Cheryl Cohen has worked with adolescents for over 25 years. Cheryl’s undergraduate degree is in family systems, and in graduate school she maintained a family systems perspective. Cheryl has a non -judgmental, non-condemning, relationship-based approach. She believes it is the connection between clinician and client that determines outcomes. “No matter how good a therapist is, it won’t matter if the client doesn’t connect to them.”
Cheryl has worked with adolescents in outpatient, inpatient, wilderness programs, schools for at risk teens, traditional school settings, fostercare, and group home settings. She has been a consultant to programs for at risk youth and has lead seminars to local agencies working with this age group. Aside from stage of life adjustments and mood disorders, Cheryl has expertise with issues of self injury, trauma and abuse, substance use /abuse, gender identity, healthy relationships, peer pressure and bullying, grief and loss, anxiety and behavioral problems such as running away, defiance, and lack of accountability. She also has extensive background working with children and adolescents and their pre and post adoptive families.
Cheryl looks at all parts of a teen’s world. When approaching this sometimes awkward stage of life, Cheryl is authentic, honest, open, and respectful. She encourages adolescents to ask questions of any nature which shifts the traditional format to one that allows for freedom and curiosity, a key component at this stage of life. Cheryl enjoys offering alternatives to talk therapy incorporating art, music, nature, games and activities. She believes this is often a more natural approach as it allows us to communicate with more than just words, which accounts for only a percent of communication. Cheryl is a very passionate and hands-on therapist that interacts with and accompanies adolescents and families along their journey.
Many times children and adolescents are the “identified client” when entering therapy, however, from a family systems perspective, everyone in the family has a role in what takes place. Cheryl meets with parents and families when clinically indicated, to get to the core of dysfunctional systems and establish healthy family relationships. “We all wear different size shoes. Parenting is not a one size fits all process.” This doesn’t mean what a parent is doing is wrong, simply that it isn’t effective at this time. Family and/or parenting sessions are not blame focused, they are solution focused, using a delicate balance of coaching, psychoeducation, and alternatives. Cheryl believes there are multigenerational factors that impact every generation of every family. Your passion for art, mechanics or sewing, fears or phobias, parenting style, bias or judgment, addictions or illness, are things that can be generationally influenced through genetics and environment. Who we are is a combination of multigenerational patterns and current influences. Family therapy without looking at patterns from previous generations is like missing pieces to a puzzle. A great predictor of the future is what hasn’t changed from the past. Cheryl has a whole-picture perspective when working with families recognizing that there is more to what is going on than we see on the surface. A focus on healthy communication, teaching moments, and non punitive approaches are beneficial and increase positive outcomes.