In our opinion, the adolescent years are some of the most difficult years in human development. The adolescent’s social pressures, brain, and bodies are all changing rapidly. These years can often create anxiety about getting good grades, fitting in or navigating cyber-space and social groups. Your teen may agonize over school issues, struggle with self-esteem, and/or stress about social relationships. As a result, some teens may not have the internal resources to pull from when pressure mounts.
You may even have difficulty getting your teen out of bed in the morning, finding that he or she doesn’t want to go to school because the social anxiety is overwhelming. As a result of these anxieties, teenagers often begin to turn inward or seek support in unhealthy and maladaptive places. If your teenager has shut out the world – and you along with it -that can be a discouraging feeling. Perhaps you feel that you have failed as a parent and you’ve lost your child. You may desperately wish that you could reach out to your teen, but feel you lack the tools to do so. It’s heartbreaking to see your child (at any age) struggle with difficulties. Childhood is meant to be fun and care-free, a time to learn and experience new things. But, what if it’s not?
There is hope! The adolescent years don’t have to wreak havoc on your teens self-esteem. Psychotherapy can assist your child in developing coping skills to manage anxiety, stress, depression, and/or other behavioral challenges. Through the use of evidence-based treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT); Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT); Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR); etc, your child can learn to change distressing thoughts, emotions, or behaviors that may be holding them back. Through therapy, we hope to help your teen to become more self-aware both consciously and subconsciously, secure in him or herself, improve academic achievement and find fulfillment in relationships. In teen therapy sessions, your teen can begin to draw on intrinsic strength from personal insight and discovering things he or she does best. Building on strengths and engaging in enjoyed activities-like art, music, or other extracurricular pursuits-helps build confidence, which can ultimately help your teen find happiness in other areas of life
Family counseling can also support parents to strengthen parenting skills to help manage behavioral challenges such as impulsive or oppositional behaviors and learn ways to best support your child to develop self-regulation and mindfulness-based strategies to manage undesirable behavior.
Providing your child therapeutic support during this time is a true gift. With the help of therapy, teens can talk through their problems, identify issues that are creating anxiety or depressive symptoms and learn to manage complicated emotions and situations.
Psychotherapy is not a quick fix or an easy answer. It is a complex and rich process that, over time, can reduce symptoms, provide insight, and improve your adolescent’s level of functioning and quality of life. Please don’t wait if you have concerns and consider talking to your child about engaging in therapy. At Aspen Alliance Counseling your teen will have the opportunity to explore the roots of their unique struggles in a safe, objective, confidential setting (with certain limits); and will be given the specific tools they need to overcome them, It is essential that adolescents recognize the short-term nature of their struggles, recognizing that hope is on the horizon!