Austin Family Counseling Can Help Your Teen With:
Is Your Teen Struggling Socially, Emotionally, or Academically?
- Is your teen acting irritable and withdrawn, perhaps spending hours alone in his or her bedroom with the door shut?
- Does your teen have trouble getting along with peers and teachers, or is he or she doing poorly in school?
- Does your teens act defiant, obstinate and disrespectful?
- Are you worried that your teen is experimenting with drugs, alcohol or sex?
- Do you and your teen have ongoing, unresolved arguments that make you feel frustrated, angry and disconnected from your child?
- Do you wish you could understand what your teen is experiencing so you can support him or her in cultivating a healthy and successful life?
Like most parents you probably want the best for your children. However, when things start to go awry with teenagers, it’s not uncommon to feel disheartened, stressed and even helpless. Perhaps your teen has started to behave in a way you don’t understand, such as refusing to speak to you or spending hours alone in the bedroom with the door shut, engaging in social media or browsing the web for hours on end.
Academics might be a big issue in your household. You might regularly receive calls from school about your teen’s unexcused absences, poor grades or missing homework. Your teen might also struggle socially, perhaps complaining about having few to no friends or frequently feeling left out. In the morning you might struggle to get your teen out of bed, perhaps finding he or she doesn’t want to go to school. Your teen may even cry and act anxious in the morning, begging you to call in an excused absence.
Lastly, your teen may be participating in risky behavior. Maybe he or she is experimenting with drugs, alcohol or sex or is engaging in self-harm behavior, such as cutting or restricting food. If you have a family history of depression, suicide or substance abuse, you may worry that your teen is following in the family footsteps and desperately needs help.
By now you’re probably imagining worst-case scenarios, perhaps envisioning a future in which your teen is going to get pregnant, get someone else pregnant, drop out of school and ruin his or her reputation. You may be desperate to find out what’s going on with your teen, but fear that your son or daughter will never open up and will continue to suffer alone.
Adolescence Is a Trying Time For Most Teens
If your teen has been pushing you away, you are not alone. Countless parents have struggled with despair as they raised teenagers. While you may long to have your sweet child who came to you for everything back, it’s important to keep in mind that increasing independence in adolescence is completely normal. The adolescent brain is wired to establish independence and identity. This is what prepares teens for the real world. Otherwise, they would never leave home!
While some conflict with your teen is normal during adolescence, there are some red flags to watch out for. If your teen is self-isolating, acting angry or withdrawn or no longer wants to participate in activities he or she once enjoyed, there might be a more serious problem that needs to be addressed. Common issues that plague teens include anxiety, depression, bullying, substance abuse, self-harming behaviors, losses, sexuality, divorce, and trauma. Thankfully, Austin Family Counseling (AFC) provides a safe, compassionate space in which your teen can get the support he or she needs.
Teen Counseling Can Help Get Your Teen Back On Track.
Regardless of the source of their problems, almost all teens can benefit from some type of counseling. While parents are great at providing love and support, there are some issues that teens are too embarrassed to share with mom and dad. By having a compassionate, nonjudgmental therapist to talk to, teens can open up about the things they find the most troubling. Instead of reacting to your teen’s problems like a parent might, your teen’s therapist can help him or her think through the real-world consequences and find healthy ways to establish independence and individuality.
During teen counseling sessions, your teen can begin to tell his or her life story through mediums that are familiar. We meet our teenage clients where they are, using things like social media, music and movies to help teens talk about their relationships and experiences in a language they know and understand. Whether teens are pointing out song lyrics they identify with, are acknowledging a time when they were hurt on social media or are sharing their passions, pursuits and strengths, these mediums help teens express their identity and creativity. They also create a safe space for working through experiences that are embarrassing, painful or distressing. In addition, all of our teen therapists work holistically, offering tips and strategies for managing anxiety, building healthy relationships and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In sessions, your teen’s therapist can assess your teen’s physical, emotional and spiritual health, encouraging your teen to find his or her strengths and identify areas that need improvement. And, if your teen has recently suffered a major trauma, a divorce or death in the family, your teen’s therapist can help your child work through painful emotions, thoughts and memories and create a safe space for grieving.
At AFC, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in parenting and family sessions. During parenting sessions you can learn about the ins and outs of adolescent development so that you no longer have to worry about whether your teen’s angst is normal or a cause for concern. You can also learn new parenting strategies, such as setting boundaries with your children. We also offer family sessions during which your whole family can learn conflict resolution strategies and increase mutual understanding and respect. Because each family is different, your teen’s therapy plan will be based on your family’s unique needs and may or may not involve family or parenting sessions.
As a healing institution, we want you to know that adolescence is temporary and that things do get better. You were once a teenager yourself and managed to emerge from this trying period relatively unscathed. We are confident that your teen can do the same. With the help of teen counseling, your teen can develop the skills necessary for navigating adolescence, college life and the world beyond.
Perhaps You’re Ready to Try Teen Counseling, But Still Have Questions and Concerns…
I’m worried I’ll find out I’m a bad parent during teen counseling.
You’re not a bad parent. You wouldn’t bother researching teen counseling if you were. During sessions you’ll have an opportunity to recognize your strengths as a parent, as well as learn new parenting skills that can help you rebuild your relationship with your teen.
I’m worried the therapist is going to judge us for our family drama.
Our therapists are here to help you, not to judge you. We pride ourselves on creating a safe, nonjudgmental space in which everyone is free to discuss their experiences without ridicule or shame.
I’m worried someone in my community will find out about our family secrets.
At AFC we operate under a strict confidentiality policy. Your privacy is of the utmost importance to us, and outside of an emergency, we do not share your private information with anyone without your written consent.