Adolescent Therapy

Should I seek the help of a therapist for my adolescent son or daughter?

Many teens come to therapy because they are trying to gain greater insight into the way they think, act, and react. The culture has changed, and communities are varied and different. There is a lot happening, and navigating life can be quite challenging.

One in five teens (20%) work with therapists to manage a variety of issues. If you are a concerned parent or just feel that something has changed with your son or daughter, give us a call. If you are a teenager who has questions, let us help you make sense of what you are going through; call or email us. We are friendly counselors who care.

We work to help with issues of:

  • Poor self-esteem
  • Lack of motivation
  • Mood swings
  • Negative peer influence
  • Poor academic performance
  • Lack of caring
  • Distancing themselves from family
  • Defiant to authority figures
  • Socially awkward
  • Abusing substances
  • Out of control
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bereavement
  • Cutting, self-harm
  • Depressive disorders
  • Grief
  • Mood disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Victims of abuse and neglect

Teens experience changes in their moods and behaviors, and some of these changes are relatively predictable. Though these changes may be challenging, most are completely normal aspects of their development. If you have any concerns, or if your child is expressing any of the behaviors we have outlined, give us a call.

There are eight life stages and teens fall into the stage called:

Identity vs. Role Confusion. Here adolescents become more independent and begin to form identities based on experimentation with new behaviors and roles. Puberty usually occurs during this stage, bringing with it a host of physical and emotional changes. These changes can often feel turbulent causing a strain in the parent-adolescent relationship, especially when new behaviors go beyond experimentation and cause problems at school or home, or if emotional highs and lows persist and lead to experiences such as anxiety or depression.

Every child will respond differently to changes in life, but some of the events that may impact an adolescent’s mental health include:

  • Parental divorce or separation
  • The birth of a sibling
  • The death of a loved one, such as a family member or a pet
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Poverty or homelessness
  • Natural disaster
  • Domestic violence
  • Moving to a new place or attending a new school
  • Being physically or emotionally bullied
  • Taking on more responsibility than is age-appropriate

If your family is experiencing or has experienced any of these circumstances, give us call; we can help.

Parents often attend therapy with their teen, as therapy can be a safe space in which to address the thoughts, feelings, and emotions experienced by all members of the family. At Defining Moments, therapy is explored from a family-systems approach where we understand how everyone plays a role in the family culture.

We will explore that culture and look for ways to improve the family dynamics which ultimately improves the teen’s ability to respond to their world. Sessions will be focused on psycho-education, copings skills and, most importantly, building resiliency.

Often therapy is sought when things have escalated and crisis ensues; however, when used as a preventative measure, therapy will aid in building the emotional intelligence necessary for your child to navigate this difficult world.

Working with adolescents is a gift, being welcomed in their world is a privilege.  Establishing a connection requires consistency and patience.