Tom Barthel Consulting -child psychologist Calgary

Requirement For Contacting Me

The only requirement for contacting me is a sincere desire to have your teenager confront themselves, their behaviour, and the direction of their life.

Confronting the truth of their own behaviour is a major reality check for a teenager to go through.  Their behaviour often involves drug use, disobedience, addiction to electronics, and legal problems.   I have quite a bit of experience facilitating these reality checks in teenagers and turning them 180 degrees around. This kind of reality check requires their parents.  I have a service for parents.

What is a “Troubled Teen”?

I can only speak from my own experience. The specialized nature of Tom Barthel Consulting can be best understood in terms of what I call a troubled teen.

A troubled teen is a young person (13-19) who has taken him or her self out of the whole context of what is productive  to their future. He or she has lost a grip on moving forward and is either becoming stagnant and reclusive while going nowhere in life, or has instead moved downhill quite quickly and going nowhere in life.

There are times this reclusiveness and downhill slide moves slowly in teenagers, and the parent is merely curious to head it off and correct things a little.  Or there are times the teenager is having downhill experiences that happen quite sudden and parents want to take care of it right now. For many of my clients, the downhill slide has already happened and it has become “forest fire of conflict” and it requires an emergency intervention.

Regardless of whether it is a degradation into reclusiveness  or a sudden deterioration  in their behaviour, the symptoms that can resemble these problems are this:

Stagnant and reclusive:

  • Excessive video game playing and hiding out in their bedrooms.
  • Excessive vaping and attraction to marijuana use coupled with a loss of interest in extracurricular activities.
  • Seemingly no real perspective on how to grow up and start preparing for a young adult life.
  • A natural attraction to the group of kids at school you wished your teenager would not hang out with.

The downhill slide:

  • Increasing outbursts of anger and hostility and un-cooperativeness. Occasional blow ups when you approach them to show more respect.
  • Moderate to severe drug and alcohol abuse and a party lifestyle.
  • Increasing signs of mental health problems, depression and anxiety and unwillingness to face it.
  • Experimentation with drugs and they are overdoing it, bringing great alarm to the family.
  • Worst case scenario: Full blown arrests by police and involvement with authorities, crime, and dangerous behaviour.

The one thing all parents of a troubled teen have in common is the intuitive notion that dropping their teen off at a self esteem counsellor is not going to make this problem go away, no matter how many visits.  They get the same intuitive notion that dropping them teen off at a drug counsellor, or an anxiety counsellor will not make this problem go away either.   Most parents struggle to even have their teenager attend one of these appointments never mind a series of them.   Isolated solutions are giving you the feeling they are not going to work.   Something needs to change in your home, and in the teenagers attitude, and it needs to be permanent.

Special Note: Some parents have 20-25 year old adult children who have near identical difficulties as a troubled teen.  This matter is best discussed over the phone with me if you would like some help.

Our Services

How to Get Started:

The only way a parent can begin the solution I have ready for them is to contact me directly, and speak with me on the phone. I do not teach this process through articles and clever blog posts nor do I teach it on social media.

Instead I offer my personal voice, decades of experience, and a complimentary phone call where I explain myself quite well and leave you with a free resource that will answer lots of the parent’s questions. This first phone call is free of charge.

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