Teens have many unique challenges facing them today.
They are, by definition, in a period of transition from childhood to adulthood. Developing a healthy, positive identity and adapting helpful life skills is sometimes confusing. If you have found yourself struggling with your teen, having concerns or questions, you may benefit from talking with a Journeys professional for additional assessment and intervention. If you have found yourself answering yes to the following questions, you may benefit from talking with a Journeys professional for additional assessment and intervention:
Has your teen been exposed to trauma or abuse in some form?
Has there been a major family change (divorce, death, marriage)?
Does your teen talk back or become easily angered?
Does your teen appear shut down emotionally or withdrawn?
Is your teen constantly pushing the boundaries you have set?
Do you suspect your teen is using alcohol or drugs?
Are other people involved with your teen (school or church leaders) concerned about his/her behavior?
Sexuality and Self Harm:
Have you found inappropriate content on your teen’s phone, computer, or other device?
Do you have concerns about your teen’s sexual behavior?
Is your teen questioning his or her sexual identity?
Is your teen’s behavior reckless and dangerous?
Have you recently discovered that your teen is cutting or engaging in other self-harming behaviors?
Sexual issues and self-harm are not always openly discussed in homes or communities, and it may be difficult to discern how to best interact with your teen on these important topics. If you have concerns about you child's safety, sexuality or exposure to harming behaviors, you are not alone. Many teens struggle in these areas. If you can answer yes to any of the questions above, consider professional support to get the conversation going between you and your teen.
The Journeys Team Can Help
Most people can agree that being a teen in today’s climate is not easy. Finding a safe and understanding place to work through and better understand issues that may arise can be very valuable to a teen and his/her family. The counselors at Journeys specialize in gaining safe and trusting relationships with adolescents through conversations about sports, art, popular culture, or other interests your teen may have. Often, a relationship with a counselor is an important first step in making change.
Many teens are resistant to therapy and believe that their parents are the “bad guys”. When communication breaks down, parents can feel like giving up on their teen. Counseling can help families break this stalemate by improving communication, setting realistic expectations, and increasing emotional connection.
Therapy for teens and their families works. At Journeys, we have seen countless teens grow in ways that seemed impossible at the beginning of treatment. If you are struggling with your teen, we encourage you to call a Journeys counselor.
You May Have Some Concerns, Such As...
"My teen refuses to see a therapist."
First, try not to be discouraged by your teen's resistance, it's fairly normal. Finding the right therapist, one that is a good personality match and is trained in working with teens, significantly reduces resistance to therapy. We encourage taking a non-negotiable stance with your teen by telling them they have to give counseling a try, and then allowing them freedom and choice in the process by giving them the opportunity to pick the therapist. Often times by the end of the initial session, most of the resistance is dissolved. Teens quickly see for themselves that the therapist is a partner, not an opponent.
"I think counseling would be helpful, but I'm not sure my teen will cooperate. I'm not sure it's worth the time and money."
Many parents are concerned that because their teen is 'forced' to do therapy by them as parents, that not much will come out of the process because the teen is 'unwilling to cooperate'. This is rarely the case. Most teens are resistant at first but quickly become responsive to the therapist and treatment method when matched properly with a well-trained professional. Counseling is an investment in your teen's and family's future. Gaining insight, skills and catching problems early on help to ensure greater quality of relationships within the family, less problems at school and work and overall enhanced quality of life for your teen in their final years of development. Resolving your teen's issue can help restore unity within the family, school and community, often improving the well being of everyone involved. While teens can sometimes put up a strong fight when offered help, this season of their life is an excellent opportunity to use your parental influence for good in their lives by getting them professional support as needed. The long-term payoff is well worth the investment.
We invite you to browse our specialties and read up on any issues that might apply to you and your family. You can click on the suggested therapists to schedule a consultation or check out our team to connect with a therapist that's right for your situation.
We generally recommend scheduling an initial assessment with a Journeys counselor to evaluate what your teen or family's specific needs are, as well as determining best options for treatment and more precise answers to the questions you may have about the process. The Journeys team strives to provide you with the best fit professionally, and will happily direct you to the counselor with the best personality, expertise and approach for your family.
Need help? Contact our administrative assistant here with any questions, concerns or to be matched with a therapist that is best suited for you and your family's needs.
Christina McShane, PsyD
Post-Doctoral Psychology Associate