Counseling / Virtual Counseling
Telecounseling for Teens in Denver
Life as a teenager is tough. As they are beginning to develop their own values and figure out their identities, teenagers face a tremendous deal of stress during the final years of childhood. Many are already making decisions that will impact their future for years to come, which naturally comes with a great deal of stress that can trigger anxiety and depression. Adolescence is also the onset period for many mental illnesses.
Adolescent counseling can provide support and guidance to teens even amidst social distancing and the coronavirus.
Common Reasons Teens Attend Counseling
Many adolescents feel like they’re being “forced” to go to therapy by their parents who “think something is wrong with me.” But therapy is not a place designed to fix anyone, because no one is broken. People all have their own unique struggles, but we believe that our experiences are just that. They do not define us no matter how much they may impact us.
Teens can benefit from counseling if they are struggling to stay motivated in school, experiencing conflict at home or going through a difficult time. Trauma, anxiety and depression are common mental health conditions that teenagers can overcome with the help of a licensed professional.
The earlier a teenager gets help for whatever they’re going through, the greater the chance of a long-lasting recovery. Far too many people stay trapped in the shadows of stigma, longing for help but too afraid to get it. Whether you are a concerned parent or a teenager yourself, there is no shame in getting help. Counseling, either in person or online, can provide the tools and support necessary to heal and grow.
Signs Your Teenager Needs Counseling
Every parent worries about their child, but how do you know when your problems warrant professional help? Generally, when an issue is beyond your scope of understanding or has begun to cause serious disruptions to your family life or teen’s ability to function, it’s a good idea to speak with a counselor.
Certain behaviors pose a significant threat to your teen’s well-being, and they may indicate underlying mental health issues. For example:
- Substance abuse
- Angry outbursts
- Criminal activity
- Avoiding friends and family/sudden change in friends
- Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
- Isolated, withdrawn attitude
- Dramatic changes in personality and behavior
- Talking or thinking often about death/self-harm
The later teenage years also mark the onset of mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Having an honest discussion with your teenager about any concerns you have can help them feel more comfortable opening up. Sometimes, teens just need to be reminded that people do care about them and want to listen.
Ways to Help a Struggling Teenager
You might often feel like your teenager is from an entirely different universe when they speak. Parents often wonder, “Was I like that to my parents?” when they begin to struggle to have even basic conversations with their adolescents. Teenagers are not speaking in code or generally going out of their way to be distant; they might be embarrassed or ashamed of what they’re feeling or even too afraid to confront it through a conversation.
The best thing you can do as a parent is to be fully present without being overly persistent. The harder you push, the farther your teen will pull away. Offer to do activities with them that they enjoy. Even something as simple as eating dinner together or watching a movie can have an impact on a teen’s sense of support and security.
Don’t invade their privacy without any necessary reason to do so, but keep an eye on any concerning behaviors. You may want to check their social media accounts or internet history if you worry they might be engaging with harmful content or talking to strangers.
Keep Communication Focused on the Positive
Most importantly, let your child know that you love them and want to hear what they have to say. Teenagers often worry their parents will judge them, argue with them or even hate them for voicing their true feelings. Although you may not always like what you hear, you must respond to your teenager’s emotions with empathy and understanding. Use affirming statements during conversation such as, “That sounds really hard,” and “Thank you for sharing this with me.”
If you bring up the subject of therapy, let them know that getting professional help is a good thing, not a sign of failure or weakness. Ultimately, therapy is for your teenager to receive help and provide a safe space to disclose whatever they’re going through without fear of judgment. Therapy is a resource, not a punishment. It should never be leveraged as something needed to “fix” them or correct their behavior.
Telecounseling for Teens
We offer online therapy for teens with licensed counselors in the state of Colorado. Talking to a therapist online can be a good stepping stone for many teens, and it’s the best way to get support even during the coronavirus pandemic. To learn more about our services or to request an appointment, please click here.