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Are You Worried That Your Teen May Be Feeling Bad Or Engaging in Risky Behavior?
- Do you wonder whether your teenager’s emotional reactions and behaviors are normal?
- Does your teen struggle to get along with friends, family members or authority figures?
- Are your child’s poor choices and/or rebellious behaviors affecting your ability to trust him or her, causing you to feel anxious, frustrated or worried about his or her future?
- Do you wish you knew what to do to ensure your child’s emotional, social, and academic success?
Being a teenager can be hard. During the teen years, children typically begin to seek independence and place a lot of emphasis on peer relationships. They often struggle to build their own identity as they try to figure out who they are and where they fit in to social environments that are increasingly more demanding and complex, which are no easy tasks. While teens are on their quest for independence and identity, they may make choices about friends, appearance and schoolwork that create confusion and conflict within your family.
Raising a teenager can be difficult. Watching your child struggle, rebel or make bad decisions can cause you to experience a great deal of anxiety, concern, frustration and fear. You may also experience sadness when your teen starts pulling away, gravitating towards friends instead of family. During this time, you may notice that communication strategies, boundaries and routines that used to work for your child are no longer effective. The challenges of adolescence can be further compounded if your teen is also experiencing a mood disorder, behavioral problems, ADHD or a learning disability.
Is It Normal Teenage Angst Or Is Something Deeper Going On?
Almost all teenagers encounter insecurities, family conflict and a roller coaster of emotions to some degree during their development. It’s normal to rebel a little, seek independence from mom and dad and place a lot of attention on friends and self-image. It’s uncommon, however, when behaviors become destructive. If your teen is severely struggling in one area of his or her life, or experiencing issues that are impacting his or her ability to function well within multiple areas (school, home, peer relationships), getting help now can be critical.
Teen Counseling Can Offer Support And Guidance To You And Your Teen
If you are invested and committed to helping your teen, teen counseling can be extremely effective. Dealing with your teen’s issues now can help stop problems from getting worse and prevent new ones from developing. Your Orenstein Solutions therapist can help you better understand the teenage experience and your teen’s specific issues. Together, you can set realistic expectations for your teen, develop a system of rewards and consequences, and learn how to have effective and open conversations about rules and boundaries. Your therapist is an expert in teen counseling, and can also work with you, your teen and, if necessary, the school, to find and implement creative and collaborative strategies to best help your teen succeed. As a team, you will be able to overcome difficult issues, establish trust, and enable your teen to mature.
In teen counseling, your Orenstein Solutions therapist can help your teen identify the root causes of his or her struggles and address difficulties in ways that are easy to grasp. Your therapist can help your teen set and meet realistic goals, make better decisions and gain an understanding of who they are and who they want to be. Your teen can also develop a better awareness about how his or her actions affect others, learn more effective ways to communicate, and deepen his or her ability for self-reflection and self-awareness.
But, you still may have questions or concerns…
Teen Counseling can take a lot of time and it isn’t cheap. I’m not sure it’s worthwhile.
Therapy is an investment in the wellbeing of your child and your family. By investing in your teen now, you are not only creating the opportunity for him or her to feel and function better, but therapy can also help alleviate conflicts between you and your teen and promote more harmony within your home.
Intense or misunderstood feelings can also negatively impact how your teen interacts with you and other family members, often creating conflict and strife at home. Potential behavior and performance issues at school resulting from your teen’s struggles may also increase stress. Investing in your teen now can create the opportunity for him or her to work through difficult feelings and learn behavioral modification and stress reduction techniques, which can provide a great sense of relief. When your teen feels and functions better, harmony at home and at school can be restored, benefitting not only your child but also everyone involved.
My teenager refuses to go to counseling.
First, finding the right therapist is key and your child should be an integral part of that process. It’s important to find a therapist who specializes in teen counseling and who also is a good fit for your teen’s unique personality. You may let your teen know that he or she will be seeing a therapist – non-negotiable – but empower him or her with the opportunity to choose a clinician. And, an initial meeting may soften your teen’s resistance to therapy and help him or her see their therapist as an ally, not a threat.
How much time and what kind of a commitment will therapy take?
These are common questions and ones you should address with your teen’s therapist. Your Orenstein Solutions’ therapist can give you honest and appropriate answers based on your teen’s needs and unique family system. There is no cut and clear answer because everyone is different and change takes time. Progress also depends on how much effort goes into helping your teen work through issues outside of therapy. Generally, the more committed everyone is to the healing and discovery processes, the more effective therapy is. Time commitment eventually decreases as the clear and objective goals are set and progress is being made. Once your teen is feeling and functioning better on a regular basis and you have the tools, strategies and education needed to best support him or her, therapy will no longer be needed. The goal is to help you and your teen develop a solid foundation that you can draw from after the therapeutic work is complete.