Therapy for Teens
Is your teen under a lot of stress? Do they not seem as happy as they once did? Are they exhibiting moodiness? Are they shutting you out?
The teenage years are supposed to be full of great fun, and burgeoning freedom, right? Teens are under a tremendous amount of pressure these days and feel more stressed out and lonely then ever.
> They feel the strain of performing well in school to be accepted into a good college.
> They deal with social pressure related to dating, partying, and social media.
> They stress about their appearance and fitting in with their peers.
Add changing bodies and skyrocketing hormone levels into the mix and it’s enough to make anyone feel emotionally out of control! All of this stress can take its toll on a teen’s mental health and overall well-being. In therapy, I help adolescents identify their strengths and learn to accept themselves just as they are now. Together we navigate difficult feelings and difficult conversations so they learn how to communicate their needs effectively and respectfully.
Common Life Challenges Among Teens
Teens can often face some serious life challenges that impact their mental health and well-being.
Loss can come in the form of a death of a loved one, including a pet, and it can also come in the form of parental separation or divorce. Loss also happens when a family moves to a new location and the teen must go to a new school, or when friends move away – or move on to other interests. Abandonment or rejection hurts.
A little stress is normal in life and can even be motivating. But too much stress can cause burnout at any age. Many teens face tremendous amounts of stress to do well in school, hold down a job, and be accepted by their peers.
Teens that are bullied at school or at home suffer, and often alone. If not dealt with, the aftermath of violence can result in PTSD symptoms.
Other common issues I often encounter during my work with adolescents include:
+ Teens who have trouble fitting in with peers and feel shy, invisible, or just different around others.
+ Teens who are struggling with family issues, whether it be divorce, blended family situations, or conflict in the home.
+ Teens who put a lot of pressure on themselves and display perfectionist tendencies.
+ Teens who are exploring their sexuality or gender issues and want to feel comfortable about themselves and opening up to others close to them.
+ Teens who struggle with low self-worth and find their self-esteem is tied to the approval of a partner.
+ Teens who have difficulty establishing boundaries and allow others to take advantage of their kindness, while feeling frustrated and resentful.
+ Teens who feel that they can’t do anything right and have learned to live down to low expectations.
What Are Some of the Best Types of Therapy for Teens?
In my practice, I generally use individual and/or family therapy for teens who are experiencing mental health issues:
In these private, one-on-one sessions, I will typically use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help the teen make a connection between their thoughts and feelings, as well as understand how these impact their behavior.
In this scenario, the teen would attend therapy sessions with their parent(s) and sometimes even with siblings. This style of therapy can be very beneficial as it allows family members to explore family dynamics and learn to communicate effectively and respectfully with one another.
If your teen is struggling right now and could benefit from therapy, please reach out to me.
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