Are You Concerned About Your Teen’s Mental Health?
- Has your teen fallen behind in school?
- Is their disruptive behavior causing disciplinary issues?
- Does your teen seem sad, withdrawn, lonely?
- Have they expressed intense anxiety about their future?
If your teen is struggling with their mental health, they’re probably having trouble juggling all of their responsibilities. They might feel overwhelmed at school and bring home poor grades, get into trouble in class, or have difficulty making friends. Perhaps a teacher, coach, or someone else has even checked in with you to talk about your teen’s academic or social challenges, but you’re not sure how to support them.
Maybe your teen is going through frequent mood swings. Sometimes, they seem perfectly happy and upbeat. But an hour later, the two of you can’t stop arguing, and you can’t pinpoint what went wrong.
Your teen might also feel isolated from their peer group and is becoming distant from old friends. For many teens, having trouble fitting in is normal, but it can contribute to problems with depression or anxiety. Alternatively, you might be worried about the influence of their current friend group.
Perhaps you’re concerned that your teen is involved in drug abuse or engaging in self-harm. Maybe your teen has even expressed suicidal thoughts, leaving you fearing for their safety.
Despite encouraging your teen to open up to you about what they’re going through, they may prefer to maintain their privacy. As a parent, all you want to do is help your teen, but their distancing might make you feel hopeless.
If you don’t know where to turn, teen counseling could be the answer. Working with a compassionate therapist can help your teen navigate this confusing stage of their life, gain self-confidence, and learn to make healthier decisions.
Teens Face Intense Pressure To Succeed In Every Area Of Life
Teenagers today are expected to balance academics, extracurricular activities, social events, and more while figuring out their futures. And when they feel that they aren’t living up to the high expectations that society has set for them, it can take a toll on their mental health.
Some teens may worry that if they can’t handle everything perfectly, they won’t be able to achieve what they want in the future. And although everyone makes mistakes as a teenanger, it can be hard for a teen to accept their own flaws.
Teenage life also brings many internal challenges. Teens are trying to define their own identities while, at the same time, relating to their peer groups. The struggle to blend in while maintaining their sense of self can become emotionally draining. They may feel pressure to engage in risky behaviors, and they may not always feel confident enough to refuse.
In modern society, teens can feel like they do not get a break from trying to measure up to their peers. With widespread social media usage, many teens spend hours every day looking at edited, idealized images of other people their age. In addition, bullying and harassment can take place on these platforms. Some teens may wish to escape from the teasing they face at school, only to receive nasty messages online, giving them no reprieve from the toxicity.
All of these problems are very common amongst teenagers. Leaving childhood behind and learning to handle the responsibilities of young adulthood is difficult. However, by working with a supportive therapist, your teen can begin to manage their stressors and develop a healthier sense of self-esteem.
Counseling Can Help Your Teen Gain Self-Confidence And Develop Healthy Habits
Many teens worry that adults don’t take them seriously. If they think that their self-expression will be met with a lecture, they may hesitate to open up. The problems that teenagers face are real, and they should be validated, not dismissed.
That’s why our teen therapists foster a warm, inviting atmosphere in counseling sessions. They are ready to listen, never to judge. They will not push your teen to open up about anything until they feel ready; sessions will proceed completely at a pace your teen is comfortable with.
To begin, your teen and their therapist will work together to outline a custom treatment plan centered around your teen’s needs, goals, and the resources they have to work with. Your teen’s therapist will also explain why certain treatments and skills will be beneficial. Our practice values transparency, and a therapist will not make treatment decisions without discussing them with your teen. They will also talk to both you and your teen about when or if it is appropriate to involve you in the teen’s therapy process as well.
Throughout therapy sessions, your teen will work on challenging their negative thoughts, recognizing their own strengths, and regulating their emotions. They will also practice self-reflection and developing their self-awareness. As they process their emotions and work towards their goals, they will learn to prioritize their core values, practice healthy habits, and grow as a person.
Your teen’s therapist can incorporate a variety of modalities into their treatment plan. For example, many teens suffering from anxiety can benefit from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, which can help them recognize how limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns affect their lives. They will learn to identify these thought patterns and break down cognitive distortions. And with the help of their therapist, they will establish new patterns that serve them better.
Or if your teen struggles with emotional regulation, their therapist may choose to work with them on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) exercises. DBT can help your teen adopt healthy methods of coping with stress and managing conflict.
The experienced therapists at Affinity Psychological Services treat clients from vastly different backgrounds and of all ages. With plenty of support, your teen can move through this confusing stage of life with confidence.
But you may still have questions about teen counseling…
What if my teen isn’t interested in counseling?
The first time you suggest therapy to your teen, they might not welcome the idea. Don’t force the topic, but gently encourage them to consider it. You can explain how therapy can help them and what they might learn during a typical session. You can also reassure your teen that our practice will work with them to match them with the right counselor.
My teen is already so busy—what if they don’t have time for counseling?
School and extracurriculars are important for your teen, but therapy is an investment in their well-being and their future. We will coordinate with you to match your teen with a counselor at the practice closest to your home to cut down on driving time. Alternatively, we can also discuss options for virtual therapy sessions.
I’m worried about the cost of teen counseling.
We aim to make therapy accessible to all of our clients, no matter the cost. We are a pro-insurance practice, so we accept all local insurance plans. As we believe that everyone should be able to receive mental health services, we will work with you to make sure that the cost of teen therapy is accessible for your family.
Help Your Teen Thrive and Gain Self-Worth Through Counseling
If your teen is ready to prioritize their emotional wellbeing and seek therapy, you can ask any questions you have about our practice through our contact page. And when your teen is ready to schedule an appointment, you can use the scheduling page on our website to book a session at one of our Minnesota practices in Edina, St. Cloud, St. Louis Park, or Plymouth.