Is Your Teen “Acting Out,” And You Don’t Know How To Respond?
Parents, has your teen started to isolate themselves and withdraw into their room for days at a time? Have you observed a change in their group of friends? Maybe you’ve heard your child make off-hand remarks that indicate low self-esteem. Or perhaps you’ve noticed that they now lack a passion they once had for their favorite hobbies.
Teens, do you find that you have a shorter temper than normal these days? Do you want to build a solid relationship with your parent(s), but you feel like they would never understand what you’re going through? Maybe you worry what your parents would think if they learned about how frustrated you’ve become dealing with the symptoms of a mental health disorder. Or you might be uncomfortable telling them how sad you’ve felt lately.
Young people today face many challenges that can sometimes seem insurmountable. If you’re a teen, some days you may feel like you connect with nice, loving parents, while on other days, you’re upset because you don’t feel seen or heard. You might also struggle with a health condition like ADHD, autism, or OCD, which adds another challenge to your formative years. And if you’re a teen trying to figure out who you are as an LGBT youth, you may have developed symptoms of anxiety as a result.
Parents, your child might be struggling, but teen therapy can help them find their voice. And teens, therapy can help you overcome your difficulties and connect more with your parents.
Many Young People Are Stressed
It’s in our formative teenage years when we first learn to cope with stressful situations—we have all felt this angst. And with more than seven percent of children age 3 to 17 experiencing anxiety, we can’t ignore the preventive measures we can take to address stress so teens don’t have to suffer from its effects.1
Stress can be the root cause of many issues young people experience; issues that can be difficult to deal with alone. These stressors can include trouble at home with family, issues at school, bullying, health conditions (ADHD, OCD, autism), and emotional challenges, to name a few. These stressors can come from anywhere.
The world constantly tells teenagers what they should be, who they should look like, and who they aren’t. “Do this as a teen to be a successful adult.” “Wear makeup like the ads in Teen Vogue.” “These are the kids that matter—not you.” As a result, teens can place unrealistic expectations on themselves, seeking the perfect group of friends or trying to mirror their favorite social media influencer, only to become overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety due to unattainable ideals that can’t be reached.
As parents, we may inadvertently add to the stress by placing unrealistic expectations on our children with no guarantee about who they will become. Maybe we overpraise a younger sibling without realizing the effect on another one of our children.
And when our children are on the edge, ready to break, they may not turn to a teen therapist. They may not turn to us either! Instead, they might turn to silence, withdrawing from loved ones or turning to friends who understand them. Worst-case scenario, they could even try to harm themselves or self-medicate with substances.
But working with a teen therapist can guide your child in working through emotions, health issues, and challenging experiences in their lives.
Therapy Can Help Your Teen Take Ownership Of Their Life
Many people think that young people don’t have the capacity to feel intense and debilitating emotions. Yet in reality, teens can feel anxiety and depression just as deeply as any adult.
As teen therapists, we understand how valuable therapy can be to help young people work through personal issues to lay a firm foundation for their adulthood. Teen therapy is a rare subcategory of therapy geared to the unique needs of each teenager. Our aim is to foster an encouraging and warm environment where teens can share their struggles with someone who is willing to listen. We work with teenagers up to age 19.
During the initial intake, we ask both parent and teen to be present so that we can gain both perspectives to learn more about what presenting issues are. After this initial session, we ask that the teenager attend sessions individually. Parents are encouraged to still be involved via sessions that help develop specific parenting skills to provide support.
Teens, throughout ongoing sessions, we’ll explore the issues you face that contribute to your story today. These may include family and social issues, emotional challenges, suicidal thoughts, low self-esteem, eating disorders, trauma, self-injury, depression, and anxiety to name a few.
Our approach to teen therapy may draw from various evidence-based modalities that can help you work through your life challenges. Different modalities work well in different circumstances. Cognitive-Behavioral-Therapy (CBT), for example, teaches you how to replace negative thoughts with positive ones to improve your response to difficult situations. Or we may also use Person-Centered Therapy (PCT), which places focus on your individual perspective. In PCT, the therapist acts as a guide to help you make your own breakthroughs.
Moreover, Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) can be a powerful tool for overcoming repetitive behaviors. ERP exposes you to a stressor and then reframes the response to slowly change your behavior. Last but not least, Behavioral Activation (BA) is an effective treatment for depression in teens. BA counters increased isolation and withdrawal with activities that improve engagement with the outside world. Two other notable approaches we may also draw from are mindfulness and parent coaching.
As therapists with more than 35 years of combined experience, we’ve helped many young people work through their difficulties. Therapy can help teens build skills to work through challenging experiences, cultivate a more positive outlook on life, and forge a stronger bond with their parents.
Maybe you still have questions about teen therapy…
(For parents) I/we fear you’ll forget about us if we’re not participating in every therapy session.
You may not be present in all of your teen’s sessions, but we do understand the foundational role that you bring to their healing. So we are adamant about keeping lines of communication open to keep you updated on their progress. We won’t leave you out of the loop because we understand that counseling can help your teen improve their relationship with you just as much as it can with themselves. You are the key link in the teen therapy process.
(For teens) Will details about my personal life be safe?
As tough as it will be for your parents to let you—their child—work with a therapist without their guidance, your parents also likely understand the importance of letting you heal independently of them. Therapy is a space where you will work with us one-on-one to address your problems. You have a right to your privacy. Because of this, our online sessions are HIPAA compliant, and your parent(s) understand that what you share with us won’t be shared with them.
How do I know you’re credible?
We have over 35 years of combined experience working with teens, a demographic with few therapists to address the specific experiences of young people. In addition, we work closely with local pediatricians, many of whom refer their patients to us so that we may help them work through mental health and other life challenges.
Are You Ready To Help Your Teen Make A Positive Change?
Therapy can give your teen the help they need to work through their unique difficulties with someone who can help them work through their problems in a healthy way. If you’re ready to get started, we invite you to call us at 727-422-0996 or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. From there, we can learn more about your teen’s challenges and match them with a therapist who is the best fit.