The teen years can be some of the hardest years of life. This tumultuous period of transition from childhood to adulthood has always been fraught with challenges from academic stress and social pressures to all the internal changes going on as the brain and body develop. Current technologies have only compounded this with the advent of smart phones, social media, and video games affecting brain development, social norms, and behavior patterns in new and challenging ways.
- Academic difficulties
- Drug abuse
- Behavioral problems
- Eating disorders
- Social problems
Many parents see their teen struggling and aren’t sure how to help. The child who used to come running to you with a skinned knee now seems to recoil at the notion that a parent’s input might have any value in one’s life. While this is a normal part of adolescent development, it can be disconcerting. Especially when you see your child struggling with things like depression, anxiety, ADHD, or when you are worried they may be experimenting with drugs or alcohol.
Helping teens navigate these challenges involves equipping them with the tools they need to regulate emotions, create and maintain healthy social bonds, strengthen executive functioning, and engage with the world around them in safe, meaningful ways that will ensure a bright and successful future.
Working with a counselor can be an essential key to tapping into the skills necessary to reach these goals. Having an empathic, concerned adult outside the family system who can listen and validate a teen’s emotional struggles can, in and of itself, help to increase emotional resilience. But we also work with teens to develop the cognitive behavioral skills that have been shown effective in treating a variety of mental health issues common among adolescents.
While offering adolescents a safe, confidential space to process their feelings is an important part of effective therapy, involving parents in the process is often beneficial so that parents are equipped with the tools they can use to intervene effectively at home. Just as every family is unique, finding the right balance of parental involvement in therapy is also unique and we work with teens and parents to find the fit that’s right for them.
- Improved academics
- Emotional regulation
- Coping strategies
- Improved family communication
- Increased prosocial skills
- Enhanced executive functioning
- Increased self-control
Our therapists also understand that motivation to attend therapy and work toward behavioral change fluctuates wildly in teens. We provide counseling for struggling teens at all stages of motivation to enhance meaningful engagement over time. For those who are only contemplating change and are not ready to take action, this rapport building sets the stage for when a crisis point hits and they are ready to reach out for help. This may involve educating them on various aspects of risk behaviors which may not only help them make informed choices but may also help to resolve ambivalence over those behaviors.
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Andy Young, LCPC
Jessica Young, LCPC
Brooke Greco, LCSW
Laura AllenLCPC, BC-DMT
Our highly qualified, licensed therapists have over 20 years experience helping individuals and families.