Setting Your Teen On The Right Course

Adam Price, PhD and Alon Gratch, PhD

Compass is a New York City/New Jersey-based psychological service whose mission is to set struggling teenagers and their families on the right therapeutic course.  In our experience, at the time a problem is identified, too many teens are referred to the wrong professionals or the wrong school, therapeutic or otherwise.  The result is often a wasted year or two, a critical time where little progress is made and the teen’s difficulties continue to mount.  We aim to intervene as early as possible in this cycle as well as when an important decision regarding the teen’s future has to be made.  We welcome teens who are initially willing to meet for only a session or two.

Our initial goal is to get the teenager to buy into the treatment and to get him or her on the same page as the parents.  Our process is brief but intensive.  Working nationally, we start with 2-3 individual sessions, in person or via Skype, with each of the relevant family members.  In these sessions we first assess the nature of the problem and explore the  role each family member has played  in creating or enabling it.  In most cases we find that the teen has a genuine problem, such as ADHD, learning disabilities, self-esteem issues, gender, race or identity conflicts, or social skills deficits, but that the parents have inadvertently made things worse.  Second, we use these sessions to prepare everyone for the intensive family weekend which is at the heart of our program.

We view the weekend as a summit that must succeed and therefore do not recommend it unless we feel confident after the initial sessions.  During the weekend, we gather in our New York or New Jersey offices and work in a team of two therapists with the family and teen in separate and joint sessions.  Our goal for the weekend is to dramatically change the way the family functions.  We focus on developing honest, constructive communications and on breaking the dysfunctional patterns which sustain the identified problem. By the end of the weekend we produce a set of specific recommendations and plans for further treatment and/or educational placement that everyone is truly committed to.  We work closely with a network of educational consultants, psychiatrists and other relevant professionals, including those currently involved with the family

Cost:  As licensed psychologists, we provide the clinical information required by health insurance for all out-of-network reimbursements.  We are not in-network providers for any insurer. Fees are available upon request.

Therapists: Adam Price is a New York and New Jersey-based clinical psychologist with over 20 years of experience working with children, teens, and families.  Dr. Price’s areas of specialty include unmotivated teens, ADHD and Learning Disabilities.  He has worked nationally with wilderness programs and boarding schools.  Dr. Price has published articles on family and child therapy, and appeared on various television programs to discuss topics relevant to parents of children and teens.

Alon Gratch is New York-based clinical psychologist.  He works with couples, families and teens and has been on the clinical faculty of New York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University’s Department of Clinical Psychology.  Dr. Gratch is also an executive coach and a consultant to family businesses.  He is the internationally best selling author of If Men Could Talk and If Love Could Think.  He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1987.