Teen Counseling

Adolescence is a rough time for any teen.

With the addition of depression, anxiety, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity issues, or other stressors, it can be a nightmare. Counseling offers teenagers an outlet to address these concerns in a safe, healthy environment. They are able to learn adaptive coping strategies and help avoid those negative coping tendencies, such as underage drinking, drug experimentation, deviant behaviors, and withdrawal.

Through effective counseling, teens are able to talk openly about the struggles of adjusting to new independence, expectations, and planning for the future. Psycho-education is also provided to teens to help them understand the full picture of underage drug/alcohol use, impulsive behaviors, healthy behaviors in relationships, online safety with social media, sexual health, and other relevant topics that affect today’s teens.

In the first session, teenagers over fourteen years of age will be able to make a choice whether parents are involved with the session. Teens under the age of fourteen can still have parents in the room for the initial intake. The counselor will review the counselor’s role, client rights, confidentiality, and duty to warn obligations in the first session with the client and parent. The client and parent will be given the opportunity to discuss current issues, goals for counseling, and create a treatment plan.

“What adolescence is about is by trial and error, honing a frontal cortex that
is going to be more optimal by the time you’re 25.”

– Robert Sapolsky

Length of treatment can vary from client to client.

Sessions are typically fifty to fifty-five minutes weekly or biweekly depending on the needs of the client. Teens can be seen anywhere from a few months to a year, but the extra support is a great outlet with the changing needs of today’s youth. Teen counseling can address various issues, such as family changes, anxiety, trauma, anger management, depression, self-harm, LGBT+ concerns, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders, autism spectrum, self-confidence issues, school difficulties, and many others.

Counseling for teens can encompass a variety of techniques and styles.

For some adolescents, they prefer to simply talk and process issues in the counseling environment. While others may prefer a more interactive and fun approach, through games, music, therapeutic art activities, and media. The therapist will individualize the treatment to the needs and complex issues of the teen. It is important that adolescents feel comfortable and safe in a counseling environment, increasing the chances of enhanced growth and effective results.

How Can Parents Help?

Adolescents will need their parent(s) support through this process. Opening up can be hard for teens. Having a warm, open, and supportive environment at home is essential to encourage progress outside the counseling sessions. Listening is a simple approach to helping your teenages feel understood and empowered to continue on this path of positive growth.