For the most part, teens are living in a world where their phone is their best friend. Several hours a day are spent in a media-saturated environment resulting in lowered self-esteem. The teenage years are difficult enough with adjustments and physical body changes, new responsibilities and roles, and leaving a piece of childhood behind while developing a new sense of independence. Sometimes these new demands can cause a great deal of stress that can lead to other maladaptive behaviors, and you may begin considering teen counseling.
Being a teenager today seems much more intense than I remember. Now, there seems to be all of this pressure to excel in school, sports, and even peer relationships. Did I forget to mention the endless list of after school activities and extra curricular activities? Wait…don’t forget the pressure of getting into college. All of this often ends up far exceeding a 40 hour work week. In order to compensate, teens stay up late, get up early, and soon forget to eat properly. Eventually, this catches up with the rest of their body and begins to impact their brain and nervous system. These behaviors are often driven by a fear of failure.
Your teen may be very hesitant or embarrassed about going to counseling because they feel like something is wrong with them. Please know that they are not alone. Statistics tell us that throughout adolescence, about 32% of teens will experience an anxiety disorder. Trying to makes sense of it all while studying, preparing for college, maintaining social media accounts, and participating in extra curricular activities can be draining. The good news is that teen anxiety disorders are highly treatable with the right therapist and approach.
How can counseling help teens?
Teen counseling allows for a neutral space to share thoughts and ideas and learn the appropriate tools to manage the difficulties that come along with the teenage years.
Sessions will focus on ways to manage anxious thoughts, feelings, and body sensations in a more healthy, mindful way. Your teen will begin to learn how to identify triggers that fuel the anxiety. We will explore irrational thoughts patterns, emotions, and beliefs and begin to discuss how incorporating more realistic self-talk can provide benefits. Additionally, teen counseling will help in establishing healthy boundaries in relationships, and setting realistic goals which will lead to a more fulfilled, balanced life.
Finding and maintaining balance in life also helps teens become better communicators with their parents.
We feel too busy to go to therapy.
If anxiety is a common theme in your teenager’s life, chances are that he or she can benefit from counseling. Negative self-talk, irrational thoughts, and maladaptive coping behaviors can become patterns or habits for your teen. Intervening during the teen years is crucial so they can learn to manage and cope with stress in a more productive way. Without any intervention, the problem is likely to get worse, and can lead to more intense reactions to daily stressors later on in life.
Teen Counseling also provides support in the following areas:
- Increase self-confidence and self-worth
- Learn how to effectively communicate with parents regarding difficult issues
- Reassurance from someone other than a parent
- Develop more meaningful relationships
- Stress and time management
- Emotion management
- Cell phone misuse
How do you know when it is time for your teen to go to counseling?
You teen gets home from school and is stressed, irritable, and moody. Trying to have a conversation about their day turns into an argument, and they isolate themselves in their room. They have this unrealistic expectation that they must be perfect, and it is very difficult for them to move on from mistakes or bad experiences.
You’ve noticed changes in their sleeping and eating patterns, but can’t get anywhere when you ask them about these changes. Headaches, stomachaches, and chest pains are being reported by your teen, but the doctor can’t find anything wrong. As the parent, you are hearing a repeat of illogical thoughts that are damaging your child’s self-esteem, but you no longer know how to help your teen. If this sounds like a typical week in your house, it’s probably time to get some help. Reach out and let’s get to know each other.
Where We Come In
When discussing all of the drama that comes with the territory of being a teenager, we have a tendency to just click with our clients.
I can remember my teen drama like it was yesterday. The girls getting mad and staying mad for days, the silent treatment, the fights over boys, the whispers at the lockers, eating lunch alone, being excluded from a weekend activity…we’ve all been there at one point!
It’s easy for us to relate on these topics because we learned so much about ourselves during those teen years. We can easily empathize with what your teen is going through, while reminding them that how they are coping right now, probably isn’t the best way for them. We’re also really good at pointing out when they are making excuses for things that they actually can control. We would love to hear more about your teen’s current struggle and share how we can help.