Teenacity is dedicated to teaching Teenagers how their brain really works and how to use it better for things they want to improve in their lives, such as motivation, self-esteem, confidence, anger management, relationships, and effective communication, to name a few. We can help them overcome limiting beliefs and fears, guide them in the process of effective goal setting and help them identify with their natural talents and passions.
At Teenacity we also assist Parents who wish to better connect with their teenager during the complex transition between childhood and adulthood. It can be a tough time, especially as the world they are growing up in is so different from ‘our days’. Parents will learn how to maximize the power of positive communication for use within a given structure that gives teenagers the discipline yet space to grow into responsible adults.
Please feel free to Contact Us for more information on how we can best support you as a parent or teenager by completing the contact form on this site or by calling us on the numbers provided. In the meantime enjoy exploring this site for areas that are most relevant to your needs.
Click on statements that most relate to you:
As a visitor to the Parents section of the Teenacity website it may be that you are actively seeking to help your teenager with self-esteem, confidence, focus, attitude, anger or any other issues. Alternatively, you may be looking for more effective ways to communicate with your teenager in a bid to positively influence him or her to make the right life choices, and enjoy a potential filled future. Either way you are in the right spot and are most welcome to explore the whole section or click on the statements (in next column) that best match your area of interest. If your query falls outside of any of the below, please feel free to call for a chat with no obligation.
The world teenagers live in today is so drastically different to the one we grew up in.
Technology, social media, mobile phones, advertising, reality TV, convenience, easy access to drugs, nicotine and alcohol, instant celebrity and increased competition. The ‘throw-away’ mentality inherited during the years of the Celtic tiger, etc. have all contributed to a vastly different landscape, lifestyle and language. They are processing so much more conflicting information, exposed to so much more choice and, therefore subject to more confusion, than previous generations. As for parents who are trying to understand their kid’s world and direct them in it, the vast majority of us are playing catch up. Not surprising, therefore, parenting teenagers today is extra challenging and we are happy to help.
“I am finding it hard to connect with my teenager”
It would be a wonderful thing to instinctively know exactly what makes our teenagers tick and how to influence them positively at a time when a lot of them seem only to want to distance themselves and ignore our advice. Gone are the days when we could cocoon them in the sanctuary of family life and rely on their total dependence on us. They are now taking their first steps into adulthood, self-sufficiency and independence and its not all pretty! They’ll take risks we’d rather they didn’t but more importantly they are learning from every new experience. If, as parents we fully understand and respect the nature of it all (as we expected our own parents to), and we trust that they are guided by the positive values instilled in them, we are better placed to maintain dialogue, celebrate their successes and support them in their sorrows. If we do not learn to loosen the reins, allow them to explore their choices, and permit their own natural character to develop. The opposite can also be true, creating distance. The words we use are instrumental either way in this process.
In the last 30+ years, much has been researched, proven and discovered about the sheer impact of language (positive and negative, verbal and non-verbal) on our nervous system – how it affects our emotions, which in turn drive our behaviour.
When, for example, reprimanding a teen for having done something irresponsible, it can come easy to most of us to wave our arms around and say something like “What the hell were you thinking?; You won’t get far by doing that; that’s it you are never going out with that crowd again; Do you want everyone to think you are stupid or something?; Have you not paid any attention to your up bringing?; etc.” At this point of the interaction, you can be sure your teenager has totally switched off, but by taking a more positive stance you stand more of a chance of getting them to learn from their mistakes.
For example: “Were there any other choices at the time you decided to do that?” or “If you were in a similar situation again, how would you do things differently to avoid the consequences you got?”
“How good will it make you feel when you get to enjoy the chilled environment of your room after you have tidied it?”
Communication with teenagers is more effective when we give them the opportunity to reflect and correct future behaviour by grasping the benefit for them. It takes practice, a lot patience, and understanding their motivations, but it is just language, and it works!
“My teenager is ‘out of control’ and he won’t listen to me”
I have heard many parents use the term ‘out of control’ when referring to their teenagers. What it often turns out to mean is “I’m losing control over my teenager” with the "problem" anchored in the parent not the child. Parental control is a hard habit to start dropping after so many years and often isn’t conducive to the art of listening either which is so important. In the interest of both sides, we as parents need to be balanced in our thinking here and ask the question a) “Is my child out of control and posing a threat to themself or others?” or b) “Is my teenager just displaying the rebellious behaviour that so many do in the process of taking control of their own life, and is it me that needs the strength to start trusting and gradually letting go?”
Either way, at Teenacity, we can help. In the case of scenario a), we can support your child in changing aggressive, insular or irrational behaviour as these types of behaviours have usually laid their foundations in low self-esteem. Correcting that is very much our driving force at Teenacity. In order, however, for any coaching of this kind to be wholly successful your teenager would have to attend of his/her own volition and never under duress. See “Discussing the value of a coach with my teenager.”
In addressing scenario b), we can help parents adopt more comfortable (for them), flexible and relaxed parenting style and master a more effective line of dialogue with their teen, using positive and influential language patterns and understanding your child’s unique view of the world which is key to developing good rapport.
There is also another option and that would be to attend coaching with your teen, maybe based on your wish to better understand and support him/her during their transition to adulthood. This is a win-win situation which can have a profoundly positive effect on the relationship going forward.
“My teenager lacks motivation and has no direction in life”
Here again, we have to stop and pose a few questions to ourselves and find the right balance: “Is my child really unmotivated?” “Is my teen struggling to establish what interests him/her?” or “Is my child just not doing what I think he/she should be doing?”
Drive and ambition are wonderful assets to have as early as possible when directed at positive goals. However, few teenagers, think in the “what do I really want for myself (career, future, lifestyle)” sense and many don’t know what is even on the cards tomorrow. They live in the ‘now.’ You can be sure, however, that your teens are highly motivated in some things even if there is no defined goal at the end of it. Getting teens to identify the emotion they link to motivation (eg. Playing video games) and showing them how to ‘bring that feeling back’ for other areas in life is a simple process. This involves them focusing on the outcome of their goals so they can start to measure their own success. That’s when the good stuff starts to happen.
At Teenacity we have the expertise to draw out of teens:
• how they experience their own unique world
• where they feel stuck
• what their natural motivations, talents and passions are and,
• what their goals are
The process is a comfortable and relaxing journey of self-discovery that serves to highlight the power they already possess and build a new level of self-confidence.
We then use the information gathered to help them :
• get a true sense of their future as they want it
• reframe any negative beliefs that may be holding them back at a
• identify the steps they need to take in order to achieve their ambitions
and,instill a strong sense of ‘can do.’
• be more aware of their emotional responses going forward.
“My teenager is behaving out of character and I’m worried he/she isn’t coping.”
All human beings have the basic need to ‘belong’ and identify with the peer group they are most naturally drawn to. During teenage years being popular, fitting-in, image and ‘coolness’ become some of the single most important criteria for ‘survival’, whatever their academic abilities. Those who don’t work well within the ‘intellectual value’ system dictated by traditional education are in particular danger of ‘compensating’ to stand out through other means of behaviour. In some cases it is just a matter of helping them to understand how best they learn (visual, auditory, kinesthetic), to make learning more enjoyable. If the behaviour relates more to self-talk, confidence or interaction with peer-groups, family or environment, structured and highly confidential dialogue with your teen should help resolve the issues he/she might have in a very unobtrusive, friendly, enlightening way.
At Teenacity our core message to teenagers is “you are an amazing, unique individual with natural talents and genius beyond measure. You don’t need to fit the box you just need to be you to achieve whatever you want.” We help them find out who they really are (natural drivers), what they want (goals), where they want to go and teach them how to get there using simple techniques to achieve it all (actions).
“My teenager has a bad habit and wants to kick it but doesn’t know how.”
Habits are learned behaviours like any other which due to their repetitive nature get hard wired into our brains to make them automatic and therefore seem difficult to shift when they are no longer useful. We talk about ‘being addicted’ and not having the will-power, but will-power is in the conscious-thinking part of our minds and the habit we want to change is embedded and driven by our unconscious as a way, ironically, to make our life easier! When we do something often enough to form a pattern of behaviour, bingo... it gets installed so you don’t have to think about it anymore! Fortunately this rule also applies to good habits!
We “do” our habits to achieve an emotional benefit and that benefit is different for everyone. “I do X because it makes me feel Y. Yet when the physical act of doing the habit creates health or any other types of problems for us, its time to address the matter. At Teenacity we use conversational hypnotherapy to help reframe the way our clients think about the benefit they get from their habit and create new, more useful ways for that to happen at a subconscious level. It is a fast, effective and unobtrusive method to get to the bottom of a problem, provided our clients have a genuine desire to change.
See also how we explain this to teenagers in their section of this website.
Nail-biting, smoking, drug-use, picking skin, pulling hair, drinking, unhealthy eating, thumb sucking ...
Your teen can stop... if they want to!
"My teenager lives in fear about something and that stops him/her living life to the full."
To fear anything is a very uncomfortable feeling and everyone has felt it at some point so no need to elaborate. When the fear or phobia induces such a strong and terrifying response it can be painfully limiting if left unresolved as it is literally paralysing (due to the release of chemicals in our brains). Regardless of whether it is what most people would perceive as an ‘irrational’ fear or one that developed from trauma, or even simply developed as a result of copying someone else’s behaviour during childhood, it can be dealt with easily. Using techniques from the NLP toolbox, at Teenacity we have the know how to dissolve the problem, usually in just one 2 hour session. Fear is founded in the memory of a past experience, often instilled before the age of 7. Our brains are incredible - they store information for future use so they know how to react in a similar situation. Sometimes that is not useful.
By identifying how fear plays out for a client we can help our client alter the sensory experience that plays like a looped movie in their mind, by breaking the loop, in such a way it does not get triggered by the visual or emotional stimulus in the same way. While most people with fears want nothing more than to get rid of it, a few might be perfectly happy being scared of something as part of their identity. As irrational as this might sound those people will hang on to their fear and cannot be helped.
“What is NLP and how can it help my teenager?”
Neuro (Nervous system)
Programming (thought process)
In a nutshell, NLP is a highly effective therapeutic approach that facilitates positive change work at a subconscious level to break loops of behaviour that are not useful or wanted and instead instills behaviours that are. It is based on years and years of advanced scientific research on how our magnificent brains learn and make meaning of the world through our sensory system. At the core of NLP is how we come to label our experiences through language which in turn impacts on our central nervous system to create our unique set of beliefs which sometimes can be limiting.
NLP was developed in the early 70s by Dr. Richard Bandler and John Grinder who specifically set out to model the working strategies of highly successful professionals in the field of psychotherapy. This led to the modeling of individuals who excelled in other fields such as business, sport and academia amongst other disciplines. NLP concludes that the way we communicate (verbally and non verbally, consciously and unconsciously, internally and externally) has an enormous impact on the actions we take and can be the difference between a fulfilling life or of not. By changing certain thought patterns and exploring choices that are more in line with our values and goals we can all achieve the success we want and NLP can show you how with simple, unobtrussive re-patterning techniques.
NLP is now widely recognised as an effective coaching method to help improve personal performance in all areas and stages of life. At Teenacity we focus our attention on the issues experienced by teenagers but we also support parents who find nurturing this age-group a bit challenging.
To really understand how their brain works and how they can make it work better for the things they want to achieve can be incredibly empowering to a teenager. It opens new possibilities that might otherwise be rejected and provides great insight into the potential each has with the right motivation.
How much does coaching cost?
NLP coaching methods used at Teenacity are simple and highly effective with positive results normally being reported from the very first visit. The time it takes to resolve issues will vary depending on the individual and what they want to resolve or improve. The first half hour spent with a new client is free of charge as it is so important each one feels that they are in the right place for them. After the initial consultation, sessions are charged out at €80 each (one hour). Where a parent and child attend together, sessions are charged out at €110.
Payment of all sessions is in advance. 24 hour cancellation policy applies.
Click on statements that most relate to you:
When I started in secondary, I found it difficult to cope with the work and was always anxious to the point i was scared of my books because I thought i was just stupid. That has changed now and I don’t panic anymore so its all much easier and the grades are getting better.
Julie Ann 17
I just moved to Ireland and because everything was new I lost my confidence and found it difficult to make new friends. I was miserable and wanted to go back to Canada. I was coached by Jackie and now I feel a lot happier in myself and in Ireland. To protect the identity of clients, their names have been changed.
I was just about to be kicked out of school for bad behaviour and after 4 sessions with Jackie I learned how I can be cool without getting into trouble. I look forward to showing them at school how much I have changed for the better.
Ever since I was a small child I have been pulling my hair out and my habit made me feel and look bad. Jackie helped me at a subconscious level to change that and now I dont do it anymore so I feel much more confident about myself. The sessions were very relaxing too.
If you are a teenager, looking at this website for the first time you are very welcome! Your reasons for visiting the site might be included in some of the guideline statements in the following table, if not you can feel free to contact us for advice. Either way, we hope you find the content
available here useful, and invite you to register for
on-going newsletters and inspirational links.
Jackie Lohan C.Dip NLP/Hyp, founder of Teenacity is a Master Practitioner of NLP and a certified Hypnotherapist. Prior to professionally qualifying as teen coach and therapist in 2010, she accumulated 25 years in corporate communications working for blue chip companies at a senior level and also in retail and publishing. Originally from the UK, she has lived in South County Dublin for 20 years with her architect husband and two teenage children - a clue to where her passion for this age group stemmed! - and is an active member in the local community.
"Having always had a massive interest in the psychology of communication I had been long drawn to neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). When I started to successfully apply a lot of the learning, I was amazed at how fast the simple techniques of NLP worked to change the things that weren't working in my life, particularly in respect of how I parented and communicated with my own kids. What a difference! My own success with these techniques propelled me into wanting to help other teenagers and their parents get through the challenges of these difficult years and so I went on to train with leaders in the fields of NLP, hypnotherapy, and education, relishing every moment of it. Since going into practice, seeing teens walk away with new confidence evident in their posture, demeanour and language, I thank my stars for giving me such a worthwhile and valuable direction in my career."
Jackie is based mainly at Link Road Glasthule Country Dublin. She also uses therapy rooms in Kildare and can travel on request. Telephone and Skype consultations also available.
NLP Practitioner: American University of NLP
NLP Master Practitioner, Motivation Coach, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and Hypnotherapist: Motivation Training (UK).
Certified Conversational Hypnotherapist: Igor Ledowchowski (Holland)
Teaching Excellence: Meta NLP, London.
T: 01 2852405 M: 087 292 1444 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am finding it hard to keep up at school and I’m scared of failing my exams.
We can all relate to the old nerves getting the best of us, and when some stuff just isn’t going in or capturing your interest it can be daunting. Being in that frame of mind obviously does not help, so the first thing you will learn here is relaxation techniques that take the edge off and allow you to really focus and absorb the information you need. We will also look for your ‘learning strategy’ which will identify how studying can be made more effective for you (we all learn differently even if schools only teach one way). The most important area to address is how you talk to yourself and change any negative thoughts, of not being able to do something to those of the confident winner you can be.
I have developed a bad habit and want to find the way to stop.
It only takes doing something a few times with gusto for your unconscious mind to respond with “hey the boss likes this, lets hard wire it so he doesn’t even think about!” And there you have it, our wonderful unconscious, which drives 90% of what we do, good (like eg. brushing teeth) and bad (like eg. that thing), pushes the default button when the emotion and/or trigger linked to the behaviour arises. Replacing bad habits with good, is a bit like talking to a good friend and saying “listen pal, I know your intentions are good, but you know what, this is not doing it for me anymore … how about we try something else instead?” Hypnotherapy and NLP techniques can be very helpful in getting that message across. Before you seek help first think about what you would like to do instead of the old habit, then we can straight talk. Then, in the future that emotion or trigger can mean a more useful action or behaviour for you.
Certain people don’t understand me and I get into trouble a lot. I want to improve my relationships with others
Good communication skills are often at the core of being understood or not. And its not just the words that come out of our mouth, but our body language, eye contact and tone of voice all play a major part in how we are perceived. You can be amazed at the language we use without even saying a word! If this is an area that would be of benefit to you to master, Teenacity is a great place to learn. Using your body and mind correctly can greatly change the dynamic in your relationship with others.
Did you know?
Over 80% of all communication is non-verbal
I’m struggling to fit in and want to feel less isolated.
While we might aim to ‘fit the box’, every single one of us is totally and utterly unique and if you want others to accept you, the first thing you have to do is to love and accept yourself. When that happens you will carry yourself differently and be in the position to celebrate your unique qualities with strength and confidence. Teenacity coaching makes that process easy by providing you with simple strategies to boost your confidence and attract the people and opportunities that make you happiest.
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss.
I feel I’m going down the wrong road and want to get direction.
There is such an apparent abundance of choice out there, and some paths are better laid than others for what you want to achieve – always best to evaluate before making a rash decision. Understanding your values and committing to your dreams with strong held belief will lead you intuitively in the direction you wish to go. Knowing where you want to go is the trick and working that out is a process we can help you with at Teenacity.
I want to feel more confident in certain areas of my life.
Confidence comes when we feel we have truly mastered something that we want to be great at – remember the first time you rode your bike without the fear of falling off? Think of the things you do without thought and say to yourself “I’m really good at that.” Feel the feeling that comes with the words – maybe a sense of satisfaction, achievement or pride. So know that you can feel confident already, just not yet with something you have set your goals on and need to master more fully. Everything is about having the desire, learning, making the commitment, visualising the outcome, and taking the first steps. If you’ve got those in place, the rest is plain sailing, with a few simple techniques that we can teach you at Teenacity.
I get very angry sometimes and want to gain more self-control.
Anger is often a by-product of wanting to control something without success. We all get angry sometimes. Ironically, the chemicals released in our brain when we do get really angry temporarily eliminate any possibility of being in control which just makes matters worse. By exploring the triggers and motivations behind the emotions we can help you reframe these so that your response can be different in the future. You can work it out and it will take a lot less energy from you.