Back to school for many tween21569129_731019143749663_2335229342956650496_ns and teenagers means dealing with peer conflict. It could be a reoccurring or new conflict with one or more peers. Teenagers can have a hard time learning how to effectively communicate and problem solve these conflicts. Unfortunately, this can lead to other serious problems such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts. Many times parents aren’t even aware that their teen is struggling or the seriousness of the peer issues. However, teens can show a lot of nonverbal signs of distress including: isolation, change in eating and sleeping habits, angry outbursts, difficulty concentrating and a change in social group. I have found when working with teens, most of them open up quickly when given a safe place to just relax and talk. I like to use art, music and writing as additional ways to help them express feelings. Then we work together to solve peer issues and learn effective communication skills.

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