Counseling for Teens
What Anxiety Looks Like – The Parent Perspective
It’s tough to see your teen go through tough things. Although they’re no longer a small child, there’s still something about the purity and innocence of their heart- although they certainly aren’t acting that way. The child you once loved has grown into a teenager that seems to want no part of you. At times, they seek your love and affection, and other times keep you at arms distance. You know they’re going through some tough times, but it’s hard to help when you aren’t getting the full story.
You worry about them constantly. They’re changing into someone they didn’t used to be. They seem stressed, anxious, withdrawn… Or perhaps, on the contrary, harsh, aggressive, and defiant. If only they would talk to you, you could help them get to the root of the problem. You could work through this together. But what is the root? Could it be anxiety? Maybe it’s that traumatic incident you try so hard to forget. Is it depression? School pressure? What is it? As counselors we don’t have all the answers, but we can certainly walk alongside you and your teen to figure some of these things out. Read more about what anxiety is here.
How Anxiety Feels – The Teen Perspective
Life has changed, and you don’t like it. While you’re over here worrying and stressing, everyone else seems to be living their best life. Why is it that things seem so much harder for you? You find yourself thinking, and overthinking and over analyzing to the point you feel physically sick. You think about how you look, high you’re dressed, the future, what job you’re supposed to have, what kind of friends to make, wondering if you’re going to be single forever…?? You know you’re anxious, and you’ve tried and tried to get rid of it.
Your parents constantly say you can you can talk to them about anything, but where would you even start? Saying something like “Hey mom, my brain feels like it’s running a marathon every day and I’m barely hanging on in life” wouldn’t go over so well. You know some people at school who go to counseling, which is cool for them, but how do you know if it will work for you? How do you even bring that up to your parents? They’re freaking out enough already, telling them you need counseling could make things worse….Or could it?
Here’s a way to start a conversation with your parents about getting counseling to help your anxiety: “Hey mom/dad, you always said I could come to you to talk about things right? Well I’ve kind of been having a hard time with things and I’m feeling anxious. I think counseling could help me. Can you help me find a counselor that I can talk to about it?” If your parent seems hurt or offended that you would prefer not to talk to them about what you’re feeling, have them read this page (especially the second paragraph of the section below as well as the “How It Works” part). Once your parents find us, we’ll take it from there. To learn more about how anxiety affects other people click here.
The Solution for Anxiety- Counselor’s Perspective
Parents/Guardians: Teenage-hood is a lot like you and I remember it, but worse. Teenagers these days are faced with themes you and I didn’t see until much later in life: suicide, death, dying, worldwide pandemic, divorce, depression, anxiety, parenthood, porn, sex, drug use, alcoholism and the list goes on and on. Combine this with social pressures through social media like how you look, what you eat, what you wear, how much you weigh, what your “body count” is, etc., then throw in a little dose of school projects and academic responsibilities= It’s a lot.
As a parent, your hope is to guide them and have them feel loved and safe. In adolescence your kids may begin to pull away from you a bit- this is normal and quite healthy. Your job, though, is to find them other adults that can help continue to guide and mentor them. That’s where counseling comes in. Your teen’s counselor will be in contact with you to make sure we are in alignment with how you want your teen to be raised. Our job is to come alongside you and complement the foundation that you’ve already set for them. We will also help break some of those unhealthy patterns that may have developed that you don’t even know about. Mom, dad, teen, you won’t be in this alone.
How Counseling for Anxiety Works
Pre-teens and teens are given a bit more freedom in session but parents are still involved. Some of the teens we see struggle with issues like:
- peer issues like bullying or a hard time making friends,
- mental health issues like depression or trauma,
- behavior problems,
- low self-esteem,
- and substance abuse problems.
Teens can find it hard to talk to and trust their parents, but having a trusted adult is really important during this stage of their life. That’s where we come in. Counseling gives teens a space to be themselves, share openly, and find solutions.
Due to safety precautions against COVID, we are only conducting counseling services virtually. To learn more about what to expect, check out this blog about telehealth counseling these faqs. In certain situations, counseling can be conducted face to face with your counselor from the comfort of your home. Email us for more info!
If you’re still not quite sure what to expect with counseling, take a look at this blog on what questions to ask and answer before having your kid get started with anxiety counseling.
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