Deciding if your teenager needs therapy or just a little more discipline can sometimes be difficult. Teens are often the most difficult stage parents encounter with their children. Moody, entitled, difficult to talk to are all things I hear from parents on a daily basis. Let me break down a few things for you to help you determine if your adolescent is right for teen therapy.
Let’s face it, we all remember the teenage years. Hormones, rebellion, good friends, bad friends, good choices, and poor choices. Often all adolescents require is a listening ear that they can trust. In this simple case, I always say start with Family Therapy. One or two good family sessions always break down walls and help solve any unresolved issues. In my opinion, every family needs a good family therapy every once in a while. Even the Jones family.
Although a little family therapy can do the world wonders, there are still many cases in which your adolescent needs more.
When would I choose teen therapy?
First, if you for whatever reason “feel” like a therapy session would help, that’s always the best reason. Parents really do know their children and know what’s best for them. Professional therapists have a lot to offer, many little tricks and lessons of the trade that can help a teen open up and process out any difficult emotions or unexplained behavior.
With that said, here are some of the most popular reasons I see adolescents:
- unusual behavior
- sudden dip in school academics
- suicidal comments or remarks
- actions that indicate harm to self or others
- abuse (sexual, physical, emotional or mental)
- learning disabilities
- ADHD, anxiety, depression
- a bad breakup
- trauma of any kind
This list is obviously not inclusive, but it does cover the main areas of teen therapy.
Honestly, I have many years experience in working with teens. I know how to speak their language and quite frankly, I really have a knack for connecting with teens – maybe because I feel like one myself most days. I respect them and their concerns, and I’ve seen that in return they respect me.
What type of therapy is used in teen therapy?
Unlike Child Therapy, where playing is the main action during sessions, with teens I try and learn more about them. It’s called Client-Focused Therapy. Some days I’ll sit and listen to the music they like, other times I’ll play a board game with them.
My goal is to help them feel safe and valued. Once we create that client-therapist relationship, I help them process any difficult emotions or specific events. I use a lot of Neuro-Therapy to help in this process.
From this point we can look towards moving forward. Setting goals, learning and practicing new skills, and really finding ways for your teen to thrive in their environment.
Why use ABC Family Counseling for Teen Therapy?
Adolescents are often seen as a ball of hormones and drama. I see otherwise. I find value and purpose in helping teens process and heal through whatever is affecting them. Sometimes all they need is someone outside their family to tell their thoughts to (don’t you feel like that sometimes too?) and a friend to trust. Other times there are more serious issues that they’ve faced and they need help knowing how to process those heavy emotions. I am here to help with on both ends of the spectrum.
In any and every case, there is a great deal of benefit that comes when the family system improves alongside the adolescent. When possible and appropriate, I love to bring in the teen’s family members to allow this family system to grow together, as a whole. The profit that comes from that is priceless.