Have you noticed a change in the behavior or personality of your teen or preteen? Does it seem like they’re not the kid you used to know anymore? Are you worried they’re being affected by anxiety, depression, school stress, bullying, or changes to the parental dynamic?
Middle school and high school are complicated years during which a plethora of changes occur, whether it be the change in hormones or the change in scenery. It can feel as though there is a lot of upheaval as our teen navigates challenging social dynamics, learns what it takes to be a friend, and tries to manage unforeseen life changes. Students may have experiences that are hard to process like bullying, parent separation, living arrangement changes, or traumatic events; it can feel as though they are going through it alone.
Your student is not alone and neither are you. I specialize in helping teens and preteens understand the changes that are going on, how to better communicate with their parents, cope with the overwhelming stressors in their life, and adapt to their seemingly overwhelming situations. I work with both the teen and their caregivers during treatment to accomplish their desired outcomes. Our primary focus will include helping your student identify their strengths and build up their self-esteem and form a positive self-identity. I am skilled in creating a safe place for students to discuss the difficulties they are having and to feel that their voice matters. Every family I work with experiences genuineness, acceptance, compassion and empathy.
Melissa C. Smetzer, BSW, received her Master’s degree in Social Work at Southeastern University, and her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of South Florida. Melissa has experience in working with kinship families and has been a youth leader to both middle school and high school students for the past four years. She has a passion to help students establish healthy coping skills, effective communication with their caretakers, and deal with the rough patches and transitions in their lives. Melissa uses a humanistic perspective and blends it with cognitive based therapy and dialectical behavior therapy.