Adolescence is often a challenging time when young people begin to decide what type of person they want to be. At this time they begin develop a sense of word view, discover their likes, dislikes, passions and discover their identity as they are given more and more freedom to act like an adult.
There are so many factors that influence young people whilst making these decisions and they often feel confused with a range of existential dilemmas that often conflict. These conflicts could be between who they want to be, who their parents want them to be, what is cool among peers, religion, spirituality or what their teachers, sports coaches, friends expect of them. What they should be doing, who they should be, rather than what they truly want to be doing or who they truly want to be.
Adolescence is an especially risky period for mental health issues to begin to arise. This is due to vastly changing environment issues, genetic factors and for some experimentation with drugs and alcohol. All at a time when the brain is going through a delicate growth period.
Although genetic factors are difficult to distinguish, environmental and behavioral factors can be addressed early in conjunction with personal development training such as strengths and values work, mindfulness meditation and attention training, goal setting and a range of positive psychology exercises.
These approaches will assist the young people to learn about themselves and why they are unique, develop a clearer sense of self, increase self confidence, be aware of thoughts/feelings that may trigger behaviors, learn to relax, meditate and improve concentration.
Coaching is usually well received by adolescents. They enjoy learning more about themselves as unique and worthy individuals. For parents who want their adolescents to get some out of home and school support and learning, Coaching is an option without the stigma associated with seeing a counselor or therapist.
The scope of what a coach can and can’t do is limited and a good coach would always refer on a young person who is ‘at risk’ or would benefit from additional services such as psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers or doctors.
Jakob has worked with adolescents in both a one on one and group environment. He adheres to the ethics of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and holds a current working with children check.