Professional counseling and therapy are excellent tools for maintaining mental health. But just like with your physical health, you do not have to wait until something is terribly wrong to visit with a therapist. Take adolescent counseling, for example. Adolescent counseling is not just for children already diagnosed with a serious mental health concern. It is appropriate under less serious circumstances as well.
Adolescence is a turbulent time for a lot of kids. They are experiencing that transition from childhood to adulthood without the knowledge to really understand what is going on. Adolescent counseling can help steer kids in the right direction so that they come out the other end fully prepared to face life as young adults.
The question for parents is whether adolescent counseling is appropriate for their children. Each parent ultimately has to make that decision. We cannot make it for them. However, we can suggest scenarios for which counseling can help.
Signs of Depression or Anxiety
It is not unusual for mood disorders to begin in the adolescent years. During that time, the physical changes in a child’s body include hormonal changes that can affect the brain. That is why so many teens seem so moody much of the time. Moodiness is normal in adolescence. However, if moodiness seems to progress to what appears to be signs of depression or anxiety, adolescent counseling can help.
Note that a teen doesn’t have to be diagnosed with clinical depression or anxiety in order to benefit from adolescent therapy. In fact, therapy could help a child’s moods improve to the point that no clinical diagnosis is ever necessary.
Dealing with Bullying
Bullying has been part of the human experience from the very beginning. However, that neither makes it right nor easy to live with. Some children struggle a great deal with it. Adolescent counseling can be beneficial to the child who is routinely bullied at school or in the neighborhood.
Though it is normal for children to behave poorly from time to time, repeated behavioral problems that land a child in trouble with school officials and other outside authorities should be addressed as soon as possible. Adolescent counseling could be part of the equation. The goal is to help teens figure out why they behave the way they do so that they can change their behavior before it leads to legal problems.
Substance abuse can lead to all sorts of problems for young people. Some kids use and abuse substances because they want to be part of the crowd. Others do it because they suffer from a lack of self-esteem. Regardless of the reasons behind it, substance abuse can be addressed with adolescent counseling.
Living with a Disability
People who live with permanent disabilities have their ups and downs. Some days they feel strong enough to conquer the world. Other days, not so much. Unfortunately, the normal ups and downs that come with disability are magnified by adolescent mood swings. As such, a teen living with a disability may struggle a lot more because of it.
Adolescent counseling can help restore confidence. It can help build self-esteem. It can help a child living with a disability to stay on track until all those hormones and emotions find balance once again.
As with any type of counseling therapy, adolescent counseling is not guaranteed to work 100% of the time. No therapy is. However, counseling has proven helpful to countless adolescents over the years. We offer it in our Rye, NY office. If your teen is struggling, feel free to contact us to learn more about adolescent counseling.