Counseling & Therapy for Teenagers

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Adolescence is a developmental stage that can be difficult for both teens and their parents. It can require changes and adjustments that may difficult or confusing. Most adults can recall how challenging these years were, but are faced with the special challenge as parents as how to set boundaries, relate, and communicate with their teen. This time may be especially challenging if their teen is acting in new, confusing, or problematic ways, or exhibiting oppositional behavior, like refusing to follow rules at home or school. Many parents are also left feeling at a loss when their teen is experiencing depression or anxiety, as it may be unclear whether they should be concerned about their teen’s symptoms or complaints, or if they are related to the often misunderstood concept of “teenage angst.”

Common Signs of Teenage Anxiety/Depression:

  • Decrease in energy level; fatigue or restlessness
  • Decrease or increase in appetite/eating behaviors
  • Decrease in motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Body pain, stomach or headaches that do not appear to have a medical cause
  • Increase in irritability and anger
  • Frequent talk or thinking about not liking themselves
  • Feeling “empty,” hopeless, or as if “nothing is real”
  • Frequent tearfulness
  • Withdrawing from interests and hobbies
  • Socially isolating or avoiding friends or social events they would typically like
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicidal thinking or wishing they could “not be here” or disappear
  • Decrease in school attendance and/or performance

Signs of Panic/Panic Attack 

  • Rapid or increase heart beat
  • Sweating
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Feeling very hot or very cold
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Numbness in fingers, arms, or legs

Counseling or therapy for teens provides them with a safe place to become aware of and discuss topics they may have a hard time understanding about themselves or talking about with their parents. Part of my job as a therapist is to build the communication bridge between teens and their parents. Teens learn new and healthy ways to cope with their difficulties and parents learn how to provide support in an adaptive way and set appropriate boundaries.