MINDFUL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING

Teen therapy

Are You Struggling To Communicate With Your Teen?

Have you and your teen been fighting constantly? Do you feel like your teen disrespects you when you try to enforce reasonable rules? Are you trying to mend your relationship without much success.

You may be exhausted from arguing with your teen on such a frequent basis. Maybe you’ve also become concerned about other behavioral issues, like your teen’s excessive screen time or their academic performance. You know that your teen is learning to become more independent, yet you also want to set fair ground rules, and you’re unsure of how to strike a balance.

Adolescence is a trying time for both parents and teens.

Many teenagers deal with mood swings and have difficulty managing their emotions in a healthy way. Because of this, they struggle to communicate respectfully, and this tendency towards impulsivity can lead to outbursts and heated arguments. In this transitional period between childhood and adulthood, adolescents might feel like their parents simply don’t understand what they’re going through.

Teens who are having trouble with their mental health often disengage from family life. They might seek refuge in social media and technology and spend hours online each day. Others may favor spending time with their peers over their family. Some adolescents experiment with alcohol or drugs, and concerned parents may not know how to address these harmful habits.

You do not have to resign yourself to a troubled relationship with your teen. Through therapy, you can reconnect with your teen and begin cultivating a happier, healthier bond based on mutual respect.

The teenage years can be tumultuous.

Parents who often find themselves fighting with their teens might feel ashamed, but the teenage years are challenging for parents and teens alike. A parent who worries that their relationship with their teen has become combative is in good

Teens often resist their parent’s rules.

Adolescents are navigating intense social and emotional changes as they try to discover their own identities and establish agency in their own lives. While children are primarily influenced by their parents during their younger years, teens begin looking to their peer groups for guidance instead. 

Furthermore, teens face intense social pressure to break rules and engage in risky behaviors. In an attempt to define themselves as an individual, they might rebel against their parents’ rules. Today, adolescents are exposed to the highlights of other young people’s lives on social media, and if it seems like their peers enjoy more independence or privileges, they can feel slighted.

Parents might find that reasonable requests meant to keep their teen safe are met with resistance, and they feel upset by their inability to maintain an open, honest relationship with their teen. In contrast, a defiant teen might get angry about their parents’ rules and look forward to the freedom they will enjoy when they’re older. In reality, most teens will still be financially dependent on their parents well past the age of 18, and it’s in their best interest to work towards a better relationship with their parents.

Adolescents and their parents face various obstacles. With the support of a counselor, you can improve your communication, help your teen make healthier decisions, and start spending more quality time together.

You can repair your relationship with your teen through therapy.

If you’ve talked to your adolescent about starting therapy, they might be scared to open up to a stranger. However, therapy can be a safe, non-judgmental space for teens to speak up about the problems they face. 

At Mindful Mental Health Counseling & Wellness, we’re here to help your teen reflect on the challenges they’ve been going through and provide them with practical strategies for navigating this pivotal time in their lives. In therapy, we’ll work together to identify their stressors and automatic reactions. We’ll also focus on coping skills to help reduce their stress levels and explore ways to improve their relationships with family and friends.

What your teen can expect in therapy sessions.

After you book an appointment for your teen, you’ll receive a pre-intake questionnaire for you and your teen to complete separately. There will be questions about the obstacles your teen is currently facing and what solutions might benefit them. 

I will meet primarily with your teen for the majority of their initial session. In addition to discussing what they’re struggling with, we’ll also go over expectations and confidentiality concerns. However, I can meet with the parent for the final 10 minutes of the session if they would like to or if I feel that it’s necessary. Unless there are safety concerns, future sessions will only involve the teen.

I apply a solution-focused approach to therapy with teenage clients. For example, an adolescent might start a session by venting about a fight they had with their parents. After listening to their frustrations and reflecting on how the incident made them feel, we’ll move on to discussing concrete strategies for preventing or dealing with similar situations in the future. With this framework, clients will learn to regulate their emotions, focus on positive self-talk, communicate more effectively, and polish their interpersonal skills.

Treatment modalities for teen therapy.

We integrate techniques from several modalities to develop a client-centered treatment plan for your teen. Our goal is to meet your teen where they are and work from there to help them reach their goals.

Through Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, your teen can learn to connect their thoughts, feelings, and actions and begin developing new beliefs about themselves and others in order to shift their behavior. They will start identifying negative “thinking traps” and replacing them with more positive ideas. Motivational interviewing can get your teen in touch with their sense of intrinsic motivation for change. And through Reality Therapy, your teen can assess the usefulness of their behaviors and evaluate how their actions are bringing them closer to or further from their goals.

We work collaboratively with teenage clients to establish their treatment plans and celebrate big and small steps towards progress. In counseling, your adolescent can develop healthy coping strategies for managing intense emotions, increase their self-awareness, and learn to communicate more respectfully. With guidance from a therapist, you can help your teen develop a strong sense of self as they go through adolescence.

But you may still have questions about teen therapy...

What if my teen is reluctant to start counseling?

It’s normal for adolescents to feel apprehensive about therapy. They might be nervous to open up to a stranger, or they might fear that going to therapy means something is deeply wrong with them. But therapy is for anyone who would like to improve their lives with the help of a professional who can listen with an unbiased perspective. Many teens are hesitant to attend their first session, but most find it to be a surprisingly positive experience and feel motivated to continue in therapy.

How long will my teen be in counseling?

While some adolescents might spend a few months working through a specific problem in therapy, others may only need a few sessions. Sometimes, clients who come to therapy to address one issue end up having such a positive experience that they continue with sessions to improve other areas of their lives! There is no set timeline for healing, and clients are more than welcome to pause and restart therapy at a later date if new needs arise. 

You can rebuild mutual trust with your teen.

If you’re ready to begin healing your relationship with your teen, it’s time to talk to your teen about starting therapy. To learn more about our approach, you can send an email to hello@mindfulmentalhealthcounseling.com and schedule a complementary 15-minute phone consultation. If you’re ready to schedule the first session for your teen, you can book an appointment through our contact page.

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