Do You Wish You Knew
How To Help Your Teenager?
Are you trying to help your teen cope with depression, anxiety, trauma or the pressures of life in general, but you can’t do it all by yourself?
Maybe you don’t know what’s troubling your teen—they’re irritable, defiant, prone to angry outbursts, and overly defensive when you talk to them. Perhaps they lack motivation in school, or can’t find happiness in their relationships. They may withdraw from social life altogether, spending all their time on social media or electronics instead.
Then again, maybe there are more external stressors—social and political issues—getting to your teen. For instance, they could be having a hard time adjusting to the strange new world of COVID-19. It may have shaken up their social time and sense of day-to-day consistency.
Or perhaps they’re suffering from racial inequalities, and it’s keeping them from enjoying life. They might look out at a world ravaged by poverty and systemic oppression and react in fear. You probably want to allay their fears, but how can you reassure them when you yourself don’t have all the answers?
If the stresses of adolescence are getting to your teenager, and you feel like nothing you try is working, Wilcox Wellness teen therapy is here to help your child de-stress, learn new coping skills, and live a joyful, empowered life.
Every Teenager Struggles To Find Themselves
The teenage years are a volatile time. We go through more changes between 13-19 than we do at any other time in life. If your teen is 17, for instance, you might feel like they’re a completely different person than they were at 14. It’s normal. The teen years are an exciting time of life, but they can be fraught with tension, angst, and uncertainty about tomorrow.
While it’s hard for you to keep up with all the changes going on in your teen’s life, it’s also hard for them to keep up. They have a newfound sense of independence and freedom, and, naturally, they want to experiment with it. You may have rules in your household, for instance—rules about curfew or social media time—that they’re always trying to break.
Or perhaps the problem isn’t at home. As they gain greater independence, they may develop new hobbies, interests and beliefs that put them at odds with their old friends. They might feel ostracized from their peers for having different political views. Or maybe they’re realizing new things about their sexuality, but are leery of telling anyone. These stressors often make teens feel like they’re alone in the world, like no one can understand or empathize with them. This is why it’s common for them to turn inward—to bottle up their troubles and isolate from friends and family.
Unfortunately, when teenagers hide their struggles and refuse to confront them, it only backfires. They may develop difficulties in school, bad sleep habits, drug abuse problems, and strained relationships with other teens and family members. Thankfully, with our compassionate approach to counseling, your teen can find healing, peace and acceptance amidst the chaos of a changing world and a changing life.
Therapy Can Help Your Teen Overcome Stressors And Develop New Coping Skills
We provide a safe space for teenagers to vent their troubles, process their thoughts and feelings, and obtain feedback. Our approach is laidback, unbiased, nonjudgmental, and heavily solution-focused. While we want to challenge negative thought patterns and teach your teen to shift perspectives, we’re especially interested in practical skills they can develop to cope with their stressors and overcome personal challenges.
We individualize our treatment strategy to fit the needs of your teen. To that end, we’ll begin by meeting with both you and your teen in an initial intake session to explore the situation, formalize a plan, and discuss goals together. Although most of our sessions will be one-on-one meetings with your teen, we maintain active communication with parents and want you to be a central part of your teenager’s counseling plan. We will update you accordingly on symptoms, diagnoses, recommended treatment, and anything else we find it pertinent to inform you of.
In our sessions, we like to have teens come up with a “toolbox” of coping mechanisms so they don’t have to be stuck in therapy forever. Since many teens struggle with impulsivity, for instance, we often teach them thought-stopping techniques, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or even encourage them to journal their thoughts. These skills will allow them to control emotional reactivity and interrupt negative thought patterns. Many of these same techniques can assist teens struggling with anxiety and depression, since they help calm the brain and expand self-awareness. We’ll also work on strategies for helping your teen solve conflict, such as role play scenarios. Role play helps teens understand how their actions may have exacerbated conflict and how they can avoid doing so in the future.
For teens dealing with trauma or PTSD, our team offers Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). TF-CBT aims to help teens process traumatic memories in a healthy way and learn coping strategies for handling them. EMDR, meanwhile, is a multi-sensory approach that uses audio and visual stimulation—such as hand-tapping or side-to-side eye movements—to change how the brain and body react to traumatic memories. Both are these treatments are evidence-based, highly sensitive to trauma survivors, and clinically-proven to reduce symptoms of PTSD.
Ultimately, we want your young one to keep their head up and be kind to themselves. Change is constant, no one has all the answers, and that’s OK. With our guidance and support, however, your teen can find peace in the midst of change, learn to control their stressors, and come to love themselves in a new way.
Most importantly, we can strengthen the bond between you and your teenager in this often stressful, but wonderful and beautiful time of life.
You may have some concerns about teen counseling…
My teen is worried that you’ll tell me personal information from therapy sessions.
What your teen and us talk about is 100-percent confidential. We won’t spill any personal information revealed in sessions. At the same time, however, we will occasionally inform you of any important interventions we teach them. This way, you can help them at home or remind them of a coping skill if they’re having a tough day. And as a mandated reporter, we do have to tell you about safety issues if they arise (abuse, neglect, suicidal behaviors, etc.).
How long will my teenager be in therapy?
There is no time limit to therapy. Your teen could reach their goals in 10 sessions or it may take a bit longer. It all depends on their goals, their ability to utilize resources, and how much support is needed based on their struggles. With your help and encouragement, we want to remind your teen healing is always possible. They’re not alone, they’re worthy of love, and they don’t have to be stuck in the same cycles of fear and self-doubt forever.
My teen is worried about being judged for seeking therapy.
The stigma surrounding mental health troubles is quickly—in fact, rapidly—disappearing. These days, kids in therapy are the new normal, a new normal that will only increase as time goes on. What’s more, our therapy sessions are known for their relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere; we’re not just going to sit there and put a diagnosis on your child. Our approach isn’t focused on looking at what’s “wrong” with them—it’s focused on helping them reach their goals, play to their strengths, and find peace in times of growth and change.