Teenagers are in that phase of life where they think they are adults, and we can all agree they are no longer children. Counseling can be beneficial for pre-teens and teens for a variety of reasons, whether your adolescent is experiencing a crisis, family conflict, academic difficulties, feeling depressed / anxious, or trouble with social relationships. Many teens don’t want to open up to and confide in their parents for fear their parents will either under-react or over-react to the situation. They also can’t handle being dismissed or their problems minimized. Adolescents want their voice to be heard but don’t want matters to become worse if their parents contact other parents or the school, etc. Their reputation and how others perceive them is most important at this stage of development. Having a safe, trusted therapist for your teen to talk to provides a healthy outlet in which they can begin to learn how to process their feelings and develop new, healthy coping skills. They can problem solve without concerns for criticism or punishment.
Adolescence is a challenging time with many physical, emotional and social changes. The brain actually goes through cognitive adjustments in the frontal lobe that can effect executive functioning: mood stability, impulsivity, time management, organization, planning / prioritizing, and decision making to name a few. Oftentimes, teenagers will begin to rebel or test limits. Their perception is their reality. As chaos erupts, adults must intervene with structure and boundary setting. Some teenagers may display patterns of disruptive or harmful behaviors which not only affect the individual, but also his or her family system and community. At the end of the day, adolescents just need one thing: you, calm and secure.