Tween & Teen Therapy Offerings

ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR TEENAGER’S ATTITUDE, CHOICES AND BEHAVIORS?

It can be really hard to determine whether your teen’s mood swings, sensitivity, judgement and actions are consistent with typical development or that they are an indicator that something bigger is going on. Your teen is experiencing a large amount of developmental, social and academic pressures. Independence and identity formation are two monumental tasks you teen is tackling. With this comes resistance as they push against you. Imagine a coiled spring. In order to propel something, you must first apply pressure to the spring. This is exactly what happens within your relationship with you teenager as they spring forward into independence and young adulthood. This is good! And it can feel painful, maddening and sometimes sad.

Your teen is discovering what it means to be them. They spend a lot of time away from the family with their friends, sports teams, groups and the larger community so they can further develop their identity. Your teen experiments with decision-making and practices using good judgment and the result is that the majority of their choices are probably not the best, but they are learning. Within the safe, loving and supportive boundaries of your relationship and the family system, you provide your child with a safety net within which they can practice new skills and grow into themselves. Perhaps you’ve noticed that what your teen is experiencing and exhibiting are worrisome and may require extra attention and professional guidance.

WHEN THINGS BECOME WORRISOME

Because your teen may not tell you everything that is going on, it can be confusing when their behaviors and moods become extreme. Below are some indicators that your teen is struggling and you may want to consider teen counseling to help resolve any issues:

  • Excessive moodiness, depression, sensitivity, or emotional numbing
  • Self-harm (cutting, burning, hitting), suicidal thoughts/attempts
  • Sudden and lasting change in your teens desires to hang out with friends or engage in previously enjoyable activities
  • Anxiety that interferes with daily functioning
  • Confidence, self-esteem or body-image issues
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Disruptive behaviors: rebelliousness, defiance, angry outbursts, tantrums, manipulation
  • Lack of academic interest or sudden ‘over’ interest in academic performance
  • Exhibiting signs of or disclosing abuse, including bullying, date rape/assault, harmful hazing rituals.
  • Engaging in risky sexual behaviors, alcohol/drug use, illegal activity
  • Lack of physical or emotional boundaries
  • Difficulty maintaining friendships
  • Complaints of chronic stomach pain, headaches, digestive troubles for which medical doctors have found no cause

HOW TEEN COUNSELING CAN ASSIST YOUR TEEN AND YOUR FAMILY

Teen counseling can be very effective at improving the overall functioning and well-being of your teen. We will collaborate with you to discover the cause of your teen’s difficulties and challenges, help you gain awareness and insight into what is going on for your child, and develop an effective and practical treatment roadmap.

We can evaluate your teen’s developmental stage in order to create an appropriate treatment plan with reasonable expectations and goals. We will teach you strategies and provide you with tools to assist you in making a positive family environment. Regular feedback, check-ins and joint parent-child sessions will maximize counseling outcomes and strengthen the bond with your child.

By using teen-friendly counseling activities, we will help your teen understand their complex thoughts and emotions. Your teen will learn to recognize how their emotions show up in various ways in different situations. We will teach your teen how to name their feelings and how to relate to and express them constructively and purposefully. We will engage your teen in discussions about how the changes in their bodies and brain impact them and how to leverage them appropriately in counseling and in life. Teen counseling will also focus on your teen’s identification and use of their strengths and activities/hobbies that make them feel happy and confident. This will assist them in building their self-esteem as they move through the counseling process. The special care we take in facilitating your teen’s emotional awareness and growth will empower them to successfully manage difficult emotions (anger, fear, stress) throughout adolescence and beyond.

Trauma Therapy for Tweens & Teens

Are you worried about your teen’s emotional and mental wellbeing after a traumatic event?

  • Is your teen overwhelmed, distressed, anxious and fearful?
  • Perhaps your child has been lashing out in anger toward you or siblings.
  • Are you finding it difficult to soothe your teen after they have become upset?
  • Does your teen wake up from nightmares multiple times a week?
  • Have you noticed that your teen is isolating or withdrawing from previously enjoyable friends and activities?
  • Maybe your teen seems detached, numb and/or depressed.
  • Is your teen complaining of stomach aches, headaches, and chronic pain that aren’t relieved with medications?

Watching your teen struggle with the distress, fear, pain and confusion of trauma can be a very heartbreaking, and frustrating experience.  As a parent, you may be feeling helpless, guilty, shameful and angry that you can’t take your child’s pain away.  You may not have a sense of how to help your child through their struggle with trauma.  Perhaps you aren’t clear on what trauma is and how it is truly impacting your teen?  It is common to feel confused about what to do to help your child cope and heal.  The effects of trauma and how symptoms express themselves creates an overwhelming level of frustration and stress on the entire family.  So, if you’re feeling stuck and at your wits end, take comfort in knowing that your feelings and experience is extremely common and only temporary.

It can be difficult to know if what your teen is feeling, thinking and doing is just a normal part of the healing process, or if they are in need of more support and guidance.  While most teens have the capacity to be resilient, a single traumatic event or prolonged exposure to trauma can make it very difficult for them to process what happened to them and to rebuild a healthy sense of trust, safety and emotional/mental/social well-being. Thankfully, trauma therapy can help your child or teen process the trauma and gain control over the debilitating effects.

Teen Trauma Therapy Provides Guidance, Support and Relief

When working with teens who are struggling with post-traumatic stress symptoms, we utilize various research supported and age-appropriate approaches. The most vital and restorative aspect to our approach working with your teen is creating a safe, warm and trusting therapeutic relationship. Through this genuine connection, your teen will feel at ease in sharing their feelings and thoughts, and will become empowered to courageously take back their lives from the effects of trauma.

 

We can also help you understand your child’s emotions, thoughts and behaviors and how they have been impacted by the traumatic event(s).  We will work closely together so that you develop a clear understanding of what is trauma and how it is manifesting in your child’s life.  We will provide you with tools you can use at home to help your child through the healing process and tools that will help you cope with the many feelings, thoughts and fears you are grappling with.  Together, we will discuss, in general, how the therapeutic process works, what techniques will be utilized and the rationale behind their use, the length of time it may take to see some progress and relief of symptoms, and what community supports (doctors, schools, agencies) will facilitate your teen’s overall, success, growth and well-being.

Unfortunately, many children and adolescents experience a scary, hurtful, stressful and overwhelming event that leads to them feeling distressed and traumatized. There are many proven methods that can provide relief, alleviate symptoms and foster peace and joy. With support and guidance, your teen will feel and function better.  Your tween/teen will have a greater sense of self-confidence and awareness of their strengths.  You will develop skills to help your child feel supported and successful now and throughout their childhood and adolescence.