What is Teen Therapy?
The transition from child to teenager is not easy. Your teenage self looks different, feels different and is also expected to behave differently. Teenagers might struggle to articulate their feelings about these changes and this can lead to a lot of frustration and angst. Then there are the challenges brought on by the world of social media which teenagers might find difficult to navigate. A teenager’s brain is constantly being rewired and this change doesn’t stop until their mid-twenties.
Amidst all this, family and peers might expect teenagers to ace their studies, make the right choices and excel in all that they do. Living with other people’s rules and expectations can take a toll of their mental health.
Therapy can be a place for teenagers to vent and learn a little more about themselves. Getting non-judgmental support from an objective outsider who understands the stresses and strains of this important stage of life can be a huge relief. Therapy also provides ways to cope with pressure, which can be helpful, and at times, life-saving.
If you are under 18, both parents have to meet with the therapist in the first session, before they start.
Who requires therapy?
Teenagers displaying the following signs and tendencies can benefit from therapy:
- Being unable to deal with academic and/or social pressures
- Struggling with body image, eating disorders or having self-harming behaviours
- Having relationship problems with peers and/or family
- Experiencing anxiety, depression, loneliness or “feeling blue” all the time
- Struggling with addictions or substance-abuse issues
- Struggling with sexual identity or issues related to sex and sexuality
- Being unable to set goals, make future plans or figure out personal values and needs
How therapy benefits teenagers:
In therapy, the therapist and client discuss therapy goals and perceived issues getting in the way of the client achieving them.
Various methods of engagement such as art, movement and discussions are used to explore and work on various aspects of the self.
A note to the parents
Saying parenting is challenging is an understatement. Dealing with troubled teenage children can make parents feel scared and confused. At times, it may trigger feelings of guilt or rake up painful memories that are personal. At such times, taking a closer look at one’s upbringing, identifying what one values from one’s childhood and one’s own experience with being parented can help in understanding the child better.
Parents struggling to deal with teenagers can benefit from therapy too. Therapy helps parents:
- Improve communication with their child
- Manage undesirable behaviours and tantrums
- Bring a balance between personal and professional life
- Create time for self-care and personal interests
- Learn skills to raise responsible and capable children