Teen Counseling: What Every Parent Should Know
If you’re a parent of a teenager or have one in your family, you know that it can be quite challenging. And seeking teen counseling arises as a natural suggestion to help the person struggling.
Besides undergoing numerous changes physically, emotionally, and psychologically, this young person will also go through identity formation. All of these areas might be really difficult for an individual and they might lead to different forms of pressure, while experiencing social pressure, bullying, or even questioning their gender or sexual identity as they start their first valuable relationships with other people.
Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration in today’s culture is social comparison and lower self-esteem due to the prevalence of social media. There’s no question about it, being a teenager in our modern world is quite stressful and understanding all the benefits from teen counseling as they are navigating these challenges.
Why Do Teens Need Counseling?
It’s quite crucial to memorize that teens, although they are becoming adults, are still children. The brain is in the process of fully forming, yet they are still not able to make mature decisions or handle mature situations the same way adults can. Also, understanding their bodies are changing and all the side effects of budding hormones. All of this can tip teenagers over the edge, even if an adult doesn’t realize how stressful it might be for the teenager.
What’s making things even worse, today’s teenagers are not spending the same amount of time with their families as 10 or 20 years ago as today’s parents work long hours. However, family time is crucial in keeping stress levels low, so the lack of family time will be just another factor why it’s so beneficial for a teenager to seek counseling.
Once a teenager reaches the point where they are not able to effectively handle school, social situations, or family stress, counseling can help them tremendously in learning how to cope with it all. Parents will typically consider this option once they notice that their teenager is struggling with one of the mentioned areas. Yet the smarter decision would be to send your teenager to talk to a professional before they reach that level of stress.
Deciding that a teenager should go to therapy will benefit them in numerous ways. Especially as they will be able to talk about their current struggles and even past events that are troubling them.
What Can Parents Expect From Teen Counseling?
As a parent, you should know what you and your teenager can expect from teen counseling. Once your teenager begins counseling, it might surprise you that parents are typically not invited to attend. All you can do is drive your teen to the doors and wait for his counseling to finish. Another thing to keep in mind is that the counselor cannot share information on these sessions due to therapist-client confidentiality. What a counselor can do is to provide you with more general information regarding progress and diagnosis. If you don’t feel supportive about this, be aware that your teenager needs a safe place to express their thoughts and emotions without fearing consequences. And if you know even one thing about teens, that would be that they value their privacy and want to have more autonomy from their parents.
Types of Teen Therapy
The type of counseling will usually depend on the precipitating problem. For instance, you teenager will maybe start teen counseling because they are struggling with studying and their grades. So the counselor will start from there and gradually, dive deeper. The reason for that is that establishing trust and getting to know each other is crucial for success in therapy.
The initial intake session, however, might include parents as well, yet from the next session. The therapist will spend only on getting to know the teenager and helping them learn useful tools to make their lives easier. As a parent, you will need to accept you’re not in control over the process and have faith in it. Just because it seems to you that the therapist is taking the wrong approach doesn’t mean you’re right. After all, you are not sitting in those sessions and you’re not the patient.
What A Therapist Needs To Report?
As mentioned above, all the information your teenager decided to share with the counselor is considered confidential. Except anything the counsel will be legally mandated to report. The examples would be the intent to harm themselves or someone else, sexual or physical abuse, and suicidal thoughts. So, if your teenager is experiencing serious issues, you can be sure they will receive the help they need and you as a parent will be informed about it.
When it comes to everything else, teenagers will be able to discuss any concerns they have without the fear that they will be shared with their parents or someone else.
Preparing Teens For Counseling
Don’t feel discouraged if the first time you talk to your teenager about the therapy they feel resistant. It’s quite normal, so try to understand their point of view as well. To help you get your teenager to become more open about teen counseling, consider these helpful tools:
They Should Lead
If you think your teenager would benefit from therapy, try starting a conversation on their thoughts about therapy. Inform them about the process and tell them you think it would be great for them to talk to someone who is not their parents. And will provide them with useful tips on how to deal with some situations in their lives.
There are plenty of ways to motivate your teenager to go to a counselor if the conversation didn’t produce results. And one of them is offering a reward. For instance, you can tell them that if they attend just one session. You will buy the concert tickets to see their favorite band or their favorite sports team.
Including Them in the Process
If you’re thinking about teen counseling, you should also consider including your teenager in the process of choosing a therapist. And allow them to decide when they would like to schedule their appointments. They will more likely think that therapy is a good idea if they are a part of the decision-making process.
Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists!
Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems.
LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs.
Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.