How Counseling Helps Teens & Adolescents

Teens and adolescents benefit from seeking therapeutic intervention to help them learn the needed coping skills in order to deal with the issues that are of paramount importance in their lives. Having someone to listen to them in an objective manner can be of ultimate benefit to them while they try to figure out their place in their families, social structures and their communities at large.

Teen Therapy FAQs

What are some common struggles?

  • Depression & Anxiety Disorders
  • Behavioral Problems
  • Substance Abuse Issues
  • Stress
  • School Issues
  • Legal Problems
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Grief Issues
  • Life Decisions
  • Divorce in the Family

What are causes for teens and adolescent counseling?

  • Bullying
  • Serious Accidents
  • Betrayal In Relationships
  • Abandonment
  • Miscarriages
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Death of a Loved One
  • Divorced Parents

What do I do about social media?

Social media has become an indispensable part of teenagers’ lives. Among the most popular are YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat for ages 13-17. While the majority have access to a smart phone about half acknowledge they are online at an almost constant basis. This exposure makes teens susceptible to peer pressure outside the school campus. The connectivity to social media can lead to depression, negative body image, and eating disorders. Teens need an outlet to discuss frustrations dealing with peer pressure and are encouraged to do so with a school counselor, therapist, or other trusted adult. It is important for a teen to share experiences, feelings, and receive confidential feedback, advice, and feel supported in a neutral environment to accept who he/she is and embrace differences with peers. Parents can support healthy use of online access, limit access to WiFi, as well as monitor activity through parental control software. This can also support healthy sleeping habits and deter development of sleep disturbances, insomnia, etc.

What about bullying?

With access to social media platforms, cyber bullying has become prevalent in the form of sending cruel messages, spreading gossip or posting threatening messages. The Bullying Statistics website noted that over a quarter of teens reported exposure to cyber bullying with a negative impact such as depression, anxiety, attendance problems, and decline in academic achievement. Teens will likely not tell their parents/guardians about their experiences. Schools and counselors can work with parents on identifying the warning signs of bullying, types of bullying, and school/community resources for victims of bullying and cyberbullying. Workshops for parents and families can provide additional support.

What about safety?

Teens report safety as top concern and this is common concern among educators and administrators all across the US. Teens may not feel safe because of violence experienced both at school and in the local community. Many schools are instituting locked doors, security cameras, hallway supervision, controlled building access, metal detectors, and locker checks. Counselors, therapists, and school counselors use trauma informed approaches to build trust, rapport with teens, and collaborate with outside community resources to support students who have been exposed to traumatic events. Notice behavior changes and approach with a friendly way.

How can I cope with my emotions?

Teens’ emotions are often intense and range to include anger, fear, frustration, disappointment, and hurt. These emotions may mask broader issues and have an impact on academic performance. Small groups or group work with a therapist, counselor, or school counselor can support use of social skills and offer a safe place to identify stressors in lives and discuss ensuing emotions. Teens can learn how to effectively articulate their emotions and to identify the underlying contributing factors.

How do I deal with grief?

Most teenagers suffer a loss of some kind during their teenage years and are often left to process their emotions about the loss on their own. Support during loss has a significant impact on academic functioning. Building rapport early in the school year with a therapist, counselor, or trusted adult will help teens feel comfortable disclosing the loss. Teens need to process the grief and can get assistance through a support group at school and/or in therapy.