For most teens, the college years are the first time they have separated from home and have to make decisions and choices on their own. Issues of concern include:
- Anxiety in social situations, difficulty talking in class and other forms of performance anxiety
- A habit of making comparisons with others who seem to have so many more advantages, talents, academic success, etc., resulting in loss of self-esteem
- Struggles around feeling intimidated by peers, teachers, deans
- Disturbing and sometimes overwhelming feelings of anxiety, panic states, fears, and phobias
- Prolonged sad or depressed mood that interferes with normal activities; sometimes these moods can become disabling, such as loss of interest in usual things, loss of appetite, loss of concentration, difficulty sleeping, social isolation
- Difficulty controlling emotions and behaviors that get them into trouble Inability to change patterns of procrastination, impasses in being able to make decisions
- Struggles to understand patterns in their social relationships, and to disengage from those that are dysfunctional or “toxic”
- confusion around sexuality and/or earlier trauma
- conflict having to straddle two different worlds with respect to poverty/wealth, race, culture, achievement, family values and expectations
- worries about changes in the family, such as death or divorce
Consulting a psychotherapist usually clarifies the student’s concerns and goals for making changes and finding solutions, finding relief from symptoms, etc. It is a strength when the student can take advantage of professional help. In fact, consulting a therapist or being in treatment has become pretty much a routine part of campus life.
I was a psychotherapist for 35 yrs on the campus of Columbia University, treating both undergraduate and graduate students. I welcome both local students and those who may be home on leave of absence. I am always guided by what the student wants her/his treatment to accomplish for her/him. (See FAQ) I also specialize in evaluating students at high risk, such as being potentially a danger to themselves or others, and in assisting deans when they are concerned about a student’s welfare.