Veritas Counseling Center, LLC

Challenging Adolescents and Family Systems

Please note the practice is now closed. At the request of former clients the website will remain offering history and a wealth of information on various topics.
rearing horse silohuette

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy can be a great alternative for teens who are resistive to talk therapy. Often adolescents will relate to horses better than they relate to people and they are able to work out their problems in the arena when they can't seem to do it in the office.

The teenage years in any family can be difficult at best, but some youth appear to offer especially challenging attitudes and behaviors that parents and other caregivers can be unprepared for.  The former therapist at Veritas Counseling Center, LLC, Shannon Spellman, M.S.W., worked with adolescents and families beginning in 1980 and offered individual, family, and group therapy as well as parenting guidance for especially challenging teens.

Clients have included dependent and delinquent youth who were involved with the Court systems as well as private pay clients from all backgrounds with teens from two-parent nuclear families, single-parent families, divorced or widowed couples, blended family systems, and extended family systems. Shannon worked with grandparents and other relatives raising teens as well as with fostered or adopted adolescents.

Many adolescents have come from highly educated and successful family systems as adolescents can be challenging to parents and other adults regardless of the socioeconomic background or the educational status of the family. Parents and teens have included both heterosexual and gay/lesbian clients wbored teenagerith a variety of presenting issues. 

At Veritas Counseling Center, LLC, Shannon Spellmant often had success with adolescents and families when other attempts at therapy had failed. Adolescents often returned later in life  to report their successful transition into adulthood. It was not uncommon for the therapist to have worked with multi-generations of parents within the same family system over time as teens matured and sought help for relationship struggles or parenting issues of their own.

Clients have incuded runaway youth, adolescents and families with problems of substance abuse and chemical dependency, physically/sexually/emotionally abused teens, juvenile gang involvement, oppositional-defiant, conduct disordered, and extremely incorrigible adolescents, pseudo-mature kids, youth and families with anger issues and ongoing parent-child conflicts, teenagers who suffer from depression and anxiety disorders, repetitive offenders of juvenile delinquent activities, issues surrounding adolescent sexuality including teen pregnancy and teen parenting, suicidal adolescents, teens who have engaged in self-harming behaviors, adolescents who struggle with grief and loss issues, and teens with eating disorders.  

Shannon was highly skilled at creating a therapeutic relationship conducive to change with adolescents and families who often would not otherwise benefit from therapy including those who have not had success in previous treatment attempts.  Whenever appropriate, the family system was involved in the treatment process and therapy techniques are respectful of individual and cultural differences.  For instance, extended family members and/or ex-spouses were sometimes invited to join the family treatment sessions in order to provide the best possible chance for successful change within the adolescent and the family system.  When appropriate, adjunct Equine Assisted Psychotherapy wass also available both for adolescents and for family systems. In severe cases, when warranted, Interventions were also offered.

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Veritas Counseling Center, LLC • Phoenix, Arizona