A key developmental phase during adolescence is identity formation. Due to the number of physical, emotional and social changes taking place within the transition to adulthood, adolescents are constantly in a process of reflection, inquiry and exploration.
They begin to develop moral beliefs and self-definitions around their strengths and weaknesses, interests, values, and cultural or social reputation. When recognising what makes them unique, identity formation can become extremely challenging as a result of the social pressure to conform. Factors such as culture, ethnicity, gender, disability or physical appearance can cause unease when adolescents feel different from their peers.
We aim to develop a positive and supportive home environment through working with families and providing strategies for establishing a secure base from which adolescents can explore their sense of self.
Our psychologists aim to enhance self-esteem and build resilience in adolescents, through identifying negative thought patterns and engaging in cognitive behavioural and acceptance therapies.
Self-esteem represents an individual’s evaluation of their own self-worth. The development of self-esteem begins at an early age, through an ongoing discovery of images and ideals related to the self.
In adolescence individuals identify differences in academic, physical, social and occupational self-worth, while also deciding what aspects are important to them. When adolescents feel that their expectations and beliefs match with reality, they will feel confident and content. Should an individual have a negative self-evaluation, they will experience low self-esteem.
An adolescent with reduced self-esteem is more at risk for developing low mood and possible depression. Specifically, the development of internal (“I caused this”), stable (“I will always be like this”) and global (“Everything I do is wrong”) negative attributions of the self, can cause an individual to feel a sense of hopelessness.
During sessions, our psychologists provide social skills that can be implemented when interacting with others. Sessions also encourage adolescents to use positive and self-accepting language to reinforce constructive thoughts and ideas of self-concept.
Developing resilience and tolerance through therapy is important to ensure that adolescents can deal with mistakes without generalising failure and cope with the challenges that they may face.