Are You Afraid Your Teen is Heading Down a Bad Path?
Is your teenager arguing, talking back or hanging out with the wrong kind of crowd? Is he or she refusing to do schoolwork or suddenly getting bad grades? Perhaps your teen is cutting class or quitting sports or other activities he or she has always enjoyed. Or maybe your teen has started to withdraw and spends almost all day and night in his or her bedroom. Do you feel like your teen does things to purposefully irritate you, such as listening to a certain kind of music or dressing a certain way? Does your teen fight with his or her siblings or other students at school? Are you wondering what happened to your well-adjusted child and where this moody, rebellious teenager came from?
If there is any test of a parent’s love, patience or level of compassion, it’s the teenage years. The sweet, affectionate child you raised is suddenly moody, acting out and melodramatic. It may seem like there is nothing you can do to make him or her happy anymore. Do you wish you knew how to connect with your child again and ensure that he or she is and will be happy, safe and successful?
Your Teenager May Be Under More Stress Than You Realize
Teenagers today are dealing with an enormous amount of pressure. Your teen may be worried about grades, tests or whether he or she will get into a certain college. Juggling a demanding schedule that includes school, studying, extracurricular activities, sports and time with family and friends can be overwhelming for anyone, especially young people who are still trying to figure out who they are and what their values are. Your teen may come home exhausted and hungry, yet still have hours of homework to complete. This can lead to insomnia and being tired all over again the next day – in other words, a vicious cycle.
Perhaps your teen is acting out by drinking, abusing substances or engaging in promiscuous behavior. Or, rather than acting out, your teen could be internalizing his or her problems, which manifests in different ways like low self-esteem, eating disorders and cutting.
Girls can have an especially difficult time during adolescence because their bodies are changing rapidly and there is a great deal of pressure from society for girls and women to look, dress and act a certain way. Many teenage girls feel extreme pressure to please others, which can make them very self-critical. Plus, around age 12, girls’ hormone levels start to change and in many cases can fluctuate very rapidly, which leads to a sense of emotional instability. When you add on top of that the pressure that media puts on women and girls to look a certain way, it’s no wonder that girls in this day and age have such a hard time navigating through the teenage years. Many girls in the United States experience a pretty significant drop in self-esteem during their early adolescence.
Boys can also have a very hard time during adolescence. There is often a lot of pressure from society to meet standards of masculinity. They often feel they have to excel in school, sports and social activities without ever appearing to struggle. Regardless of whether these ideals are being met or not, the anxiety surrounding the expectations is still there.
As a parent, you may feel shut out and worried about your child during this challenging time. You could be concerned about your child’s social life, mental health or whether his or her siblings are affected by your teen’s choices and behavior. You may feel as if your child is not telling you something or that something bad may have happened that you don’t know about. The good news is that there is help and hope. An experienced therapist who specializes in counseling for tweens and teens can help you reconnect with your teenager and help steer them back in the right direction.
Teen Counseling Can Help Your Child Learn To Manage Stress & Conflict More Effectively
It can be helpful for your teen to have a safe place to talk about the complicated issues that arise during the teenage years. Many teens have not yet learned how best to interact with peers or how to assert independence without creating conflict with authority figures. Regardless of what your teen is struggling with, a skilled therapist can help. Through teen counseling sessions your teen can learn better communication and social skills and how to successfully navigate the many changes of young adulthood.
We offer a solution-based approach in our therapy practice, not just talk therapy. Much of the angst that your teen may be experiencing comes from simply trying to figure out who he or she is as a person. Teen counseling sessions can help your teen get clarification about his or her values and how to focus on more healthy, productive ways of being. Your teen can learn how to take the higher ground, how to make new friends and how to deal with pressure so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Counseling will help your child learn coping skills and how to deal with conflict when it arises – whether at home, at school or out in the world.
You may be curious about counseling for tweens and teens, but still have some questions or concerns…
Therapy is expensive. It’s just not in our budget.
Think of teen counseling as an investment in your child’s future. We invite you to consider what could happen if you don’t get your teen help. What might happen if you let your teen’s present issues continue unchecked?
It’s true that therapy can be a significant expense. And, you may be able to find less expensive therapy elsewhere. However, it may not be the same quality of service you would receive at our practice. Katherine Knight, Ph.D. has her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a great deal of experience counseling teens. Further, she relates extremely well to teenagers, even rebellious ones who might be resistant to seeing a counselor. Her own teenage years were pretty challenging, which is likely why she enjoys working with this age group – and why she often achieves great success with them.
My teen is so busy. How will he or she find time for teen counseling?
If your teen needs help, it is important to prioritize time for counseling. When your teen is feeling better, he or she may be better able to cope with stress and a busy schedule.
And, because of the relief offered by counseling for tweens and teens, you, too, might feel less busy even though you are actually doing one more thing. Furthermore, if your teen is so busy that he or she is too stressed out to handle his or her schedule, it may be time to reassess some things. We can help you do that.
My teen doesn’t believe he or she has a problem. He or she would be very uncomfortable coming to teen counseling.
Your teen has to buy into therapy in order for it to work. We provide an environment where your teen can feel relaxed, safe and comfortable. If your teen doesn’t want to talk directly about his or her problems at first, that’s okay – we can talk about other things until he or she is ready to open up.
Parents often want to fix their child’s problems as quickly as possible, but it is important to remember that’s not always how teenagers work. Your teen’s brain is still developing and he or she is also dealing with physical changes like fluctuations in hormone levels that can cause moodiness, anxiety and irritability.
The therapeutic connection is very important and if we’re not the right counselors for your teenager, we’ll help you find someone who’s a better fit for his or her situation.
What Teen Counseling Clients Are Saying About Our Sessions
- “Even though I didn’t want to see a counselor at first, I’m so glad I did. I’m happier, have new friends, and my parents are really happy with the difference too.”
- “You helped me understand myself better, feel more confident and be more responsible for the decisions I make in my life.”
- “I feel so much better about myself. You believed in me and have completely changed how I see myself.”
- “I’m getting along better with my parents. Things have improved a lot!”
- “My grades have improved. I didn’t think I could do it.”
- “I don’t know what you’re doing with my son in therapy, but he’s like a different person!”
- “I’m amazed at how well the parenting techniques you showed me are working. I hadn’t realized that I wasn’t setting good boundaries with my son.”
- “I stopped yelling at my daughter. Now all I have to do is tell her my expectations, state the choices she has, and she usually makes a good decision.”
- “I’m relieved to know all the things that I’ve done right with my daughter. Your validation of me was very important. It helped me improve in areas where my parenting skills were weak.”
Schedule An Appointment
Still have questions about young teen therapy? We can discuss your specific situation and whether therapy might benefit you. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation or your first appointment with a teen therapy specialists through our secure Client Portal or contact us.