COUNSELING FOR TEENS & FAMILIES
Feel like you’re losing your teenager?
You want your kid back. You want to know your teenager’s going to be safe, feel like he can be himself, and live up to his potential.
You don’t understand why your teenager won’t talk to you, why he’s so lost. He seems distant and angry. Something’s taking your kid away and you don’t know what it is. You can’t communicate with your teen. He seems like he wants nothing to do with his parents even though he’s the most important thing in your world.
You feel scared, like you failed as a parent, and like you did something wrong but you have no idea what. You worry you’ve lost your kid and you might never get him back.
We get it. Most parents feel like they don’t know what they’re doing during this stage and are looking for ways to be better parents to their teenagers. As Columbus, OH counselors specializing in issues like teen depression and anxiety, we understand how hard teenagers can be, to feel like you’ve done everything you can possibly do the ‘right’ way, but it still feels so wrong.
Mental illness in teens is common and treatable.
Let’s face it – even without mental health concerns – it’s tough being a teenager. They experience school stresses (from getting good grades to being liked by peers), pressure to get along with family and the start of big decision making. Combine all of this with online comparisons, pressures and stress from social media, and the teen years are a real challenge to mental health. Changes in the brain typically cause teens to have shorter attention spans, different levels of motivation and more risk-taking behaviors than adults. All this brain and body growth makes many actions teenagers take totally normal. But these changes can also make it difficult for you as a parent to know if their troubling behavior is just “being a teenager” or something bigger.
If you see signs of mental health problems in your teenager or just feel like you’ve lost your kid for weeks or months, and these issues are interfering with their daily life, it’s time to talk to a professional teen counselor.
Symptoms of teen depression
- feeling sad, sulky, numb, hopeless, worthless
- having low self-esteem
- losing interest in things they used to enjoy
- isolation and avoiding spending time with friends
- feeling angry or irritable, even at minor things
- having trouble in school, declining grades
- having low or no energy
- changes in weight
- changes in sleep
*Learn more about counseling for depression.
Common feelings in teenagers who self harm
- making critical self-judgments
- experiencing conflicts at home or at school
- having a hard time managing intense moods
- feeling empty or numb
- engaging in risky or destructive behaviors
- engaging in self-harm behaviors, such as cutting or burning skin
- having suicidal thoughts
Signs of teen anxiety
- experiencing feelings of anxiousness and constant worry
- having trouble sleeping, including frequent nightmares
- avoiding social situations out of fear
- frequent complaining of physical symptoms like stomach aches and/or headaches
- experiencing sudden or frequent panic attacks
- parents’ separation or divorce
- death or loss of a parent
- physical, sexual or emotional abuse
- serious accident or illness
Your teen’s mental health problems are not your fault
Sometimes parents do everything ‘right’ and teen mental health issues still come up. You deserve to feel accomplished and confident in your parenting, to communicate with your kid, to be a part of her life and have that meaningful relationship you desperately want. Needing the help of a good mental health counselor for your teen doesn’t make you a bad parent. Seeking family therapy when things get rough doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong. It means you value your child’s mental health, and you want the best for your teen and family.
Unfortunately, the statistics are staggering, 1 in 5 young people ages 13-18 suffer from a mental health condition, that’s 20 percent of our population.
But take comfort in knowing that mental illnesses – while real, painful, and scary – are treatable and most teenagers get better with talk therapy and sometimes medication.
We can help you and your teenager reconnect.
Talk therapy, also called counseling or psychotherapy, can help your teenager understand and learn to manage her moods and feelings. There are many different types of talk therapy, and one that can be particularly helpful with teens is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Our teen therapists at Blue Boat Counseling are trained in CBT, which can help teens identify and change their destructive and irrational thoughts. We’re a Columbus OH counseling practice located in Worthington, and our CBT therapists help teenagers and families by teaching teens how to build coping skills that, through self-awareness, will help them change negative behavioral patterns. We also provide family counseling services. In family therapy, we work with parents and families to address the issues affecting the whole family while helping you feel confident in your parenting skills.
But before any CBT occurs, the connection built between your teen and her therapist is vital to progress. This therapeutic connection is a true strong point at Blue Boat Counseling. We build rapport and relate to teens on their level. We can get them to stay, get them to talk, and give them another voice of reason that they’re open to hearing because we’re not their parents.
We get there still might be something standing
in the way of taking your teenager to counseling.
I don’t know if my teen will talk to you. I doubt your counselors can get through to him.
We have a great track record of building rapport with teens and getting them to talk, and we’re already starting with an advantage because we’re not their parents. One of our therapists who specializes in counseling teenagers, Andy, would specifically respond to this by saying that he relates with most angry, lost teens and young adults because he used to be one. So, if you feel like you’ve lost your kid, let us help. You only have something to gain by giving counseling a try. Encourage your kid to check out: http://ok2talk.org/ for some teens’ perspectives on mental health.
I think my kid needs help, but I’m worried about the cost of counseling.
We understand that committing to teen counseling is an investment, and we don’t take that lightly. We encourage you to take a good look at your family budget as well as discuss payment options (including using HSA or FSA cards and/or potential insurance reimbursement) with your therapist. Counseling is a place for teenagers to experience healing and learn how to cope with their issues, like stress, anxiety and teen depression. We can help them enjoy life again and help you get your kid back. We think that’s worth the investment.
Our family is so busy. I don’t know how we’ll have time for counseling.
We know families are busier than ever these days. But if your teen is experiencing any of the mental health signs and symptoms noted above, it’s important to carve out some time to work with a qualified teen therapist to deal with them. Teen and family counseling is effective. It’s about prioritizing this work and healing for your teen above something else that may be on their schedule. Really think about where you can find an hour in their week to come to counseling.
What can you expect from teen and family counseling?
At Blue Boat Counseling we promise to give your kid a sounding board that you, as her parent, aren’t capable of giving her. We can help her see better choices.
You’ll feel like the lines of communication open up to have more insight into his life. He’ll talk to you again. You’ll feel like he has a new perspective.
Getting started with teen counseling is easy:
- Get in touch with Blue Boat Counseling to setup your first appointment.
- Get connected with a family & teen counselor you can trust.
- Start getting your kid back.
As a Columbus counseling practice, our caring therapists also offer family and marriage counseling, PTSD, depression and anxiety treatment. We also offer tips for improving your overall mental health on our blog. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!