Teenagers Today Face Complicated Life Challenges
As their bodies develop, teens routinely experience changes in their moods and behaviors. But in today’s world, teenagers are also subjected to a number of complicated situations that can be emotionally stressful. Those include divorce, romantic encounters, bullying, fitting in with their peers, sexual orientation, gender identity, and living up to their parents’ expectations. When the pressure becomes too great for a teen’s rapidly-developing mind, mental health issues may present which can interfere with their happiness and well-being. For their parents, that can be frustrating and challenging as they seek ways to restore their teen’s health and sense of well-being.. If there is a genetic predisposition for mental health issues in a family, for example bipolar disorder or addiction, those tend to surface during a child’s teen years as well. Teens typically begin experimenting with alcohol and drugs, and abuse of those substances can lead to serious developmental, social and behavioral problems.
Teen Mental Health Risk Factors Include these
Every teen responds differently to the inevitable challenges in their lives, and many are able to adapt and cope well in response to societal and familial pressures. But for teens that develop mental health problems, the most common ones include anxiety, depression, eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia nervosa, substance abuse and addiction. Clinical risk factors for teen mental health issues include:
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Witnessing domestic violence
- Being subjected to physical and/or emotional bullying
- Divorce or separation involving their parents
- Poverty or homelessness
- Getting pregnant
- Moving to a new place or attending a new school
- The death of a family member or close friend
- Having to accept more responsibility than is age-appropriate
- Experiencing a natural disaster
Acting out at school or being more combative with parents are mechanisms that teens use to deal with some of these pressures and many turn to self-medicating as a means to lower stress and forget about their problems; at least temporarily. If you are a teenager experiencing a mental health issue, or the parent of one, the good news is that effective teen counseling services are available to help.
What are the Goals of Henrico Teen Counseling?
Parents should be looking out for signs of negative behavior in their teens, and especially if they project suicidal thoughts or show signs of severe depression that may require some inpatient medical care. Sometimes a school counselor, nurse or family physician might approach a parent about their teen’s behavior, and recommend that they see a professional for counseling. As a parent, you should sit down with your teen and discuss how meeting with a licensed counselor, or coach, would benefit them. Several therapy options are available, including individual, group and family sessions involving one or more parents. The most important focus of outpatient teen counseling is getting the patient to express their innermost thoughts and feelings to an adult other than their parent who will attentively listen to what they are saying, and then make recommendations to help them overcome those challenges. Some of the more effective teen counseling methods include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which focuses on addressing a teen’s negative thoughts while increasing their positive behaviors
- Problem-solving therapy which teaches teens healthy ways to deal with their issues
- Interpersonal skills development to help the teen positively interact with others
- Group therapy with other teens that are experiencing similar challenges and feelings
- Family therapy involving parents and siblings to air out differences in a respectful and constructive setting
In some instances medications may be recommended to assist the teen in overcoming their feelings, especially when a clinically-diagnosed, mental health disorder is present. The good news for parents and their teens is that there are proven ways to successfully address their challenges including teen counseling, or coaching.
Thriveworks Henrico Counselors Understand Teen Counseling Issues
As we’ve seen, teenagers oftentimes face many hard personal and societal hardships that affect their normal development and happiness. If you are a teenager experiencing difficulties in your life there are proven ways to improve how you feel while providing you with a renewed sense of self-worth. Counseling is an important step in the process as you are encouraged to express your feelings and develop positive coping skills to overcome life’s hurdles you might encounter on a daily basis. At Thriveworks Henrico our helpful and compassionate counselors understand teen counseling and will guide you in an effort to facilitate a smoother transition as you learn how to effectively cope with negative feelings while enjoying a renewed sense of well-being. For more information on our teen counseling services call: (804) 205-3408 today or visit our Contact page now.