Ugh, being a teenager is rough. There’s so much pressure from so many different angles: parents, coaches, friends, boys, church leaders, and an enormous about of pressure they put on themselves. In the midst of new and fluctuating hormones and emotions, they’re also trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be.
At the same time, their peers are going through the same issues so either they are feeling too insecure to talk openly and vulnerably about what’s going on, or they have well-meaning, but misguided advice. Parents usually have great advice, but it’s hard for kids to open up to them. They are worried about a lecture, an “I told you so”, getting in trouble/having consequences, feeling judged, disappointing parents, and other negative worries.
Why Put Your Teenager in Counseling?
The awesome benefit of counseling is that they don’t have to worry about any of those things when they talk to me. I’m not going to be disappointed, judge, lecture or give consequences. I’m emotionally removed enough to listen, validate and problem-solve in a meaningful way. I get to be this voice that echoes all the things you would say and would want for your kids, but they can actually hear me because I’m not their mom and I’m cool. So if they have a dumb boy that’s treating them poorly, I can relate to them and help them learn to hold boundaries. Or if they’re being rude at home I can validate why they lash out but gently help them realize that it doesn’t actually work for them.
My biggest advantage in counseling with teenaged girls is that with so many of the things they’re going through, I can totally relate. It wasn’t all that long ago that I was a teenager and I remember what it was like. By all accounts, I really did have a very charmed life and on the outside my teenage years looked pretty perfect: I got great grades, I was a starter on my soccer team, I took tons of AP classes, I barely rebelled or fought with my parents…but there was still a ton brewing under the surface that was tough to navigate on my own, and which I think EVERY teenaged girl is dealing with:
-I had friends that cut and self-harmed
-friends who attempted suicide or contemplated suicide regularly
-friends that questioned their sexual orientation
-friends who were having sex and had pregnancy scares
-friends that smoked, drank, did drugs and stole things
-I had boys who groped me and gave me unwanted sexual attention/said uncomfortable things (thank goodness we didn’t have snapchat and phones with cameras back then. Unfortunately, I can pretty much guarantee someone has asked your daughter for “nudes”)
-I had petty high school drama (again, social media makes high school drama 1000 times worse than it used to be)
-I wrestled with insecurities, feelings of inadequacy and mounting pressure in sports and academics
-AND I trudged through all of that, found myself and created this amazing life. I went to college, had the time of my life (but also got good grades), I did a million study abroads and travelled everywhere, I married a super great guy, I have adorable children, and I have a career that I absolutely love. I’m not saying this to brag. I’m truly not. My only point is that I can totally remember the hard parts of being a teenager and all the uncertainty, insecurities, ambiguity, and fears of inadequacy or not fitting in. But I made it out in this super awesome, fulfilling, empowering way. I can help them navigate the crap and make it out unscathed to create their dream future.
What is Teenage Counseling Like?
A lot of what we’ll do is just process what’s going on in their lives. We’ll talk about friend drama, boy drama, school drama, and fights with you. But I’ll also teach them specific skills to deal with things like depression, anxiety and negative self-talk. I’ll also instill important life-long lessons like self-respect, self-worth, setting boundaries, interpersonal effectiveness, and how to find yourself and build a great future.
Benefits of Teenage Counseling
Increased Self-Love & Worth
Improved Behavior & Mood
Lowering of Anxiety
Less Acting Out & Anger
Ready to learn more about counseling for your teenager? Let’s schedule a free consultation.