Therapy for Teens
Are you wondering why your child is behaving so differently? Does your son or daughter appear sad, withdrawn, or angry? Are you feeling unheard by your parents, teachers, and friends? There are many demands placed on adolescents no wonder many teens feel stressed, overwhelmed, and depressed. Adolescence is such an important time for development, but can be challenging to navigate both as a teen and as a parent to a teen. I can offer a safe space for teens to talk about what they are going through and help resolve some of the conflict in your home. I work with teenagers from 13 to 18 years old to help address challenges at school or home, navigate feelings and thoughts, and help work towards building their sense of self.
Does my teen need counseling? Teens face many challenges, life changes, and drama every day. Many times their intentions are good, but sometimes the delivery is rough. Lots of teens are given a bad rap, and their positive and unique qualities are often overlooked. It is normal to struggle during the teenage years with stress and unwanted feelings. However, if it begins to impact your day to day lives, relationship with others, school work or extra curricular activities it’s time to talk to somebody. If some of these feelings don’t go away after awhile, it’s time to reach out for support. Mentoring and counseling can offer a space where you can explore all your feelings and identify new ways to cope.
It’s hard to understand what is normal for teenagers and mental health. I believe that the teenage years can be great for both teens and their parents. There’s lots of different responses and experiences teens face in various stages of adolescences. Unfortunately a lot of normal teenager responses and experiences is seen as negative or unacceptable.
What is normal teenage behavior?
- being moody or secretive
- getting frustrated easily and storming out of the room
- having “an attitude”; being impatient and short tempered
- frequently complaining and being restless
- wanting to spend time with everyone else except family, putting friends above family
When should is it time to seek counseling?
- engaging in activities such as stealing or destroying property
- being verbally threatening or physically harmful to others
- coming home drunk or high
- self harm such as cutting or hitting oneself
- restricting their diet or over exercising
- having multiple sexual partners with little concern for unwanted pregnancies or STDs
- being depressed or sad for longer than 2 weeks
- being anxious that it impacts their day to day functioning or experiencing panic attacks
- If your teen is asking to talk to someone
How can I help?
I take a holistic approach to counseling teens. You are more than your grades or activities. We will talk about what brings you to counseling. We will laugh, and you may cry sometimes. You may talk about stressors of homework or school, or deeper concerns that impact your life. I incorporate parent concerns, but also acknowledge teens need for privacy and space during sessions. I work with you and your family to help you through challenges. I build coping strategies and resilience helping you to deal with life on life’s terms. I work one on one with teens during session. This may be frustrating for parents, but it works wonders in building safety and trust in the therapeutic process. I do invite parents to participate in the first intake session and setting goals. As always, parents can reach out to talk to me about their concerns or changes in behavior. After a few sessions, positive changes will occur, but may be slower then some parents expect. Therapy is a process and teens try to test me just as they test their parents. It takes time for them to open up and trust the process. When teens trust the therapist, real progress and change begins. I look forward to meeting you and your family to work towards creating change in your life.