Do you feel like your teenager has been struggling and you don’t know how to help them?
- Has your son or daughter been more sad or withdrawn for 2 weeks or longer?
- Have they seemed more irritable or angry than usual?
- Have you noticed a significant change in your teen’s behavior, personality, or sleeping habits?
Has your teen been feeling more stressed, overwhelmed, or withdrawn and every attempt you make to help them just makes things worse? Has your teen been struggling with managing their growing emotions and handling new responsibilities? Have they been more overwhelmed, irritable, or feeling down much more now than they ever used to? You can see them struggling, but every attempt to help them is unsuccessful. You worry about them and want them to feel better but aren’t sure where to start or what to do. The more you worry, the more withdrawn or frustrated they get.
Maybe your most recent fight really got you thinking about how you have been communicating with each other, and made you realize you have been getting stuck on the same issues or arguments. The cycle of arguments, slammed doors, and angry tears continue without an end in sight. You feel your teen pulling away from you and worry that you are losing them. You desperately want to pull them back and hold them close to you but feel just as lost and helpless as they do. Your teen has become increasingly more withdrawn and irritable. They have been spending more time in their room and less time with family. When your teen is with family, they have little to no engagement. They have also not been pursuing areas of interest as much as they typically do. You suspect they are overwhelmed, alone, and anxious. If this sounds eerily familiar to you, you are not alone and hope is not lost.
What is going through your teen’s head? Maybe they are dealing with issues of self-worth, confusion or conflict. They may struggle with being a perfectionist. They may have fears related to their future. Maybe they struggle with body image and self-esteem issues. They may feel like they are not heard or understood. Your teen is sensitive. They may have fears of failure, rejection or isolation. They feel like a freak or a weirdo. Maybe they feel like they don’t know what they are doing wrong.
Many Teens Struggle with These Issues
Although it may feel that way sometimes, you are not alone in this struggle. Many people begin to struggle with symptoms of anxiety or depression starting in their teens, including feeling overwhelmed, decreased interest in things they once enjoyed, changes in sleep or appetite, feeling hopeless, difficulty concentrating, and feeling an overwhelming sense of fear or panic. In fact, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health, 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 have, or will have a serious mental health issue or illness.
While it may be hard to pinpoint exactly when or why these issues began, some common stressors can include issues at school such as bullying or changes in friend group, feeling isolated, uncertainty about future plans, social or academic pressures, or challenges within the home. Fortunately, there is hope for helping your teenager feel more like themselves again. You want them to feel safe and happy, looking forward to their bright future. Working with a supportive and compassionate therapist can help your son or daughter work through their issues and start to find joy and calm again.
Therapy Can Help You Get Your Teen Back
All teens go through times of transition and uncertainty. Some may feel more challenged by those difficult times, and unsure of how to deal with them. For those teens, R & R Mental Health Counseling can help. Our sessions will implement effective psychotherapy methods to gently guide your teen towards self-understanding and adopting new attitudes and feelings towards life situations. We will work together, starting with their strengths and natural talents, to develop practical coping skills and mindfulness practices best suited for them. From everyday obstacles, to traumatic experiences – we will collaborate to develop a plan that meets your teen’s unique and specific needs.
I have experience working with many modes of therapy, including interactive, activity-based therapy as well as mindfulness practice. My therapeutic style is warm, direct, compassionate, and strength-based. I enjoy finding unique and creative ways to relate to teens and help them recognize some areas of growth or change to focus on. We will work together to help provide your teen gentle guidance and forward movement.
You are looking for therapy services for your teenage son or daughter because things are starting to become unmanageable or out of control and you don’t know how to help. Some days it feels like everything you do is wrong, and nothing will make it better. You know you want the best for your teen but aren’t even sure where to begin. Through individual sessions with teens, I can offer a safe place for your teen to express and sort through their feelings as well as an opportunity to get real-time, direct feedback. It can also provide them the opportunity to look at the ways their own thoughts and feelings impact their behavior as well as the lives of those around them.
You will start to notice changes in your teen once they feel safe and secure, knowing they have a supportive, reliable person they can talk to and confide in. They may begin to feel more talkative, hopeful, and empowered. They may also begin to see that their actions and how they choose to channel their thoughts and feelings can have an important impact on their overall health and well-being. Take the first step on this path of finding peace and calm for you and your teen. It may not be an easy road, but it sure is worth it.
The weekly routine of therapy will provide accountability, goal-setting and personal responsibility to your teen. Family therapy also offers an option to discuss issues and struggles that have either been avoided or sparked arguments or upset in the past. Our sessions will have directed focus and a plan. I will be there as someone to support and offer feedback, though not as a referee or judge. I know the courage it takes to face your fears and struggles head on, and I am in awe of the teens and families I work with everyday. I’m so amazed at how far being silly and having fun can go in building a relationship and working through the tough stuff together.
The goal of our work together is to empower your teen to express themselves and help them identify and utilize coping skills and practical tools that will be lifelong assets for them. I also guide them in looking at the big picture of the situation and acknowledging themes or patterns that may emerge for them.
Things with you and your teen can and will get better. No dynamic or relationship is set in stone. Just because things may feel hopeless or out of control now, doesn’t mean they can’t change and grow. I already know that you are a supportive, loving parent capable of doing that work, because you wouldn’t be reading this now if you weren’t.
I want you to imagine for a second the possibilities of what life can be like for you after getting help. You will begin to feel more hopeful that change really can be possible and feel relieved as you start to see it for yourself. Interactions with you and your teen will feel more comfortable and productive rather than feeling like a life or death argument every day. I can assist with a concrete plan, practical skills, and attainable goals to guide your teen.
What about the possibilities for your teen’s future? You will begin to notice a shift in their energy. You may notice an ease and comfort in their demeanor and how they interact with others. They will be more engaged and spend less time in isolation. You will also see a decrease in anxious and/or depressive symptoms.
As a parent, you will feel more confident. You will learn not to avoid discussions for fear of igniting a blow-up and feeling more disconnected. You will feel more open and sense less tension. You will both have an easier time being honest and sharing true feelings without fear or hesitation. Things won’t feel so chaotic or out of control for them. You may notice they are kinder and more patient with others.
Finally, how will these changes affect your relationship and dynamic with your son or daughter?
I would argue that this shift can be the most noticeable and powerful. The changes will start with more honest, open communication on both sides. There will be more balanced talk of the love and support, alongside the frustrations and stressors of everyday life.
You will both feel more comfortable and confident discussing issues together, from everyday excitements to tough stuff and everything in-between. The skills you learn will last throughout your life and your relationship with your teens and even across other relationships.
You could continue to go on like this until your family is burnt out, stressing your mind and your body. Or you can seek help. You could continue to focus on the frustrations in each other, or you can reach out for help today. You could continue to feel scared and uncertain while your teen will continue to feel angry, anxious, or unloved, but that is not what you want. Working with a supportive and compassionate therapist can help your son or daughter work through their issues and start to find joy and calm once again.
You Are Considering Teen Therapy For Your Child, But May Still Have Some Questions . . .
I Know My Teen Needs Help, But I Am Worried About the Cost?
Getting help for your teenage son or daughter is not only an investment in their future, but yours as well. The effects of a positive therapeutic counseling experience can be far-reaching and meaningful across many stages of their life. Additionally, therapy can also help strengthen and reinforce their bond and relationship with you regardless of other obstacles or challenges.
I am committed to making therapy affordable for all who are interested. I work with the Open Path Psychotherapy Collective as well as many insurance companies. If your insurance won’t cover your sessions, I also offer a sliding scale option based on family income.
Why Would My Teen Talk To You and Not Me?
This tends to be the most common question from parents who are considering teen therapy for their son or daughter. While I know sometimes it can be tempting to take it personally, it is important to remember that, for therapy to work effectively for your teen, there has to be a foundation of trust, understanding, and support with their therapist. I am able to offer them an outside perspective and objective feedback on what they discuss in sessions that their friends and family can’t, based solely on the nature of those relationships and the connection, investment and love that comes along with those relationships.
What If They Come to Therapy But Refuse To Talk to You?
Part of the magic of therapy is trusting the process. Most teens know themselves well and can feel when they are struggling and in need of some guidance. Though it may be hard for them to admit, it is also difficult to refuse the help when it is right in front of them. While some teens may take longer to open up and establish trust with their therapist than others, in my experience, they are relieved to have found someone that can help guide them through a difficult time and will develop the openness and trust necessary to make therapy helpful and successful for them over time.
Help Your Teen Feel Like Themselves Again
Providing 24/7 online scheduling and offering evening appointments, you can find a convenient time for your teen’s appointment to fit your busy schedule without the hassle. We will work together to help meet your teen’s specific needs. Call (773) 706-7907 or click below to schedule your teen’s first appointment today!