How Adolescent & Teen Counseling Can Help Your Child Create a Brighter Future
The adolescent and teen years have always been a difficult time for children and their parents, but the pressures of today’s world seem to have made these ages more challenging than ever.
Having two now-fully-grown children of my own, you can bet I’ve been through many similar, if not the same, experiences as you!
Our adolescents and teens have always faced the challenges that come with increased responsibilities, emotional changes, and societal pressures as they attempt to assert their independence, establish their identities, and make sense of what they like and how they want to live their lives.
However, these issues seem to have compounded over the past couple of decades … and even in just the past couple of years.
Teens and adolescents are exposed to the temptations of sexual activity, drugs, and alcohol at increasingly younger ages, while the digital world seems to consume their time and interest while simultaneously putting them at risk of inappropriate websites, online predators, and cyber-bullying. Add to that the recent pandemic, and all of the other problems of the world, and it’s little surprise our adolescents and teens seem more anxious and stressed than ever.
To make matters worse, it’s not uncommon for teens and adolescents to withdraw from their parents, making it difficult for parents to reach out and connect with their children.
What can you do?
Getting the Help Your Child Deserves
As parents, we can often help our teens work through these issues and experiences by being patient, talking with them honestly and openly, and providing a supportive and structured environment.
Unfortunately, adolescents and teens often encounter difficulties that are beyond our abilities as parents to cope with effectively. Some of these problems include:
- Refusing to go to school
- Social and peer pressure, or bullying and abuse from peers
- The sudden loss of a close friend
- Drastic family changes, such as a long-distance relocation, separation or divorce, or a serious illness or death in the family
- Substance abuse and other addictive behaviors
- Teen pregnancy
- Severe anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders
- Sexual identity and orientation issues
- Procrastination and low self-esteem
And that’s a “short” list!
I also work with and help children, parents, and families in court-involved, family law matters post-separation.
While some teens seem better able to handle these challenges than others, these are undoubtedly difficult issues that neither your child nor you has to face alone.
In fact, most adolescents and teens can benefit from talking to a professional counselor or therapist.
Why Counseling and Psychotherapy?
First and foremost, adolescent and teens need to assert their independence, which often means withdrawing from their parents.
This is perfectly normal, but it can present serious problems when significant issues need to be addressed.
Professional counseling and psychotherapy can provide your child someone to talk with openly … someone who is unbiased, non-judgmental, and is focused solely on his or her best interests.
Adolescents and teens are hyper-conscious of how they believe others perceive them – especially friends and family members – and are often comfortable sharing thoughts and feelings with a therapist that they don’t feel comfortable sharing with anyone else.
But the counseling and therapy services I offer are about much more than providing your child an unbiased, non-judgmental sounding board …
As I’ve said, it’s quite common, and even natural, for adolescents and teens to experience conflict and struggle with anxiety and depression during an often-confusing time of life.
But the real problems occur when young people hold erroneous beliefs about themselves or the world around them – beliefs that hold them back or lead them to turn to maladaptive behaviors in order to soothe themselves when they feel dysregulated and uncomfortable.
Accordingly, a large part of my work as an adolescent counselor and teen therapist is developing the safe, interactive relationship with them that’s necessary in order to help your child understand his or her thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors, and develop more adaptive tools to better cope with the multiple challenges of family, academic, and social life.
Having raised two children of my own, and having worked with and helped adolescents and teens in school settings, as well as for the better part of the past decade in my private counseling and psychotherapy practice, I can truly say I love helping teens and adolescents discover themselves and blossom.
And given the important and fundamental role attachment and our relationships play in the healing process and in our lives, few things are more rewarding than helping children reconnect with their parents, so they can work together to overcome whatever challenges life presents.
Yes, the adolescent and teen years can be challenging. But they can also be a richly rewarding, transformative time of life.
So whether you’d like some help objectively assessing the issues your adolescent or teen is facing, would like to better understand each other’s reasons for behaving the way you do, want to restore open communication and trust to your family, or want to make sure your child gets all the help they need and deserve, I encourage you to contact me today. I look forward to speaking with you both, as well as helping make sure your child and you can move forward into a bright future with confidence and optimism!