It seems that just the other day they were little and wanted to be with you all the time. They would beg for you to lay with them at night. They wouldn’t let you use the restroom or the phone without interrupting. Whenever they got hurt, all your child wanted was you to make them feel better.
Now as teens, they want you out of their room, get annoyed by everything you say, and are only nice when they want something from you. You try to set limits, especially with the cell phone, social media, and video games but it’s not easy. The way they talk to you, you would have never dared to talk that way to your own parents.
Every night on the news, there is something else to worry about, school shootings, cyberbullying, vaping, and self-harming. Making you wonder if it’s just better that they stay in their room instead of being out with friends you haven’t even met.
“You cannot raise your children as your parents raised you, because your parents raised you for a world that no longer exists”
Raising teenagers can be challenging. The world is so different nowadays. These kids have to so much to deal with, it is no wonder they feel grown-ups don’t understand.
Common Concerns in Adolescence:
- Transition to middle school/high school
- Difficulty balancing academic demands and social (peers) demands
- Irritable mood/mood swings
- Body image issues
- Life changes (i.e., divorce, moves)
- Lack of motivation
- College planning
- Communicating and getting along with parents
- Relationships (friends and dating)
Some parents can admit that they themselves struggled with similar issues when they were teens. They recall having to figure out ways to cope on their own because therapy wasn’t an option back then. How wonderful is it that you can offer your child the opportunity to get professional help, to learn healthy coping skills now, that will help them feel better now?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “1 in 5 teens has had a serious mental health disorder at some point in their life.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) found, that “half of all mental health problems begin by age 14.”
Early intervention and treatment can make a difference in your child’s lives and future.
Individual Counseling for Teens
For more than a decade, I have helped teenagers develop better-coping skills to overcome difficult life situations, improve their self-esteem, manage stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety. I have witnessed teens flourish; make new friends, get back on track with school and get excited about their plans for after high school.
In my work with adolescents, I listen and connect with them first. I use cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and educate teens on how their thoughts and beliefs impact their feelings and behaviors. They learn how to challenge negative beliefs about themselves and the world that are making it hard to relate to others and do well in school.
I offer a safe space for your child to process feelings about past situations in which they may have made mistakes or when they felt hurt and rejected. In therapy, your child will work on healing and moving forward.
I teach them mindfulness techniques to help regulate emotions and strategies to help them with academic performance. In sessions, we role-play different scenarios so that they feel confident and apply them to real-life situations. Your teen will learn and practice new skills to help them interact better with others, including communication, problem-solving and setting healthy boundaries.
Family Counseling for Teens
Adolescents yearn to be understood but fear being judged. In efforts to get closer to their teen, parents ask a lot of questions, give lectures, and limit their privacy and freedom. Unfortunately, this usually creates resentment and in turn, the teenager shuts the parent out even more. This turns into a cycle of conflict and tension in the home.
Over the years, I have helped many parents and their teens improve communication, build trust again and understand each other better. I have provided guidance to parents to enhance or repair their relationship with their child.
Throughout the process of treatment, I hold parent feedback sessions regularly. It is important that we update each other on your child’s progress and discuss recommendations.
The ultimate goal is for your child to confide in you, and for you to have the confidence to know how to handle situations that may occur as your child continues to grow and mature.