Do You Feel Like You Don’t Recognize Your Teen Anymore?
Since all teens have a newfound desire for freedom and independence, many of them struggle with limitations and boundaries. They might be coming home late, engaging in inappropriate behaviors, or hanging out with the wrong crowd. These habits may affect their daily functioning, causing them to fall behind in school. Or perhaps they’ve done just the opposite—they’ve become solitary, dropped all their extracurricular activities, and neglected friends. Your teen might complain they have no “clique,” that they eat alone in the cafeteria every day, or that they’ve fallen into a deep depression. Maybe they simply feel alone in the world, like no one gets them—not even you.
If you wish your teen had someone to talk to, but don’t feel like you can be that person, you may need a third party who can offer them a fresh perspective. Oftentimes, teens reticent to discuss their problems with parents are more open with a trained professional who can ensure confidentiality.
Life As A Teenager Is Not All Fun And Games
Let’s face it: being a teenager is hard. We were all teens once, and although we like to romanticize the past—remembering only the good things—life as a teenager is not all fun and games. There’s constant pressure to fit in, to do well in sports, look better than your friends, and succeed in school. These days, with social media, teens face more pressure than they ever did. Many of them turn to Instagram and other social networks to find approval and self-worth, only to confront jealousy and self-doubt. They might look at posts of their friends’ beautiful outfits and happy relationships and react with self-loathing. What’s more, in an age where they’re bombarded with information about current events 24/7, many of them struggle to find peace with what’s going on in the world.
In the face of all these difficulties, teens are often tempted to “suck it up,” to put on a façade of strength and pretend nothing’s bothering them. And when parents try to help, kids often grow obstinate, angry, or unwilling to listen. Sometimes, teens may develop negative coping habits to deal with their struggles—self-harming, drug and alcohol abuse, or addiction to electronics. If they don’t seek help, these habits may carry into adulthood. This is why it’s so vital to find a skilled therapist who can teach your teen healthy coping mechanisms, prepare them for life’s challenges, and help them gain a greater sense of self-worth.
Counseling Can Help Your Teen Discover Their Authentic Self
Our approach to therapy provides a safe space for teens to vent, process their feelings, and be honest about their struggles. This is a time for your teen to unwind from the hustle and bustle of life—to explore their identity without fear, shame, or judgment. It’s a time for them to explore their beliefs and values, discover their authentic self, develop valuable coping skills, and learn how to strengthen their relationship with you.
The therapeutic process is entirely tailored to you and your young one’s needs. In the first session, we will meet with both of you to formulate a plan and discuss goals together. We’ll typically meet with just your teen from thereon out, but will keep you involved when necessary. After all, parents play a huge role in a child’s mental health. We want to equip you with the tools and the knowledge to assist your teen when we’re not around. Our sessions are 100 percent confidential, but as mandated reporters, we do have to inform you if any safety concerns arise (abuse, neglect, self-harm, etc.).
In our sessions, we will teach your child skills for managing conflict, handling their stressors, and maintaining healthy relationships. A huge focus of ours is getting to the core of your teen’s issues. If they’re resistant to go to school, for instance, we’re interested in finding out why. Usually, it’s not just school that’s bothering them—they may be having social anxiety, conflict with peers, or even some deep-seated, unresolved trauma. This way, both you and your teen will be more equipped for dealing with their fears and anxieties.
We specialize in a variety of approaches, but the three we rely on most heavily are CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Experiential Therapy, and EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). We use CBT to challenge negative thinking and decrease distress, Experiential Therapy to help widen their perspective on themselves and the world, and EMDR to alleviate symptoms of trauma and anxiety. All our counselors have years of experience working with teens and expertise in a wide range of approaches.
With our encouragement and the right amount of family support, your teen can reach their goals, overcome stressors, and get a head start in life. What’s more, we can help your teen re-strengthen the bond at the heart of your relationship. After all, the greatest predictor of a child’s success in life is the relationship they have with their parents. No matter what your teen is going through, between our counseling, and your support, they can find relief for their symptoms and confidence in pursuing their dreams.
You May Have Some Concerns About Teen Counseling…
I don’t know if my teen will talk or cooperate.
Our staff is trained to work with teens who are defiant and resistant to talk. We recognize that many teens have a tough time being open and vulnerable, and we’re extremely sensitive to that. That’s why therapy with us is not all talk; if your child struggles to open up, we have a wide range of expressive arts at hand. If it helps them to draw or paint during sessions, for instance, art therapy is always an option (we have artistic materials in our office).
My teen is embarrassed to go to counseling.
It’s common for teens to feel embarrassed about their struggles. That said, therapy for teens is quickly becoming the new normal. Most of your child’s peers should probably be in therapy, if they aren’t already. After all, mental health is health. Your teen goes to the doctor and the dentist. Seeing a therapist is really no different.
My teen is so busy and I don’t know if we have time.
Put simply, therapy is worth your time because it’s what your child needs. It’s an investment like any other, but it’s more important, because it’s an investment in their well-being. If your teen is too busy for counseling, maybe that is part of the problem. They may need to step back, take a breath, and find time to focus on their mental health.
Therapy Gives Your Teen A Major Head Start In Life
If you live in the Lehi or Herriman area of Utah and you want your teen to thrive again, Monarch Family Counseling offers trust, confidentiality, and understanding. Due to COVID-19, we offer teen counseling both in-person and online (we plan on switching to in-person full-time when the pandemic ends). We’re open to whichever option feels right for you. To contact us, you can email us, call the office at 801-349-9606, or message us on our website.