Most of us remember the turmoil that comes with being a teenager. It’s happy one minute, angry the next, and then come the tears and most of the time you’re not even sure why you’re crying in the first place.
Between the ages of 13 and 17, a young person experiences a whirlwind of change and as a result, they can become extremely sensitive to their emotions, mood swings, changes in confidence and peer pressure. That small path between childhood and adulthood is often a rough road. Without teen counseling or help from an adult, teens make their own rash judgments without the foresight or assistance of a loving adult. Unfortunately, their choices often lead them down roads that are even more painful and difficult, often with long-lasting consequences.
What Is Adolescent Counseling?
Teen counseling is recommended for anyone between the ages of 13-17 years old to support the process of growing into a healthy adult. Innovative Family Therapy in Louisville, KY is a safe place for teens to explore what they are feeling, how their thoughts are affecting their actions, and address their concerns about school, peers, and parents.
How to Know When Your Teen Needs Counseling
We believe that any teen can benefit from teen counseling. These years are difficult for all young people. However, there are some serious problems for teens that you may not be equipped to handle on your own. If your teen is experiencing any of the following symptoms, we recommend you give us call for an appointment as soon as possible:
- Depression: Depression can often look different in everyone, but if your teen seems upset more than usual, disinterested in family or friends, or struggling with mood swings, it may be attributed to depression.
- Involved in illegal activities: Anytime your teen is making choices that are against the law, it shows a much bigger problem that should be addressed.
- Running Away: If they have run away recently or frequently in the past, counseling may be able to address reasons behind their actions.
- Abusing Alcohol and Drugs: Any use of drugs or alcohol of teens can be significantly damaging to their development and adult life.
- Avoiding School or Failing School: This is particularly concerning if your child was otherwise a good student and their participation and grades have dropped dramatically.
- Self-harm: This may include things like cutting, drinking, drugs, or excessive risk taking without the concern of pain or injury.
- Sudden change in friends or activities: If you notice them avoiding old friends or activities that they once enjoyed, this can be a sign of trouble.
- Eating problems: This many include binge eating, eating very little or not at all, or purging after meals.
- Inappropriate anger and violent behavior: Inappropriate, violent, or disruptive outbursts are not typical teen behavior and should be addressed in counseling.
- Change in mood and behavior: This could be things like sleeping significantly more or less or a lack of interest in things they once enjoyed,
The Benefits of Adolescent Counseling
Most teens aren’t particularly excited about sitting down with a therapist. But the skills learned during teen counseling can benefit them throughout their lives including:
- Discover the Root Cause: Most of the time, behaviors are just a symptom of something deeper. Teen counseling can help cut through the fog and get to the root cause of your feelings and heal any trauma.
- Improved Sense of Self: For any teen, an increased self-worth, confidence, and self-esteem can make a huge difference. Teen counseling can provide them with these valuable tools.
- Quit Unhealthy Habits: If your teen is suffering from drug or alcohol use, disordered eating, self-harm or other unhealthy habits, teen counseling can help to heal these behaviors.
- Help from Depression and Anxiety Disorder: Sometimes, mental disorders are discovered in the teen years, and they aren’t necessarily “curable”. Depression affects as many as half of us, and discovering these issues early allows teens to develop coping skills that will serve them well into adulthood.
- School and Social-Related Issues: Grades, friends, finals & peer pressure are all very real issues with very real consequences. Teen counseling can help guide all these areas of a young life.
How To Prepare Your Teen For Counseling
It’s completely normal for your child to be resistant to the idea of teen counseling. Don’t let this derail the whole plan. Meet them where they are and offer support as they begin this journey.
- Let Them Lead: Before it’s time to go, give them plenty of information. Most teens don’t like to be told what to do, so include them in the discussion of why counseling is important and how it can help.
- Offer Incentives: It’s not a bad idea to offer an incentive to teens who are reluctant to agree. Sometimes an incentive to get them through the first few sessions can be all you need to see real progress.
- Include Them in the Process: You can ask your teen for input in choosing a teen counselor, picking appointment times, etc. If they feel like they are part of the process, they might be more willing to comply.
FAQs About Teen Therapy