DO YOU WISH YOU WERE ABLE TO SEE YOUR TEEN HAPPIER OR MORE CONFIDENT?
• Do you want to see your teen achieve up to their highest potential possible but you see that there are emotional and negative factors that are getting in their way?
• Does your teen shut you out, close the door and stay in their room for long periods of time, refusing to communicate when you desperately know there is something wrong?
• Is a lack of self-confidence or low self-worth holding them back from reaching the goals that they set from themselves leading them to be consistently disappointed?
• Does your teen feel misunderstood, like no one can understand what they are going through and they will not let you or anyone else in? Or, maybe, you feel helpless because as much as you want to help your teen, they push you away and say, “Leave me alone!” or “I don’t want to talk about it.”
• Are you concerned that your teen is engaging in substance abuse or other poor coping skills such as overeating, overuse of screentime, or gambling?
When teens are struggling, it is typical for them to isolate themselves from adults. You may notice changes in their friends, in their academic performance and their behavior. In addition, you may wonder if they are participating in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex or drinking and driving. You may be concerned about them self-medicating with alcohol or drugs, or even self-harming or thinking suicidal thoughts.
As a result, you as a parent, may notice that you become more and more worried about your teen, setting limits and trying to create boundaries and rules in an effort to control them and keep them safe. However, it is important to remember that at this time in a teen’s life, it is normal for them to want independence and space from their parents.
Building a trusting, healthy relationship with your teen is not an easy task. It is a fine line between allowing them the freedom to make their own choices, establish their independence and give them the confidence to make healthy decisions, while also keeping them safe and keeping yourself SANE.
IT IS NOT EASY TO BE A TEEN…OR A TEEN’S PARENT.
Being a teen can feel very lonely. Many teens feel like no one understands them, like their parents have never gone through what they have gone through because they are in a different generation.
Because of this difference in generations, teens often feel misunderstood and therefore close inward.
Not only do teens have to deal with hormonal and emotional changes, they also are facing constant social pressures and are trying to fit in with their peers. Also, they are expected to achieve academically, and are often asked about their future careers and plans, many times, as they are still exploring and discovering who they are as a person!
While teens are struggling, so are their parents. You as their parent only want the best for your child. You will do anything to get through to them, only to be met with a brick wall, rejected before you can even walk through the door. Or, even worse, maybe you will be blamed or criticized as the reason for your child’s problems.
The good news however, at Apple Psychological, we are not here to blame or judge. We are here to help and find solutions. With the help of a warm, compassionate, experienced therapist, your teen will feel validated and will gain the skills to communicate effectively, gaining the self-awareness and confidence and emotional stability that they need to cope with their challenges.
GIVE YOUR TEEN THE GIFT OF THERAPY TO BOOST THEIR CONFIDENCE, IMPROVE THEIR RELATIONSHIPS, AND REDUCE STRESS IN THEIR LIFE
When you approach your teen about therapy, do not be surprised if they feel they do not need it. They may feel that it is sufficient to talk to a friend or family member about their problems.
However, therapy is about being able to confront difficult emotions in a safe, objective environment, where they can allow themselves to be vulnerable without worrying that what they say will be discussed with others. It is impossible for a family member or someone close to the child to separate out their strong emotions which cloud their ability to be nonjudgmental.
While there is some intake paperwork you will receive prior to our first session, most of our sessions will be individual sessions with your teenager. Depending on your child’s age and the issues being addressed, you might be asked to attend parts of your teen’s sessions. This will always be done with consideration and consent from your teen as having a trusted therapeutic alliance is of utmost importance to the effectiveness of the treatment process.
Sometimes, it takes time for teens to allow themselves to open up and that is ok. We will create a safe space, and allow them to feel comfortable, knowing that whenever they are ready, we are there to support them, on their terms. This trusting bond is what is essential to the healing process.
They will learn to get their needs met, and also to be heard, without having to take drastic measures like they felt they had to do before they engaged in the treatment process.
At Apple Psychological, your teen will not feel alone anymore. And most importantly, we work hard to help reconnect your teen with you again because we know as parents that there is nothing more that you want than to communicate with your child.
Through our treatment, they will learn the skills necessary to regulate their emotions, explore their identity, gain control of their life, and gain the confidence that will help them succeed in life.
I WANT TO GIVE MY TEEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO TRY THERAPY BUT I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS……
Will you tell me everything that my teen talks about in therapy?
The most important factor in developing a successful therapeutic relationship is trust. If a therapist shares every detail of their teen’s treatment with their parents, you can be assured that the teen will never allow themselves to be vulnerable, and then the therapist will not be able to get to the root of the problems impacting the teen.
However, you can trust that the therapist will encourage your teen to reach out to you when appropriate, will offer and ask to include you in sessions, and absolutely will let you know immediately if there are issues that involve danger to his/her/themselves or others.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY TEEN’S BEHAVIOR IS NORMAL OR IF THEY SHOULD SEEK THERAPY?
It is typical for a teenager to experience moodiness from time to time. However, if you notice that your teen is having angry outbursts more frequently than usual, is withdrawing or isolating themselves from friends and family, lacks motivation, or becomes disinterested in activities that they once enjoyed, then you know it is a time to seek help. Other signs include a drop in school performance, significant anxiety, panic attacks, sleep issues, or difficulty concentrating.
Regardless of the symptoms, it is important to let your teen know that they are not alone and there is help. Also, therapy can result in growth even if significant, noteworthy symptoms are not present and they just need an objective, supportive therapeutic relationship to navigate the murky waters of adolescence.
SHOULD I FORCE MY TEEN TO GO TO THERAPY IF THEY DO NOT WANT TO GO?
While it is challenging as a parent to see your teen struggling, especially when you know that there are internal issues they are facing and they would benefit greatly, it is not a good idea to force your teen to go to therapy. We are here to support you as the parent first, in the event that your teen is not ready to start therapy. In our experience, sometimes, teens are willing to join their parent for a few minutes in the session and then can establish a rapport little by little over time.
In addition, because we are a telehealth practice, teens often feel comfortable being in their own environment and therefore establish rapport more quickly at times. Either way, we work at the pace of you and your teen to make you feel as comfortable as possible.
GET YOUR TEEN STARTED ON THE JOURNEY TOWARD INDEPENDENCE AND HAPPINESS
If you feel helpless and unsure of how to support your teen, we would be honored to give you the road map to success. Please contact us and specify your interest in teen therapy for your free, 15-minute consultation or to set up your first teen therapy session.
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