The teen years of a child’s life are times of intensity. One minute your teen is on top of the world, and the next minute they are distraught because of a perceived slight from a friend. How do you know when the normal ups and downs of adolescence cross the line into a more significant problem? It’s not always easy. By providing teen counseling services, we will help get your child through the most difficult years of their lives.
At Betty Eastman, LCSW, & Associates, we specialize in teen counseling. We spend time with the parents and teens together so that we can understand the family dynamics. In addition to that, we will work one on one with your teen to set goals and plan a counseling schedule to suit their needs.
We work to establish a level of trust with your teen in individual therapy. By doing this, the teen can feel confident in revealing information that they may not feel comfortable talking to with their parents, friends or teachers. It allows your teen to have a level of confidentiality with their therapist for growth and healing to occur. We will not keep you, the parent, in the dark. We keep you up to date with progress reports and will involve you in the teen counseling sessions.
Signs of trouble
The best answer in determining whether or not your teen may be in trouble is if you notice a marked change in their affect, behavior or both. Teens who need help may withdraw from friends or family, shutdown discussions, refuse to talk or have angry outbursts. They may also show a change in their sleep and eating patterns or their grades may suddenly drop. Drug or alcohol use may also play a factor.
Teen counseling helps teens that are going through these difficult times. However, they are frequently resistant to the idea. They may feel that their friends will find out, or people will think there is something “wrong” with them. Some just do not like the idea of talking with an adult.
It’s often helpful to express love and concern with your teen and let them know that you want to make therapy available to them because you care and want the best for them. Lectures and accusations can leave your teen less interested in seeing a therapy. Trying suggesting that your teen try three sessions, leaving it up to the teen whether or not to continue. Often your teen will find that they have bonded with the therapist by then will want to continue with teen counseling.
Sometimes family therapy, also referred to as “family systems therapy,” is recommended. This is a branch of psychotherapy that works to nurture change and development within families. This kind of therapy emphasizes family relationships as an important factor in psychological health.
Family therapists focus on patterns of interaction that maintains the family problems rather than trying to identify a specific cause, so that no “blaming” takes place while solving the issue. This type of therapy assumes that the family as a whole is larger than the sum of its parts. As with individual therapy, techniques may be used from several disciplines.
If you have questions about teen counseling or would like to schedule a counseling appointment, call Betty Eastman, LCSW & Associates, Inc., at (757) 868-0072. If your child has a problem with technology, check out our blog post on helping teens to put down their phones. Serving residents of Yorktown, Poquoson, Hampton and the Peninsula with teen counseling services.