By its very nature, adolescence is a period of turbulence, change and growth. Sometimes friends and family provide enough support for an adolescent to wrestle with the complexities of what it means to grow up. Sometimes this support is not enough. Because the question of identity is so strongly on the forefront, old traumas tend to resurface in the adolescent's process of sorting out the question, "Who am I?" Some examples include the death of a parent, sexual abuse, divorce and abandonment. Or, if such events occur during this phase of development, they often create a level of crisis beyond the usual struggles of adolescence.

Signs of trouble may appear in the form of:

Talking with a neutral and open adult can be tremendously helpful for adolescents as they can begin to sort out their struggles and come to a greater understanding of who they are, what they want and what they need. Therapy can also be especially useful in this developmental stage for learning how to communicate more effectively.