The Essence of Adolescence

A Different Paradigm to Appreciate Adolescents

In his book Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, Daniel Siegel, M.D., shares  insights about the adolescent years based on studies of the neuroscience of the brain. Adolescence is considered running roughly from age twelve to mid-20′s — between childhood and adulthood.

Siegel says there are false beliefs and myths about the adolescent years. It is not about raging hormones, a time of immaturity, or a drive for independence that leads to the “madness” of adolescence. Rather (and with respect to a multitude of influences), he states, “The essential features of adolescence emerge because of healthy, natural changes in the brain.”

The essence of adolescence based on the changes in the brain are:

  • increased emotional intensity — living with passion and vitality,
  • social engagement — connecting and collaborating with their peers,
  • novelty seeking — seeking rewards in trying new things, and
  • creative exploration — creating new ways of being in the world.

Siegel goes on to say, “The view that adolescence is something we all just need to endure is very limiting. To the contrary, adolescents don’t just need to survive adolescence; they can thrive because of this important period of their lives.”

Touch Point Connection believes that the process of coaching conversations is an excellent essential adjunct to generate opportunities for youth to “thrive”.

Coaching Teens… Building Futures

Students Say…

“It was good. My coach helped me a lot with organizing my life.”
“When asked what makes an ideal coach, she responded: "Somebody who listens to my opinions and helps me get more ideas about what I want.”
“I know now that when I have a problem there are different ways to solve it other than violence.”
“Before my coaching I had no idea of what to do after high school; now I have ideas on how to reach goals I didn’t know I had.”
“I had somebody who would help me set up steps to reach my goals. It wasn't complicated, she made it simple. It was positive, and I had the ability to identify those steps.”
“It felt good to have an adult in my life that I could trust and didn’t judge me.”
“I connected with my coach. I wasn’t afraid to tell her personal stuff. I could trust her because I wasn’t being judged.”
“Before coaching I was getting C's and D's. Now I am getting A's and B's on my report card.”
“Coaching has given me the strength to show the world what I've got and what I can do. I have learned to not limit my challenges but challenge my limits.”
“Talking with someone helped me to understand what was right and wrong.”
“Coaching was a moment where I could just talk about what I want.”
“Our relationship was more about a friendship. I have told him secrets - things about myself I have not told anyone else.”
“I had someone who just listened. When I had a question there was a combination of getting ideas from him, and figuring out myself.”
“I learned that I can be independent and don’t have to rely on others, but can get support when I feel I need it.”
“Since I started working with a coach I'm way more confident and I don't care if people judge me.”
“At first we just talked, it felt good to talk to someone and really trust them.”
“Because of coaching, my life is better because I can actually meet my goals and reach for my future goals.   I'm stronger and more positive since having a coach.”
“I used to think of myself as lazy and a failure. Since I've had a coach, my perspective is different and now I can see myself being successful.”
“My coach and I worked on a graph so I could organize my time better. I was getting C’s and D’s on my progress report, now I am getting A’s and B’s on my report card.”
“Before my coaching I had no ideas of what to do after high school. Now I have ideas on how to reach my goals.”
“My coach didn’t judge me and tell me I was throwing away my life.”