During adolescence, teens commonly begin to seek independence and place more emphasis on their peer relationships. They have the difficult task of building their own identity as they try to figure out who they are and where they fit in to social environments. While teens are on their quest for independence and identity, they may make choices about friends, their identity and schoolwork that create confusion and conflict within your family.
Watching your child struggle, rebel or make poor decisions can cause you to experience a great deal of anxiety, concern, frustration and fear. You may also experience sadness when your teen starts pulling away, gravitating towards friends instead of family. During this time, many families notice that communication strategies and routines that used to work for a child are no longer effective. The challenges of adolescence can be further compounded if your teen is also experiencing a mood disorder, behavioral problems, life stressors, ADHD or a learning disability.
How we plan to help…
Teen counseling can help your teen set and meet realistic goals, make better decisions and gain an understanding of who they are and who they want to be. Your teen can also develop a better awareness about how his or her actions affect others, learn more effective ways to communicate, and deepen his or her ability for self-reflection and self-awareness.
If you are invested and committed to helping your teen, teen counseling can be extremely effective. Dealing with your teen’s issues now can help stop problems from getting worse and prevent new ones from developing. Therapists at Pinellas Psychology Associates will work with you, your teen and, if necessary, the school, to find and implement creative and collaborative strategies to best help your teen succeed. As a team, you will be able to overcome difficult issues, establish trust, and enable your teen to gain autonomy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Normal Teenage Angst Or Is Something Deeper Going On?
Almost all teenagers encounter insecurities, family conflict and a roller coaster of emotions to some degree during their development. It’s normal to rebel a little, seek independence from mom and dad and place a lot of attention on friends and self-image. It’s uncommon, however, when behaviors become destructive. If your teen is severely struggling in one area of his or her life, or experiencing issues that are impacting his or her ability to function well within multiple areas (school, home, peer relationships), getting help now can be critical.
My teenager refuses to go to counseling.
First, finding the right therapist is key and your child should be an integral part of that process. It’s important to find a therapist who specializes in teen counseling and who also is a good fit for your teen’s unique personality. You may let your teen know that he or she will be seeing a therapist – non-negotiable – but empower him or her with the opportunity to choose a clinician. Also, the initial meeting usually softens your teen’s resistance to therapy and helps him or her see their therapist as an ally, not a threat.
Adjusting to Adulthood
- Are you between 18-25(+) years old and feel unsure about the direction of your life?
- Do you procrastinate on obligations or decisions or have trouble motivating yourself to get things done?
- Do you have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships? Do you feel lonely, as if you don’t belong or feel like you are missing out?
- Are you developing self-destructive behaviors as a way to cope with stress (e.g., overeating, excessive drinking, reckless spending)?
If childhood is like a connect-the-dots drawing, young adulthood can be thought of painting on a blank canvas. As the guidance and structure afforded in youth decreases with age, young adults must create their own path for independence, financial stability, work or school achievement, and interpersonal relationships. During this time it is not uncommon for 18-25(+) year olds to feel confused, overwhelmed, and emotionally stuck.
While social media would have us believe everyone is excelling in their twenties, the truth is that almost all young adults struggle to some degree as they move into the next phase of their life. Neuroscience tells us that activity in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region responsible for decision-making, future planning and emotional regulation, peaks during this final stage of development, so it makes sense that young adulthood can be full of mental and emotional unrest.
How we plan to help…
Pinellas Psychology Associates provides young adults with a safe and supportive environment to talk about these difficult issues and learn tools to master them.
After completing your treatment you will:
- Increase and strengthen your support systems by learning communication skills that will help you to be clear about your wants and needs.
- Learn and master skills to help you cope with stress, manage your time, and maximize your personal strengths.
- Improve upon your self-understanding by considering personal values, working through past experiences and setting short and long-term goals, thereby increasing your confidence and independence.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have very limited availability between work, class, and my personal life. How can I find time for therapy?
While it’s true that counseling is an investment of your time and money, self-doubt, anxiety, and stress can impact your productivity at work, school, and within your relationships. Even further, self-destructive behaviors used to cope with stress (i.e. substance use, over eating, and/or self-injury) will undoubtedly impact your future. By investing in your health now, you ensure your well being and success in your future.
Pinellas Psychology Associates is also happy to offer evening appointments to help accommodate your schedule.
My parents will be helping me pay for therapy sessions. Does this mean they have access to my private information?
No, any confidential information you share will be kept private according to the law and our code of ethics. Session statements will be provided to the party responsible for payment but those statements only display session date, time and type.
What if counseling just makes things worse by highlighting my issues?
While it is true that therapy will make you more aware of what is working and what is not in your life, treatment will not make anything worse. While the process may at times bring up painful feelings, it is a necessary step to unlocking the key to your future successes. Working through your issues now can bring relief to your life sooner, as well as help to improve your confidence and ability to handle stress and conflict. It a process that takes courage, commitment, and hard work, but we promise to be here to support you, and to help you reach your full potential.