“Being a teenager these days is not for the feint of heart” – Anonymous

At the best of times, adolescence is a time fraught with anxiety, angst and challenges. Throw in social media and the pressures of the 21st century with an increasing global awareness on sex, identity and gender issues and it’s amazing our teens are even surviving.  There are often times when a teen may need therapy to help them through these difficult years.

How to know when a teen needs therapy:


  • Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Constant anger and a tendency to overreact to situations
  • Persistent worry, anxiety, or fearfulness
  • Preoccupation with physical illness or their own appearance
  • Fear that someone is controlling his/her mind, or that he/she is “out of control”
  • A sudden, unexplained drop in grades at school
  • A loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Changes in patterns of sleeping or eating
  • Reclusiveness, preferring to be alone rather than in the company of friends or family
  • Hearing voices that aren’t there
  • Expressing thoughts of suicide
  • An inability to concentrate, think clearly, or make decisions
  • An inability to sit still
  • Performing routines obsessively throughout the day, such as washing hands or cleaning things
  • Experiencing regular nightmares
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Dieting obsessively, or binging followed by vomiting or taking laxatives
  • Taking part in violent acts such as setting fires or killing animals

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy for Teens

Teens are the masters of cooperating but not participating and in therapy this can be a challenge for them. They have all the emotions and stresses that any adult might have, minus the emotional intelligence and frontal lobe brain function to be able to express these difficulties, accept help, and cope with their rapidly changing bodies, social worlds and identities. Too big for play therapy and too young sometimes for talk therapy, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is a unique offering in that teens are able to work experientially while addressing deeply rooted sources of distress and anxiety. There is no riding of the horses involved, but the teen has the opportunity to work with the horses in a series of semi structured tasks planned by the therapist and supported by an Equine Behaviour Therapist to help them heal, learn and grow.

Group Programs for Adolescents

“School never taught me how to handle rejection, how to love myself, how to handle interviews, how to communicate my needs, how to have relationships. But I’m sure glad I know the Pythagorean Theorum!” – Anonymous

Impact Therapy offers group experiences for adolescents.

Our Teen Upskill One Day Workshops are facilitated by Chris Uitzinger (educational psychologist) and Dr Claire Lownie (specialist adolescent psychiatrist) with a strong focus on social skills training. These are run every 5 weeks on a Saturday from 9am to 1pm. Group benefits include:

  • building social skills
  • effective communication training
  • understanding choices and boundaries
  • assertiveness
  • emotional awareness

Our LEAP (Leadership through Equine Assisted Psychotherapy) Group runs weekly on a Thursday from 4pm to 5:30pm in Chartwell North Estates. Facilitated by Ashleigh Yaman (Counselling Psychologist) and Sharon Van Rensburg (Equine Behaviour Specialist), this is an open group which means members are free to attend when they are able to and new members may join the group at any time. The experiential learning of the group facilitates:

  • strong leadership skills
  • effective communication
  • setting boundaries
  • managing stress and pressure
  • understanding group dynamics

Booking for groups is essential, please contact us to book a spot to upskill your teen!

Impact  Therapy Team Members working with Teens:

Ashleigh Yaman

Ashleigh Yaman

Counselling Psychologist

more info

Christian Uitzinger

Christian Uitzinger

Educational Psychologist

more info

Contact Us

083 695 1432
2 Blinkblaar Avenue, Witkoppen, Sandton, Johannesburg