a girl and something females need to learn how to deal with, adolescent experts are seeing disturbing trends. Nearly one in five high school girls has seriously considered suicide (Centers for Disease Control). Bullying can contribute to feelings of desperation. The frequency and intensity of these hurtful exchanges leave some girls and young women feeling depressed and anxious, often with low feelings of self-worth.

Hopefully, soon, our society will see relational aggression as a serious and pervasive problem and take steps to remediate these destructive patterns. Until then, our girls and young women need counseling to prevent these growing pains from turning into emotional scars.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

has been getting a great deal of attention recently because of its efficacy in treating many different emotional and behavioral problems. However, no form of therapy is a one intervention fits all endeavor. I customize CBT with my clients over 10 by examining the role of self-talk and how it affects mood. Self-talk can be a running internal commentary where we evaluate and judge all that is going on around us and what’s happening to us. Most people talk to themselves almost constantly. Unfortunately, most of us don’t do a very good job of it. Sometimes our thoughts take specific forms such as judgement-laden, self-critical self-talk. After making a common error they are likely to have self-talk like “I must be perfect” or “I should have known better, this is all my fault”.

Another category of harmful self-talk involves all-or-nothing thinking, like “I did poorly on one test this week. That proves I must be a complete idiot”. Quite often the client will not be aware of these negative self-appraisals, so bringing them to the surface to examine whether they are helpful or hurtful can be a transformative experience. The way we think about our circumstances typically translates into how we feel and behave about it. It is possible to think your way into better feeling and behaving. Investigating and changing self-talk is a helpful tool that I use with most of my clients over 10. Regular therapy can help your teen express their experience, leading us to problem solve in a collaborative way.



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4243 Dunwoody Club Dr
Ste 215
Dunwoody, GA 30350