“To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (Mark Twain)
There is nothing more dangerous than a hammer if it’s the only tool a young person has; they will undoubtedly see that everything they encounter needs pounding. Youth who engage in prolonged maladaptive or antisocial behaviors are not “bad” – they just lack skills to engage in more functional behavior. In counseling, youth are given the opportunity to learn from mistakes and gain skills to set in motion a healthy life trajectory with less risk behaviors, more healthy coping strategies, and overall improved functioning.
There are many ways to be a successful young person; there are many ways to be strong, to be healthy, and to be engaged. As strength-based therapists, we recognize the untapped potential in every youth – even in the most challenging circumstances – and build on those existing strengths. Youth have the ability to change and grow. Families can regain direction and improve functioning. And we will remain committed to the hope and aspiration needed to fuel successful change in every family we work with.