Preteen Therapy in Costa Mesa

If you’re a parent who is looking into therapy for your preteen, you may be concerned about something you’ve been noticing or you may be responding to a direct request for therapy from school.  If you are feeling unsure about how to understand or respond to the challenges weighing on your child, therapy can give your pre-adolescent a safe space to sort out what is happening.  Many times preteens will be able to share their struggles more openly with parents after first talking things through in their own therapy.

Lily Tsutsumida, MFT, ATR-BC is our Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Board Certified Art Therapist in the Costa Mesa office and working with teens and preteens and their families is one her main areas of expertise.  She will actually talk with you like a real person, respect your teen’s individuality, and value what they have to say.


Anxiety can show up in a few different ways for preteens.

o   Worry

o   Panic

o   Tearfulness/Overwhelm

o   Reclusiveness/Withdrawing

Overwhelming Emotions

o   Tearfulness

o   Intense reactions to stressful situations

o   Anger outbursts (toward others or toward self)

o   Self-harm

Relationship or Family Challenges

Relationships can be a source of stress for people of all ages.  The distress brought on by challenges in family and shifting friend groups can be a real struggle.

o   Family – divorce, death or illness of a family member, frequent arguments, values/culture inconsistency

o   Friendships – betrayal or abandonment, cruelty/bullying, friendships that feel imbalanced, lack of membership in a group, lack of close friendships

Quiet, Sensitive or Introvert Personalities

Not all tweens are social, rowdy and talkative.  For preteens that have a quieter way of communicating, are more sensitive to overwhelming experiences, or need a good amount of alone time to recharge, middle school can be an awkward, difficult time.

o   Pressure to be extroverted by teachers (trauma with public speaking)

o   Undervalued or overpowered socially

o   Pressured by well-intentioned extrovert family

o   Life structured in a way that is incompatible with how they operate

**Read Lily’s post about this:  “Why Your ‘Shy’ Teenage Daughter is Amazing”

If you are thinking that it would be a good time to get started with therapy to support the trajectory of your preteen’s growth, give us a call at 310-218-7518 or send us an email through our contact form.

For information about fees or insurance, go here.

To schedule directly onto Lily’s calendar, go here.