As a parent, you’re doubtless aware of most things that teens face today.
It’s a time of intense pressure and often of confusion. Some teens move through these years with confidence and few problems. But many others do not.
Counseling has been shown to effectively help teens across a wide range of issues. These can include very serious problems, such as depression, suicidal feelings, and anxiety. But there are many other issues—problems in classes, uncertainty about future careers, and irritation with their parents—for which teens can also find solutions through the guidance of a counselor.
While the advantages of counseling are numerous, here are four key benefits.
1. A Neutral Listening Ear
Tensions and arguments frequently arise between teens and their parents. Their burgeoning steps of independence can clash with the necessary boundaries that have been established by their parents. And parents can ache to see their kids grow up so quickly and want to hang on more than is appropriate.
Teens may also feel misunderstood by teachers, family, and even friends. Sometimes, they just need a safe place where they can talk without the expectations and emotional history that weigh on family interactions. Adolescents often want to talk about the struggles they face. But they might not want to talk about it with their parents.
No matter what a teen is facing, being given the chance to discuss it is invaluable. They need to know that their feelings are respected and important.
Moreover, counselors are trained to see things that others don’t. It could be that your teen is depressed or anxious but you haven’t picked up on it. It can be easy to miss the signs. But counselors can identify such mood issues and fortify your teen’s emotional resilience.
2. Preventing Smaller Problems from Getting Bigger
Maybe you know that your teen is struggling a bit with grades, occasional loneliness, or friends who may not be the best influences. It can be easy to ignore or overlook issues that seem small in the hopes that they will resolve on their own. But something that seems small to a parent isn’t necessarily so for a teen. And, often, smaller struggles grow into larger problems if left unaddressed.
Even just a few counseling sessions can help a teen identify ways to manage homework and classroom sessions. Likewise, counseling can help them learn better coping skills and set stronger boundaries when it comes to friendships.
Steps like these help teens develop the resources that can help them cope. Addressing loneliness early on, for example, can prevent full-blown depression or suicidal tendencies. And walking teens through the ramifications of friendship choices may help them avoid the temptations of drugs and alcohol.
3. Preparing Teens for Adulthood
While teens are usually excited to enter adulthood and become independent, there may be a lot of things they don’t consider.
If you sense that your teen will struggle after leaving home, counseling can help. For example, some adolescents struggle greatly with anxiety about being able to manage a college workload or leaving home. A counselor can work with them to prepare a game plan before graduation.
4. Focusing on Future Goals
It’s easy to see how teens can be sidelined by friendship drama, romantic drama, extracurricular involvements, and more. They may find themselves so entangled in their present that they can’t focus adequately on the big picture. They may not even realize they’re too absorbed in the here and now.
Counseling can help teens turn their eyes toward what they want their future to look like. Perhaps they are having a lot of fun as the life of the party in high school. But examining that through the lens of adult goals may help them re-evaluate their choices. Plus, counseling can also help identify potential career and educational goals.
Like most parents, you likely yearn for the best possible future for your teen. You want to help them enter adulthood as strong, capable individuals. No matter what they may be facing right now, no problem is too big or too small to be addressed in therapy. If you’re ready to learn more, please reach out today.
For more information on our services, click here: Family Therapy