How does therapy for teens work?
Teens can often feel alone and like no one understand them. Teens are faced with so many different challenges throughout their time in middle and high school: academic pressure, peer pressure, trying to find their identity, social stresses, relationships, social media, perfectionism, future planning pressures, along with changes in their body, hormones, and mind. Therapy can be very beneficial for teens because it allows them an open and honest place for them to reflect and learn more about who they are and who they want to be. Therapy provide the place where they can look at themselves in a deeper way and find a greater connection with themselves, their family, and their true friends.
Therapy for teens can sometimes be challenging because they aren’t sure what to expect. At Courage to Connect we meet each teen where they are at. We help each teen find their confident, compassionate, courageous voice so that they can truly shine their light for all of the world to see during these years and for years extended. We believe in finding a balance of privacy for the teen as well as collaboration with the parent(s). Talking with parent(s) can help us understand the roots of the behavior and the patterns of each teen sitting in front of us and give us different insight that we may miss or be overlooked by the teen. We also know how delicate these years are and how important trust is to a teenager. We want to be able to honor both parties during this process and will speak with each individual family to help you find the right balance.
Process of therapy with teens:
- Information Gathering-exploring where you have been, what you are experiencing now, and where you want to go
- Treatment Planning: developing a plan, setting goals, looking at growth edges, behavior assessment
- Process Work: putting in place tools, resources and skills to help you be the most successful person outside of the office, education
What are some signs that your teen would benefit from therapy?
If you teen has any of the following symptoms they may benefit from counseling:
- Emotionally unstable
- Partaking in risky behavior
- Acting out irresponsibly
- Unable to express emotional appropriately
- Lacking confidence
- No motivation
- No drive or purpose
What are the benefits of therapy for teens?
Emotional: Therapy can help teenagers learn how to manage the overwhelming emotions that these years bring. Emotions are typically the root to most behaviors that we see in teens. If they can understand and bring words to what is happening emotionally they have a better chances for being able to make decisions based off who they are rather than how they feel. Therapy can help provide skills and techniques to handle emotions when they arise as well as finding healthy ways to express emotions. Understanding emotions can help reduce mood swings, impulsive behaviors, and can decrease depression and anxiety.
Mentally: Therapy can help a teen build confidence and self-esteem so that they can face social situations, make future plans, make more steady decisions, and believe in their ability more. Increasing confidence can help a teen with drive, motivation, happiness, anxiety, self-worth, relationships, and behaviors. Giving teens the skills and tools to handle situations in such a way that aligns with who they are is something that will stick with them into adult years. Therapy can help educate teens about what a healthy relationship looks like as well. Teaching them how to develop and maintain relationships with both peers and adults.
Behaviorally: It is natural for teens to want to push boundaries, limits, and expectations because it helps them to identify who they are. Due to the pre-frontal cortex of the brain not being fully developed teens can take it a little far and start behaving in risky and unpredictable ways. Helping teens find healthy ways to seek identity can help with many of the impulsive and risky behaviors that you see.
What are some of the problems you typically work with in teens?
Every youth is working through the struggles of finding out who and what they are going to be for the rest of their lives. They struggle with the perplexing thought of never knowing what the future holds or if they are going to be accepted for who they are or what they want. There are so many circumstances that youth are faced with every day and it can feel so overwhelming, and we may see these feelings play out in family life and social life. My goal as a therapist is to help youth feel safe in their body and to love themselves through the many changes in life that they are facing. I work collaboratively with families to help rebuild relationships and understand one another again. It is always scary to reach out for help for the ones we love, and even for ourselves.
- Building Empathy
- Fitting In
- Relationships with Peers
- Relationships with Adults
- Romantic Relationships
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse/Assault
- Childhood Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Overwhelming Emotions
- Suicidal Ideation