The most common issues in teens

Why You Should Bring Your Teen to Therapy

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From mood swings to family problems to school issues, today, all teens have problems. And sometimes, a teen’s distress might rise to a certain level where it is essential to seek professional help. Therapy does not need to be reserved for some serious mental health problems, however. Meeting with a counselor or therapist can prevent minor issues from turning into bigger problems.

If you think your teen can benefit from talking to a mental health professional, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment. Talk to your doctor or directly schedule an appointment with a therapist. Sometimes, even just a few therapy sessions can make a massive difference to your teen’s well-being.

Your teens can benefit from a meeting with a therapist to talk about various topics, ranging from an issue related to relationships to questions about sexual identity.

Here are some of the reasons why you should bring your teen to therapy:

Substance abuse issues

Alcohol and drugs can become serious problems for teenagers. A substance abuse counselor will assess your teen’s substance use and determine the most appropriate treatment. Group therapy, individual therapy, residential treatment, or detox may be the options depending on the severity of your teen’s problems.

Behavior problems

Repeat curfew violations, suspensions from school, and aggressive behavior of your teen may be symptoms of more severe problems. A therapist can help uncover skill deficits, potential mental health issues, or social issues that may be driving your teen’s behavior.

Depression

Mood disorders mostly start during the teen years. And once if left untreated, it can last into adulthood. If you find your teen sad, irritable, and withdrawn, talk to your pediatrician. A complete and accurate diagnosis and early intervention are the main components of effective treatment.

Anxiety disorders

We know it is normal for teens to worry sometimes, but some of them experience intense anxiety. These anxiety disorders can interfere with other aspects of your teen’s life, including academics and friendships.

Whether your teen constantly worries terrible things will happen or has difficulty speaking in front of the class, therapy can help them learn how to manage their symptoms effectively.

Stress

Teenagers often get stressed out. Stress can take a severe toll, whether it is the pressure to perform well in school or concerns over what to do after high school. A therapist can help develop skills in your teen to manage stress successfully – and it is something that will help them throughout their lives.

Legal problems

Underage drinking, stealing, or fighting are just a few of the reasons teenagers get into trouble with the law. Sometimes they are mandated by probation to receive counseling. Therapists help your teen learn how to make healthier choices to prevent further legal issues in the future.

Low self-esteem

Most teens struggle with self-confidence issues in their lives simultaneously, and some of them experience serious self-esteem issues. If those issues are left unaddressed, your teens are at higher risk of academic failure or substance abuse problems. Therapy can help boost your teen’s self-esteem.

Grief

It is important to note that teens deal with grief differently than adults. The loss of loved ones can be difficult during adolescence. Family, individual, or group therapy can help your teens sort out their feelings and make sense of their loss.

Trauma

Whether it is a sexual assault or a near-death experience, traumatic events can have a lifelong impact on your teen. That’s why it is extremely crucial to bring your teen to therapy. It can increase resilience and reduce the impact the traumatic events have on your teen’s life.

Other reasons to seek therapy

Teens do not need to experience specific symptoms of mental illness to benefit from therapy. There are some other reasons that teens might want to think about therapy include:

  • Your teen might have a  desire to talk about sexual orientation, sexuality, or gender identity.
  • They might be dealing with a disability.
  • They may have a desire to achieve greater self-awareness.
  • Autism.
  • Your teen might be facing difficulty adjusting to different changes in life.
  • They might have feelings of loneliness.
  • Romantic relationships.
  • A need to talk about complex topics to people other than family or friends.
  • They might show eating disorder symptoms such as binge eating or restrictive eating.
  • Problems with negative thinking.
  • Facing trouble coping with a chronic health condition.
  • Self-harm or risky behaviors.
  • Issues stemming from cultural or racial discrimination.
  • Struggles with identity or self-growth.

How Long Does Therapy Last?

Most therapies don’t have a fixed time length. Some problems might resolve very quickly. Others are complex and can take longer. Usually, therapy will last three months if you talk to your therapist once a week. For some severe problems, you might be in therapy for a year. Even though treatment can take a long time, you should notice progress.

Wrapping up

If you are questioning treatment for your teen, err on the side of caution and contact a professional. Don’t worry if your teen is not showing interest in therapy. Many teens are hesitant to talk to someone.

Encourage them to try therapy for a few sessions and then, you can allow them to decide on whether to continue. If your teen refuses to counsel, you can be the one to talk to a therapist. You will be able to gain new ideas and skills for helping your teen cope better.   

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