Counseling for TeensTeens are under so many forms of pressure these days, and as much as they want to present as an adult, they still can be very childlike.  In many cases, teens do not want to share what they are going through with their parents. Counseling provides an outlet, a way to open up with out being judged or lectured.

How do I know if my teen needs counseling?

Ask your teen if they would like to be able to talk with a counselor and explain that it would be confidential. Therapy can help teens navigate behavior issues, emotional issues, traumatic experiences, stress and the world of relationships. In some cases, this is not cause for concern, teens are trying to find their place and learn who they are.  Many behaviors are normal; as they become more independent they will start to rebel. Allowing them to make choices is important, and allowing them to fail at times is vital. They can learn from their choices while having a safety net.  Counseling can help teens by providing them an outlet and someone who will listen and be unbiased.

How do I know if my teen needs immediate help?

If your child is engaging in any of the following, professional help should be sought immediately.

    • Self-harm
    • Showing signs of depression
    • Acting out sexually
    • Using drugs or alcohol
    • Demonstrating violent tendencies
    • Having suicidal ideation

Ask yourself the following questions.  If you believe some or most of them to be true, you should seek help for your child:

    • Has your teen’s behavior changed?
    • Has your sweet child become someone you no longer know?
    • Has your adolescent become withdrawn, closed off and unwilling to talk?
    • Have their friends changed?
    • Do they avoid social functions?
    • Are they acting out in school?
    • Is worry stopping them from doing things?
    • Have sleep habits changed dramatically?

What to expect when your teen starts therapy:

Therapy is confidential, yes even for your teen, unless there is reason to believe the client is a danger to himself or herself or someone else, if there is a report of sexual or physical abuse or suicidal ideation.   I typically meet with parents first to address their concerns, have them sign paperwork and explain what therapy will look like. Individual therapy is usually 50 minutes, and will encompass what is going on in the teen’s life, what stressors they have and what they can work on to develop healthy coping skills. At times there will be “homework” that aids in problem solving skills. Therapy does involve work on the teen’s part, and will help in being mentally healthier.

I can help your teen work through these issues.  Call 972-468-1663 for a free phone consultation or click below to contact me via email.  If you feel your teen is struggling emotionally or in need of immediate assistance, call the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255.