How Does Teen Counseling Help Struggling Teens?
Let’s face it–it’s tough to be a teen today. No longer children, but not yet adults, modern teens live in world that’s changing at a lightning fast pace. Teens face different pressures than their parents had to deal with and are constantly bombarded with an abundance of conflicting information–and much of it doing more harm than good. Teen Counseling today expands far beyond mental health disorders and provides a safe and healthy outlet to learn to better cope with their emotions, difficult situations, life skills, and making the best choices for their futures.
The Role Teen Anxiety Plays
Teens are suffering from severe anxiety at an alarming rate–more than ever before. What’s causing the surge in anxious teens? A few factors to consider when assessing the anxiety epidemic:
Electronics and Social Media
Electronics provide a constant distraction from reality and priorities. It’s easier to avoid uncomfortable feelings and situations with an electronic device at your fingertips. Accomplishing a task takes a lot longer, too, when you’re not fully focused and engaged.
Social media can be a source of happiness and connection for teens. The downside is that it also offers a constant source of judgment and self-comparison. The lives that others show the world can lead to some pretty unrealistic expectations. For an anxious teen who’s feeling insecure to start with, to be reminded again and again of all of the wonderful happenings that you aren’t part of can take their toll over time.
Recent changes in society and educational institutions have fostered an environment that promotes reactivity instead of resilience.
Children learn about issues like bullying from a very young age — the focus being on identifying the bullying actions and the most common solution being to notify an adult.
This is useful information designed with good intentions, but what about teaching kids how to understand how to cope with the emotions that arise in these situations? And how to manage difficult situations like these?
Teaching coping skills creates resilient teens that are equipped to better handle the ups and downs of life.
South Florida teens have struggled immensely to process the events and try to find some sense of normalcy and security after both were stripped away in the wake of this senseless crime.
Many teens continue to struggle with depression and and anxiety daily. Some will ask for help, while many others will not. While the schools are trying to provide more accessibility to counseling services, the resources are limited.
If your teen, or a teen you know, is exhibiting symptoms of depression, it’s critical to address the issue and promptly seek professional help.
Teen Depression Warning Signs:
- Complaints of pains, including headaches, stomachaches, low back pain, or fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions
- Excessive or inappropriate guilt
- Irresponsible behavior — for example, forgetting obligations, being late for classes, skipping school
- Loss of interest in food or compulsive overeating that results in rapid weight loss or gain
- Memory loss
- Preoccupation with death and dying
- Rebellious behavior
- Sadness, anxiety, or a feeling of hopelessness
- Staying awake at night and sleeping during the day
- Sudden drop in grades
- Use of alcohol or drugs and promiscuous sexual activity
- Withdrawal from friends
My Approach to Teen Counseling
As a teen, it’s not always easy to share life’s details with your parents. During this stage of development, it’s natural to start gaining opinions and interests independent of your parents. There are plenty of questions that teens have, and things that they want help with. It’s often hard for them to know where to turn to in these predicaments.
I take a warm and respectful approach to teen counseling. Through years of experience working as a teen therapist, I’ve learned that it’s crucial that teens feel comfortable opening up to me without fear of shame or punishment.
I’ve worked with teens in medical and treatment facilities, in outpatient services, in private practice, and within schools. I’m pleased to report many success stories among the hundreds of teens from all walks of life I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past several years.
When I work with teens, I use a variety of approaches.
Teen Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a type of evidence-based therapy that centers on how your thoughts, feelings and behaviors are inter-related. Utilizing the techniques and skills taught in cognitive behavioral therapy helps teens become more aware of their thoughts, actions and feelings so they can view difficult situations more clearly and respond more effectively.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most widely used therapy to treat anxiety.
It is also very effective at treating teens struggling with:
- Panic disorders,
- Eating disorders,
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder, and
- Behavioral, emotional, and mental health challenges.
Teen Psychodynamic Therapy focuses on how early childhood and relations with others can affect our development. It is based on the idea that the unconscious holds onto painful feelings and memories that are too difficult for the conscious mind to process. Many children develop defenses such as denial to hide these memories and experiences from themselves. The aim of psychodynamic therapy is to bring the unconscious mind into consciousness. It helps a child or youth to experience and begin to understand their true, deep-rooted feelings in order to deal with them.
Psychodynamic therapy focuses on:
- increasing self awareness
- examining thoughts and feelings
- becoming more resilient
- being adaptable
Will My Teen Come To Counseling?
Some teens may be willing, even eager, to come into counseling voluntarily–others may not. This is a situation that can be managed honestly and respectfully.
I encourage you to welcome your teen be part of the process of searching for a counselor. The therapeutic relationship can be even more of a make or break when working with teens. Regardless of a therapist’s accolades, if the fit isn’t a good one, the chances of success are minimal.
Your teen is welcome to reach out to me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask any questions or chat about what counseling is all about.
Schedule your FREE 15 Minute Phone Teen Counseling Consultation by contacting me at 954-947-0774 or email@example.com to see if we’re good match and get started!