It’s no secret that the teenage years can be tumultuous and volatile. Adolescence marks a time of significant emotional and physical change, and it can be challenging for teens to adapt and cope with this transition. Likewise, research shows that anywhere between 10-20% of teenagers experience a mental health condition. Although many of these conditions start during adolescence, the struggles are frequently unnoticed and untreated. So the next time your teen is having any challenges, try a therapist for teenagers. Therapy for teenagers offers compassion, support, and practical guidance during this time. Let’s get into the top benefits.
Support for Mental Health Conditions
Many well-intentioned parents worry about saying or doing the wrong thing regarding their child’s mental health. Additionally, many teenagers start withdrawing from their parents- just when they need them the most. Many times, teenagers feel a combination of shame, confusion, anger, and sadness about their mental health. At times, these emotions may seem downright overwhelming. Professional support encourages your teenager to process and cope.
If your teenager is struggling with an issue like depression or anxiety, therapy can provide invaluable support. It offers a safe place to understand their condition and gain insight into their specific triggers. Additionally, your teenager will learn appropriate coping skills for managing distressing symptoms.
Support for Trauma
Trauma refers to any real or perceived life-threatening event. These events often include acts of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. In some cases, grief and loss can also feel traumatic. Unresolved trauma underlies numerous adolescent problems like difficulties with forming friendships and academic struggles. It’s also associated with complex issues like self-harm, substance use, eating disorders, unhealthy relationships, and domestic violence. Therapy can provide a supportive environment for trauma recovery. Your child’s therapist may engage in various techniques, such as relaxation exercises, trauma narratives, or creative interventions to help with this processing.
Many teenagers struggle with their self-worth and identity during adolescence. This is a time where fitting in with their peers is essential. Moreover, they often feel immense pressure to perform well in school, sports, and other extracurricular activities.
Many other variables can adversely affect self-esteem, including:
- Problems at home with parents, siblings, or other relatives
- Body image struggles
- Difficulties with peers
- Mental health conditions
- Experiences with bullying
Chronic Health Issues
Therapy helps teenagers recognize the root causes that trigger negative beliefs. After gaining more awareness, they can also learn new ways of thinking and behaving. Over time, therapy can teach teenagers how to accept (and even embrace!) themselves.
Boundaries refer to the emotional and physical limits people set with one another. These boundaries represent the foundation of a healthy relationship. Ideally, both parties understand and respect them. If your teenager lacks boundaries, they might be overly trusting with other people. This pattern may result in their peers taking advantage of them. At the same time, when someone has overly rigid boundaries, they might not trust anyone, resulting in feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- Therapy can help teenagers develop an appropriate framework for boundaries by:
- Exploring their working definition of a good friendship or intimate relationship.
- Discuss the limits they want to implement with others.
- Creating guidelines for trusting people and asking for support when needed.
Boundary work honors self-esteem and self-worth. Learning these useful skills during the teenage years can position your child for ongoing success and happiness in the future.
A recent study of teenagers revealed that nearly 45% of respondents reported feeling stressed “all the time.” When asked about these stress causes, most teenagers listed relationships and teachers as the main reasons. Unfortunately, this trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down. American teens are busier than ever, and the pressure to succeed can feel debilitating. Furthermore, many teenagers haven’t learned adequate coping skills to manage their stress, which can lead to unhealthy responses like:
- Procrastinating important tasks.
- Abusing drugs or alcohol.
- Withdrawing from loved ones.
- Feeling anxious or paranoid.
- Engaging in perfectionistic tendencies.
- Lashing out at others.
- Self-injurious behaviors like cutting or burning.
- Feeling depressed or suicidal.
Therapy can provide teenagers with an opportunity to process their difficulties without any judgment. Your child can learn healthier, sustainable methods to understand and cope with their stress.
Therapy for teenagers allows youth to feel understood, validated, and supported through these trying years. Subsequently, many children simply like knowing they have a safe place to share their feelings. If you suspect your child might need support, consider asking them if they want to speak to a professional. Keep in mind they may resist at first. The initial apprehension or refusal is normal. Continue to express your love and let them know you are there for them unconditionally.