One of my first jobs out of graduate school was as a therapist at an adolescent residential treatment facility. I loved the work and I have continued to see adolescents in psychotherapy for the past 20 years.
Adolescence is a time of great change and upheaval. Teenagers are trying to find out who they are and what they like, as well as how they are different from their parents. They want to be independent, yet they still need their parent in many ways. It can be a time of family conflict, and emotional storms, but it is also a time for tremendous growth. It is a crucial time for learning how to have important connections beyond your family and a time to learn how to manage disappointments. Sometimes it is helpful for a teen to have a therapist in their life that they can talk to and learn from separate from their parents. It can be a place where they think about their life and the choices they make. It is much easier for a teen to go over these issues with someone other than a parent, because relying too much on a parent emotionally can make them feel small again, and they want to feel like they are growing up.