Teen Counseling

Why do teens seek a counselor?

Why do teens seek a counselor?
There are advantages to being a teenager: no wrinkles, no mortgage, and low risk of throwing you back out while skiing. But adolescence is difficult and stressful—for the teen and the parent. Counseling can help alleviate that stress for you both. At Another Chance, we especially encourage counseling when you have concerns about:

  • Depression and suicidal ideation
  • Anxiety
  • Being bullied or being a bully
  • Out of control behavior
  • Cutting, burning or other self-injurious behavior
  • Substance abuse
  • A decline in grades
  • Withdrawal from social activity and isolating behavior

For additional reasons your teen might benefit from seeing a counselor, visit kidshealth.org.

Consider the stores of these teens* who benefitted from counseling at Another Chance:
John felt nervous and angry at the same time. He felt responsible for his parents’ divorce. He didn’t know with whom he was going to live. Plus, his mother said they were now facing financial problems. He didn’t want to talk about any his feelings with his friends or his parents. At counseling, John was able to open up to his parents, which brought him great relief. Counseling—with his parents and by himself—helped John through his parents’ divorce.

Amy found the social and academic pressures of high school great relief. Counseling—with his parents and by himself—helped John through his parents’ divorce. Amy found the social and academic pressures of high school difficult. She didn’t feel she fit in and struggled with the classwork. She began cutting classes and, because of her declining grades and few friends, wanted to drop out of school.
In counseling, Amy was able to talk honestly about her feelings, her stressors, and the low self-esteem she had been struggling with for many years. Having someone listen and help her put things in perspective helped her cope with those challenges. Today Amy maintains a good grade average and has found a few close friends that support and appreciate her.

Teens often wonder…

What if I don’t like it?
Give it a try for three sessions. You might not even need more than that! By that time, you’ll probably have a pretty good idea of what counseling is all about. If you don’t like it after those three sessions, or aren’t finding it helpful, you can always stop.

What if my parents (or court) are making me go to counseling?

Nobody likes to be told what to do, so you might feel angry or resentful. We have worked with a lot of teenagers who were “forced” to attend counseling (many of them ended up appreciating it). We promise to be non-judgmental. Just come as you are and we’ll make the best of it together.

Will you tell my parents what we talked about?

Counseling is confidential, so we don’t share what we discuss with anyone. If we have serious concerns about you (such as being suicidal or homicidal), we do have to alert your parents,
but otherwise what gets said here, stays here. If we think your parents should know about other things you’ve shared with us, we’ll discuss that with you to determine how to handle it.

Parents might be wondering…

What do you do in counseling with teenagers?
It depends on the teenager, their situation, and what is happening in their life. Generally, we’ll spend the session talking, problem solving, and exploring the issues they’re dealing with. When appropriate, we’ll utilize additional talking, problem solving, and exploring the issues they’re dealing with. When appropriate, we’ll utilize additional resources—workbooks or reading material—that provide specific skills and resources to address the challenges they’re facing. Some sessions will be with the teen alone and some may involve parents.

I’m concerned about my teenager. Even his/her friends are worried. Should I force him/her to come to counseling?
Teens often look to their peers, rather than adults, for guidance. Since his/her friends have expressed concern, consider enlisting their support in suggesting counseling. Invite a friend to come to the first session or two to alleviate any anxiety over starting therapy. You can also involve a teacher or counselor, or a physician to suggest counseling. If none of these work, and
you continue to worry, don’t ignore the symptoms: assert your authority as a parent and get him/her the help they need.

My spouse and I fight over how to discipline our teenager. It causes a lot of problems. What should we do?
It is natural to have different parenting styles and beliefs on discipline. What is most important is to remain engaged and communicate with each other. Try to come up with solutions
together so you are a unified parenting team. Whether you’re married or single, parenting an adolescent brings new challenges; explore the many classes and books available to help you through this season.

Why can’t I (always) be part of my teenager’s sessions? Why don’t you share what’s been discussed?
Counseling is most helpful when teenagers feel safe sharing their feelings. Some teens prefer their parents be present for that reason. Others don’t feel ready to share openly when their parents are in the room. To best help them, we honor whichever their preference is. This is also the reason we don’t share the content of those conversations (which is also to
comply with HIPAA). If they give us permission to share with you, or invite you into the session, we’ll be glad to. And you’ll always be informed of serious concerns such as suicidal or
homicidal ideation.
*Names have been changed to protect client privacy.

Call 208-321-5538 or e-mail at: suzanne@anotherchancesecure.com

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suzanne@anotherchancesecure.com
208-321-5538

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