Adam Ashkenazi is a therapist trainee at Child & Teen Counseling. He’s been providing services since September both in the office and as part of our Therapy on Campus program. He also co-facilitates our Middle School Boys Group. So why did he want to become a therapist in the first place? Also, what is his favorite “nerdy” pastime? Learn more about CTC’s new modern man in this short video.
When I was a teenager, I was going through my own stresses internally family conflict, my parents, divorce, schoolwork, friendships, lots of things I had no clue how to talk about. And I didn't really learn how to talk about it or really even process myself what was going on until I was well into my 20s, like years later. And I often think as a therapist now, how I would have been as a teenage client, what I would have been able to help myself with, but also what I would have had space to figure out, how it might have changed my relationships, how it changed kind of the direction of my life too. The biggest thing has also been learning what therapy actually means when working with teenagers. It doesn't look the same as it does with adults. I've noticed the way people think about therapy is often about talking about your feelings. And that's lots of what adult therapy does look like with teenagers and with kids in particular, that's not where their brains are at quite yet. There definitely is some room for talking about feelings, but a lot of it is more so about connecting with where they are at. Now, that happens through play, through games, through arts and crafts, by talking about their interests and what's important to them. And my job gets to be mostly about connecting with them. And that wasn't necessarily what I was expecting. It's not what people talk about when they talk about therapy. It's not what all the books say. It's way more specific and individual. And if this meant me staying on my toes a lot more than I think therapists often get to be, it was the feeling I had when I came here, the people I got to meet and the excitement. I felt kind of at a really visceral level about looking forward to being around these people. I do actually have a very strong passion about talking about masculinity. I do that a little bit in my practice with clients. But honestly, in my own life, I have seen a lot of the ways that society tells men how to behave and a lot of the ways that has shaped how men show up in pretty unhelpful ways to both themselves and the people around them. And I don't know what it is about that because it sounds pretty nerdy, but I get really excited talking with friends and looking at myself and lots of books around it as well.