Have a teen who is struggling and they don’t want to talk to you? Or are you a teen yourself and think you are depressed or need help? It might be time to consider adolescent counselling.
What is Adolescent Counselling?
Adolescent counselling is aimed at helping young people make sense of their feelings, thoughts and behaviours.
This can entail traditional talking therapy, or can use other techniques which draw on the expressive nature of young people, such as art therapy.
Why should I send my teen to therapy?
It’s thought that about 4 in 10 teenagers become seriously depressed each year. That might seem a shocking figure. But in light of developmental changes your teen is going through (in fact even their teen brain is still growing) and the numerous pressures on young people? It’s likely the true statistic of those affected and in need of therapy can be much higher.
Who is an adolescent?
Adolescence is the stage when we make the transition from child to adult, this usually occurs between 10 and 19.
This is a time which a great deal of both physical and mental changes take place, the physical changes often referred to as puberty. According to the well-known Erikson model of personal growth, it’s also the time we form our identity, and decide what matters to us and who we will be as an adult.
These changes may predispose adolescents to be sensitive, to experience mood swings. and to have swings in confidence levels. Therapists who work for teens know how to take into account this period of vulnerability when engaging in therapy with an adolescent in ways parents might struggle to.
When to get help
If you are a young person and feel sad most of the time and this is affecting your work at school, relationships with friends or family? Or you feel like you’re just not being you? Then you should really talk to someone. The same applies if you are feeling worried about your drug or alcohol use, social circle or any other pressures.
If you don’t know how to start the conversation, read our article on to talk to your parents about mental health. Or you could speak to a teacher, school nurse or counsellor, your GP or a trusted adult. They will then help you to take the next steps. If they don’t, tell someone else. Trust your instincts that you feel down and require assistance.
If you are a parent and you don’t know whether your teen needs help, it’s a good idea to talk to them about it. Let them know you understand it’s hard for them to turn to you right now, but that you would be happy to try to find them someone else to talk to.
Myths about adolescent counselling it helps to know
Don’t believe that feeling depressed is a ‘normal’ side of growing up. Anything that interferes with your everyday life in a negative way should be tackled, and your mental health should be included in this.
Finally, talking about your depression will simply not make it worse, so make sure you take the big step and ask for help as soon as you can.
Harley Therapy’s practitioners provide Adolescent and Teenage Counselling in London.