Are You Concerned About Your Teen and Their Mood Lately?
Is your teen withdrawing and showing signs of lower mood or depression?
Has your teen stopped communicating with you and began self isolating?
Is your teen having trouble regulating their emotions, especially anger?
Do they express to you that no one will understand them and you worry about them having an outlet?
The teenage years are hard, not only for your teenager, but for everyone in the home as well. They are seeking out independence and trying to learn who they are, while focusing more on their peer relationships. It’s normal for teenagers to isolate and stop communicating when they are struggling. Teenages deal with a number of issues during these unique and complicated developmental stages that may have an impact on their mental health, behavior, and school performance. Providing a safe space for your child that is open and free for them to express themselves without judgment can be transformational to their growth and development.
A Lot of Teenagers Feel Alone
It can be hard for us to remember how difficult our own teenage years were, but one thing that is very common is that most teenagers feel alone and like they don’t have anyone that truly understands them. Teenagers are experiencing intense emotions, new feelings, and changing hormones, which can be hard for them to manage and understand. On top of the internal struggle, there are pressures at school and in their social lives to fit in or to be popular and likable, maintaining extracurricular activities like sports, theatre, and band, all while being asked what college they want to attend.
The social pressures are overwhelming, leading to increases in social anxiety and depression. You may notice that your teen starts to withdraw and self isolate more often than normal. As parents, sometimes we accidentally invalidate our kids when trying to encourage them. We may tell them that this is the best part of their lives and to enjoy it, not to stress, or that we experienced the same/similar things. This may lead to your teen feeling more misunderstood and not trusting of opening up to parents or other adults.
Bridging the Gap and Addressing Concerns
This generation has become much more understanding and accepting of mental health issues, and maybe your teen is afraid to come to you to ask for help. You may also have concerns that if you bring your teen to therapy, your parenting style will be critiqued or you will receive all of the blame for what your teenager is experiencing. This will not be the case for engaging in therapy at Grace Therapy & Wellness. We take a holistic approach to mental wellness, meaning that we consider all factors in addressing mental health concerns - mind, body, spirit, environment, and more. Our goal is to help your teen foster skills to help with self-reflection, regulation, and boosted confidence to address future concerns.
Teen Therapy Can Help Self Image, Social Concerns, and Overall Mood
Your teenager may contest the idea of going to therapy. They may tell you that they don’t need it, that they talk to their friends or their boyfriend/girlfriend/partner. Though having social supports is a wonderful thing, only communicating to our peers will not result in an unbiased opinion. Allowing your teenager to have ownership over the experience of finding a therapist can be helpful. Inviting them into the process of choosing what therapist they may be comfortable seeing will help create buy-in for them.
Though our therapists may consult with you over the phone, or at your teens initial session for a few moments, each session will be devoted to your teen only. This is to foster a truly safe and private space to build trust with them and allow your teen to open up. If there are ever any concerns about your teens safety, then we will notify you immediately.
It may take time for your teen to feel comfortable opening up to a therapist. They need to feel us out and make sure that we are safe and trustworthy, and know that their sessions are truly private. Your teen does not have to talk and open up right away, sometimes they can express themselves during session in other ways, through art, sandtrays, games, or talking about their interests.
Throughout the course of therapy, your teenager will learn about healthy communication and boundary setting, and coping skills for managing stress and strong emotions. If they are struggling with feeling alone, we want them to know that they have support available to them, through us and through you.
Common Concerns You and Others May Have
Will you share what you and my teen talk about?
For your teen to feel comfortable opening up, they must know that they can trust their therapist and that their information will not be shared. All of us are bound by confidentiality to our licensure board, as well as by HIPAA. We do not communicate with anyone outside of their treatment without a signed release of information from you. Confidentiality is only ever breached under extraordinary circumstances (e.g. imminent danger to self or others). During the initial phone consultation or session, we will discuss privacy with you and your teen to alleviate any concerns that either of you have.
I’m unsure if my teen needs therapy…
Taking your teen to therapy can be beneficial even in just further self exploration and learning about their identity. They may be experiencing things that they feel unsure how to open up about. Having a safe space to talk about that can help. If your teen is experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, isolating more, or engaging in behavior that seems risky, it is most likely time to seek some outside help.
Therapy is expensive… how long will this take?
Teen therapy is an investment in your child and their future wellbeing. It’s difficult to say how long therapy takes, as it depends on the person and what their needs and goals are. Teen therapy can benefit your child and their relationship with you. When teens are struggling with depression, anxiety, or social stressors, it sometimes contribute to difficulties at home and academic performance. Providing your teen with space to work through these feelings can impact their social relationships, academic performance, and relationships at home.
Help Your Teen Discover Their True Self
Take the next step
Whether your teen is struggling with substance use, depression, anxiety, bullying, teen counseling can help to create stress reduction techniques, coping skills, and learn ways to communicate and set boundaries. Reach out to us today to inquire about teen therapy and help your teen step into who they truly are.