Does your teenager self-harm, display depression symptoms, or have suicidal thoughts? Have you spent countless days and nights worrying over what to do with them?
Perhaps you have tried all kinds of approaches and none of them seem to work.
Or maybe your teenager has become unresponsive, angry, and does not want to communicate with you anymore.
Do you want your child to be happy and find fulfillment in life?
It can be overwhelming when you are dealing with a difficult teenager. The energy you spend in dealing with them can wear you down causing you a lot of anger, stress, worry, and tears. It’s no fun getting calls from the school, parents of your child’s friends, and others telling you that your child did something that is concerning. You try and give other people the answers of what is going on with your child, but you don’t have the answers. It is becoming too much. You feel like giving up.
Do you wish you could go back to a time in your relationship when you got along and had fun together?
Many families deal with tough teenagers.
It’s true. You are not the only one that has had to deal with a difficult teenager. You’ve heard of the terrible two’s. Dealing with adolescents during the teenage years is just as difficult. Many families develop domestic problems when having a challenging teenager in the home. Parents often start to argue about discipline techniques. For instance, one parent may feel their son or daughter should be allowed to go out with friends even though they haven’t completed their homework. The other parent may feel they should have to stay home until they have completed it. This often causes contention between parents as they try to work out their differences.
During these times, the parents try to help their teen and often get a door slammed in their face or an argument ensues. This tension can affect other siblings in the family. The other children in the family often start acting out during tumultuous times. They sense the conflict in the home and notice all the attention being focused on the troubled teen. The home becomes an insecure environment for the entire family. It’s amazing how one teen can cause such havoc in the home.
Although many youth struggle with normal growing pains and problems, there could be a more serious cause such as a mental health condition.
Many youth struggle with a mental health condition.
Numerous teenagers are affected by a mental health condition such as anxiety, depression, or trauma. This may explain some of the difficulties you are having with your teen.
Mental health conditions may leave your teen feeling they are the only one struggling when truth is: 20% of adolescents live with a mental health condition and 50% of all mental illness begins by age 14. Despite the proven benefits of teen counseling, the average delay between the onset of symptoms and intervention is between 8 and 10 years. The longer these issues have time to be in control in their lives, the more difficult it will be to address them. The potential risks of not seeking treatment can be severe. 70% of teens who commit crimes have a mental illness and almost half of all students with a mental illness drop out of high school. Another alarming statistic is that 90% of teens who kill themselves have an underlying mental illness.
These statistics can be frightening. Whether your teen is just having a hard time or could have a mental health condition, it’s important to get help. Enlisting the help of a caring, experienced teen counselor would certainly ease your burden.
Teen Counseling can help improve your relationship with your teen.
All families go through challenges. We created All About You Therapy Services in St. George in hopes of helping people just like yourselves. We know how painful it can be to deal with troubled teens. We have experience in dealing with some of these same issues both in our personal lives and in our clinical experience. We combine our extensive experience with a strengths-based approach. The psychology behind focusing on positive traits rather than negative ones motivates troubled teens to improve and grow. Teens often need some help in finding their positive attributes. They need an upward push in the right direction to help get them started.
We enjoy meeting with teenagers and aligning with them in a therapeutic way. One of our strengths is that teens often feel comfortable sharing personal problems right away. In our sessions, we encourage teens to express their worries and challenges. We’ve seen how powerful it can be when a teen has an impartial listener to share their personal thoughts and feelings with. They know we will keep what they tell us confidential. Of course, if they tell me something that involves them wanting to harm themselves or others, we are required to report. When youth meet with a counselor weekly, they learn to share more readily. This often spills over into communicating more easily at home.
We employ DBT (Dialetical Behavioral Therapy) skills to help in sessions. These skills, such as “wise mind” (making wise choices), or “riding the wave” (useful when feeling angry), help youth to utilize resources when they feel like self-harming or have suicidal thoughts. We encourage teenagers to practice the skills and to use them regularly. When teenagers develop skills such as DBT skills, they can pull them out when they really need them. We encourage teens to use the skills when they are feeling happy as well as when they are showing anxiety symptoms or signs of depression, so they become second nature to them.
An effective method that helps teens is to encourage them to identify their values and positive attributes. Many teens have low self-esteem, but when they find what they believe in and what matters most to them, they have a desire to go towards their values. We help youth recognize their own personal values in regard to: family relations, friendships, education, personal growth and development, and other areas of their life.
Even though your relationship with your child might seem impossible right now, we can help. Our greatest accomplishment as counselors has been seeing youth change and become committed to making healthier choices. We have had families thank us for bringing their child back they felt they had lost.
You can get help for your teenager and family.
You may still have questions regarding therapy for your teenager.
I think my teenager needs help, but I’ve heard that therapy can be expensive?
Teen counseling is an investment in your child, your relationship with them, and their future. By having your child participate in counseling, you can enrich relationships with your entire family. Many teenagers that don’t receive help, carry their problems into adulthood and continue to have complications later in life. In contrast, if you have your teen go to therapy, they will learn the skills that will help them navigate through all of their difficulties. While therapy will not necessarily cure your child from their anxieties or their other difficulties, it will give them the tools that they need to effectively cope with these hard times. Getting to the root of their issues now can save heartache and expense later.
What if my teenager brings up problems in our family that I don’t want other people to know?
We all have things we don’t want other people to know about our family. No family is perfect. The important object is to let your teen talk about whatever it is that is bothering them. It is not effective to keep upsetting thoughts and feelings inside. The beauty of counseling is that we keep those things in confidence. You don’t have to worry that we will go around telling other people. We value the relationships that we build with our clients, and want to help them in any way possible. Although we keep what teens tell us in sessions confidential, we are required to report abuse. We are also obligated to report if a person says they want to hurt themselves or others.
How do I know counseling will help?
It’s scary thinking about taking your teenager to therapy, not having any guarantee that it will work. What we’ve learned throughout our lives is that ignoring problems doesn’t help either. Addressing issues early in life is more likely to help your teenager than hurt them. Not facing problems that your child may have is like sweeping dirt under a rug. The dirt causes a bump in the rug. You can’t really see the dirt but, it’s still there and can cause someone to trip if they walk on it. Sweeping the dirt into the dustpan where everyone can see it and then throwing it into the garbage relieves the problem. The dirt is gone, never to be seen again in your house. There’s no bump to trip anyone up later. While counseling may not necessarily cure your child from all of their mental health struggles, it can offer them different tools that will help them work through their difficulties.
There are no guarantees in life. We can only do our best with what we know.