Are you struggling with a troubled teen?
If your teen is in crisis, teen counseling can help. How do you know whether your teen is struggling? Sometimes it’s clear; other times, you may just have a sense that your teenager has simply stopped thriving. If you’re in doubt, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Does trying to talk with your teen result in yelling or sullen silence?
- Is your teenager angry all the time, acting out at home and/or at school?
- Do you suspect—or possibly know—your teen is cutting or self-harming in other ways?
If your teen won’t talk to you…
…then why in the world would he or she talk to a therapist? Many teens initially fight the idea of going to counseling. They make it clear they “do not want to be in therapy!” The possibility exists that a teen won’t participate or won’t talk in therapy, but most eventually do—and they also find benefit from participating.
Successfully reaching teens
Using a relaxed and often playful approach to counseling, I have helped many teens who didn’t start out wanting to be in therapy. Over the years, I have found that many teenagers need to be heard and want to be known. When they are given a chance to share who they are with someone outside their family and social circle, they slowly start to lower the walls they have built in response to anger, sadness, anxiety, trauma or loss.
Mindfulness and playfulness can help
When I work with teens, I often combine talk therapy with art, play and movement activities. I have found that this combination helps teens relax their defenses and learn new coping skills, like pausing to take a breath when their emotions feel overwhelming. Through art and movement, teens find a sacred space to explore and express feelings that they might otherwise be scared or embarrassed to talk about. I help teens find a place where they can learn to thrive, not just feeling like they are simply surviving.
You have already taken an important step by seeking help. Now take the next step and contact me here or call (818) 669-4850 to set up an appointment to discuss what your teen is currently facing.