“When my daughter started dying her hair black, I wasn’t worried. I’m pretty liberal as far as personal self-expression goes. When she became a bit more reserved, I still wasn’t worried. But when she stopped talking to me, the worry hit all at once. We’ve always been close, and now she’s so withdrawn. I want her to talk to me again, let me help her with whatever’s wrong. What’s really scaring me is that a lot of her friends are the same way, and I’m concerned about how that’s influencing her. It’s one thing if it’s just a phase, but I just have no idea how to help her.”
When you bring your baby home from the hospital, it’s hard to imagine that sweet little boy or girl turning into a sullen teenager. Snuggling and playing with blocks turns into slammed doors and arguments over curfews. Often, this is a normal part of growing up. But at other times, the intensity of the pain and tension becomes overwhelming for you, your teenager, or both. When this happens, a Thriveworks Charlotte counselor can help you and your child or teenager rebuild your relationship.
When Do Children and Teenagers Need Therapy?
Maybe your teen has experienced a serious trauma, such as a death, assault, or abuse. Your family is reeling from shock. Your teenager may not be talking as much as usual, and you’re wondering what is going on in their head. Your once talkative child is now long gone. You need professional help, and Thriveworks Charlotte can be your trusted partner in your child’s mental health.
Your teenager may just need a little help and guidance on the road to adulthood. They might be hanging out with the wrong crowd, losing interest in things they once loved, and becoming secretive. Your teenager might just need a trusted confidant to help him or her work out their emotions and feelings. Adolescence can be a difficult time, and Thriveworks Charlotte counselors can help make the road a little less bumpy.
How is Counseling for Teens Different?
Counseling for teenagers and adults is very similar, with respect to the situations particular to teenagers. During the first session, a Thriveworks Charlotte counselor will focus on getting to know your teenager. We’re genuinely interested in their interests, their passions, their goals. We want to know who your child is and who they want to become. Within that, we’ll work with them to determine what struggles they’re currently experiencing and help them learn skills to manage and overcome those struggles in a healthy way.
Every teenager is different. Some just need a neutral party to listen, some need help with conflict or time management, and some need assistance processing a trauma. Whatever your teen’s need, our counselors are here to help. We frequently work with teenagers, and we are sensitive to their particular needs.
As with counseling for adults, what your teenager discusses is confidential—something that’s very important to teenagers, who are often dealing with self-consciousness related to who they are,
Do Teens Really Need Counseling?
Well, yes. Some teenagers do need counseling. Social anxiety, sleep disorders, addiction, loss, trauma, and more can happen at any age, but the teenage brain is not yet fully developed and won’t be until about age twenty-five. Because of this, in times of stress or trauma, teenagers are actually more prone to psychological struggles. Additionally, “Among the last connections to be established are the links between the prefrontal cortex, seat of judgment and problem-solving, and the emotional centers in the limbic system, especially the amygdala. These links are critical for emotional learning and high-level self-regulation” (Harvard). As a result of this disconnect between their brain’s development and their level of maturity, disorders and even regular life experiences can be nearly impossible to handle alone. If either of those are not handled well, the repercussions can be life long. Luckily, if they are handled well, the learned skills can be a life-long asset, which is another reason counseling for teenagers can be incredibly beneficial.
Teenagers today experience many of the same things that cause problems for adults, but they don’t yet have the maturity and experience to put them in perspective. Technology has provided another outlet for bullying, and what was problematic ten or twenty years ago has become epidemic today. Platonic or romantic relationships can cause many of the same problems for teenagers as they can for adults—in some cases, perhaps more. Everything feels very immediate during the teenage years, and without the long-term experiences gained with time, it’s difficult to put those experiences in perspective. Similarly, the process of making, maintaining, and sometimes losing friends can be taxing, particularly when combined with peer pressure and the urge to fit in.
All of these things and more can lead to anxiety, reclusiveness, addictions, a dysfunctional relationship with food, and even eating disorders. In fact, while this is a problem for people of any age, teenagers are more prone to the dangers due to their high consumption of media, which is constantly promoting an “ideal” body type.
Being a teenager is difficult. Incredibly difficult. At Thriveworks Charlotte, counselors are prepared to build a professional, trusting relationship with your teenager in order to help them learn skills that will help them toward a positive, healthy adulthood.
Thriveworks Charlotte Children and Teen Counseling
At Thriveworks Charlotte, we do not operate with a waiting list. We have appointments available for new clients within 24 hours. We have licensed professionals standing by, ready to put their expertise to work for you.
Call us today; let’s get to work.
“The adolescent brain: Beyond raging hormones.” July 2005. Harvard Mental Health Letter.