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Susan Willis, Ph.D.

(650) 464-7323
susan@drsusanwillis.com

Palo Alto Office:
555 Middlefield Rd, #209
Palo Alto, CA 94301

San Jose Office:
1625 The Alameda, #404
San Jose, CA 95126

(650) 464-7323
TEEN THERAPY
One of the biggest problems I'm seeing currently when working as an adolescent psychologist is in high school teens from high-performance families.  The over-focus which many families feel they must place on top-flight college admissions is leaving their young people bereft of joy, and saddled with off-the-chart anxiety and depression.  I've found that both parents and adolescents are greatly relieved when they decide to bring a teen psychologist on board.  Such a teen counselor can help the young person determine his or her best-fitting, most "deeply right" approach to these rough years.

Another important role for the teen therapist is in enhancing conflict resolution.  Teens are changing fast and parents are constantly playing catch-up and coming up short when the next developmental stage hits full force.  Negotiation skills need to be re-tooled continuously, for both parents and teens, to maintain respect for each other and cherish the growth that is taking place.  Issues of separation begin to loom large as high school progresses and adulthood approaches, and families are at risk for letting anger or alienation rule this process.  How this inevitable separation is navigated sets the stage for the lifelong family relationships which emerge when childhood is finished.

Therapy with teens and pre-teens is one of the more satisfying parts of my clinical practice.  Much of my training has been in this area.  I spent my pre- and post-doctoral internships in settings which had a major focus on child and adolescent therapy.  Additionally I worked for several years doing psychological assessments and therapy for adolescents and children through the Children's Health Council in Palo Alto and the National Institute for Dyslexia in Maryland.  Perhaps my best training, though, has been in the raising and launching of my own two children, both graduates of Gunn High School in Palo Alto and their first-choice universities, and both now enjoying the fruits of happy and productive young adulthood.

Request a therapy appointment online:
You may request a therapy appointment online here.