How Do I Know If My Teen Can Benefit From Counseling?
Are you feeling distance between yourself and your teen? Maybe they used to come to you with their problems, for advice, or even just to share what’s going on in their life. But now you can feel them retreating, pulling away from you, and self-isolating. Perhaps where you once saw happiness and excitement, you’re now seeing depression or anxiety. Or you’re seeing them pull away from friends, disengage from hobbies and social activities, clubs or sports they normally enjoy.
Maybe you’re worried they’re disconnecting from positive supports, or making dangerous or unhealthy choices that could impact their future. A few other signs your teen could benefit from counseling include:
- Their academic performance has changed drastically, or coping skills that typically help them work through difficult school work no longer seem to be working
- Their group of friends has changed completely
- They often find reasons to get out of social obligations or plans with friends, family, etc.
- They are having trouble sleeping, or they are suddenly sleeping much more than usual
- Their emotions are unpredictable
- They are more irritable or angrier more frequently than usual
- Their appetite or relationship with food has changed– they are preoccupied with body image, they no longer enjoy foods they used to, they don’t feel hungry, foods they eat regularly are making them queasy, etc.
- Social media interaction is causing depression or anxiety
- Their behavior has become reckless or risky
Adolescence is a complicated, stressful time. It’s stressful not just for teens but for you, the parents of teens! You just want to see them thriving, supported, and confident in their ability to make the right choices for themselves–and recover in a healthy way when they make the wrong ones.
You’re not alone: many parents struggle when their relationship with their teen begins to change, or if their relationship is now struggling where once it felt like a warm and easy connection.
Helping your teen get to the root of why their struggling helps not only them on an individual level, but also helps to make your relationship a safer space, and reignite that easy connection you had with your teen before.
For example, as a parent of a teen, you may argue on a daily basis about problems such as failing grades, disrespectful attitudes, curfews, truancy, or drug & alcohol use. Sound familiar?
On the outside, it seems like your teen no longer cares about school or their responsibilities. To you, it seems disrespectful, like their future doesn’t matter to them. This of course, leads to frustration which can cause an increase in conflict. Soon, you and your teen are yelling at one another, you both walk away feeling worse, and the problem still persists. Addressing problems this way is an almost guaranteed recipe for this pattern to turn into a cycle that you and your teen become stuck in.
Instead, what if you saw the problem with your teen not as a problem with them, but a problem the two of you can tackle together? In this same example, instead of getting mad at them for dropping the ball on their school work, what if you helped them figure out why school suddenly seems so overwhelming for them? They are much more likely to make changes to their behavior when they feel their struggles validated.
We know how difficult, scary and even painful this adolescent transition can be.
We also know that no matter what parents do, teens will distance themselves as a normal part of healthy development. After all, we want them to someday soon feel the confidence and competence to go out into the world on their own and achieve their goals.
But how do you know what is normal teen development and what is cause for concern?
By providing your teen a safe space to dive into whatever is troubling them without judgement or fear of getting “in trouble,” you can empower them to explore their emotions through this transitional stage of life.
As Greenwood Village teen counselors, our team truly enjoys working with teens and welcomes the opportunity to help them face their challenging issues.
We support your adolescent to share and overcome their problems and find healthy ways to cope and grow.
As experienced family and teen counselors, we’ll also help you as the parent find tools you can use to feel more connected and confident about your teen’s development. You can create and nurture peace in your home and warmth in your relationship
Teen Counseling to overcome challenges with:
- Anxiety & Stress
- Whether it’s from school, family, friends, romance, work, or extracurriculars, teen life is stressful. This is a complicated time in life and our team can help your teen develop the tools and the confidence to work through whatever comes their way.
- Relationship Issues
- Learning how to communicate your needs is tricky, especially on top of balancing the stress + obligations of a typical teenager. This is the time for teens to learn how to set boundaries, communicate what they need, and learn how to be themselves in a relationship.
- Trauma Recovery
- Trauma can come from a number of experiences – abuse, bullying, divorce, loss,and the list goes on. Therapy can give your teen the skills and tools to cope with their trauma and feel more in control of their lives.
- LGBTQ Issues
- LGBTQ teens face the same challenges that all teens deal with, but they also have to do so in a society that isn’t always accepting of who they are. Therapy is a safe, respectful, nonjudgmental, affirming space for your teen to explore their experiences + needs.
- Mood Changes
- Whether your teen is experiencing feelings of isolation, depression, hopelessness, or some other change in their typical mood, Therapy is a safe space to dive into whatever is troubling them without judgement or fear of getting “in trouble,” which can be empowering.
Whether your teen is interested in coming into our office or if they’re more comfortable using our secure online video therapy system, we can provide them the support they need to thrive.
NEW & YOUNG ADULT COUNSELING
Are you out of your teen years, but still feel like you’re in that transitionary phase before “real adulthood” starts? We can help you too!
Thrive Counseling, alongside teen, LGBTQ, Couples & Family counseling, offers counseling for new & young adults.
Whether you need support through a big life transition (from college to the workforce, living on your own for the first time), anxiety, stress, trauma, or just general mental wellness support, our Thrive Counselors can help.