Anxiety, Stress and Depression can be Experienced by our Teenagers.
It’s true to say that many of us experience life as busy and sometimes stressful. Teenagers are no exception. They have their own stressors whether from family, or school. To add to their load, they also have significant peer group stressors and this can sometimes be experienced as overwhelming.
Problems manifest differently in Teenage girls and boys
In my counselling clinic I see children as young as 9 or 10 developing emotional or psychological difficulties that I used to see more often in teenagers. With these children it’s very important that they gain some insight into their struggle. So I work with them to give them tools and strategies to assist them as they enter their teenage years. Social pressures amongst girls can escalate as hormones kick in during puberty, so the children who already have a toolkit of strategies to draw on can often cope very well.
With boys I tend to see those who are well into puberty and are not coping at all well with those disruptive hormones; and who become sullen and withdrawn as well as sometimes angry. Often this is mostly contained at home which means the parents take the brunt of it all; but sometimes it spills over into school life and you can find your son getting into trouble and under performing in class.
Pressure can Translate into Anxiety
When teenagers find there is too much pressure they can sometimes become either depressed or anxious. I treated a teenage boy a few years back who was suffering from anxiety and finding simple things like getting public transport to school difficult, or attending assembly due to the crowd. I treated this client with a combination of Counselling and Homeopathy and after a few sessions he was back on track. He went on to have a happy, successful school life and achieve his goals.
Counselling is a Tune-Up for our Emotional Selves
Counselling no longer has the stigma it did. Many of us need it, and I like to think of it as a tune up for our emotional selves. After all we take care of our physical body but tend to leave out mind and emotions to just sort themselves out. During puberty we know the brain gets almost completely re-wired. This is why we as parents, often feel like we no longer know our distant teenager. Well I can tell you a secret…they often feel they no longer know themselves!
Teenagers are sometimes resistant to visiting a counsellor. When you talk to them about it, it helps to find out their reasons why and then address them one by one. Sometimes teenagers find it embarrassing to talk to another adult about their difficulties. Sometimes they do not understand the process of counselling and think they will have to divulge their inner most secrets. I would like to dispel that myth right away and describe how counselling can help your teenager when they are in need.
Teenagers Respond well when they are really Listened to.
I work with teenagers by normalising their problems. This does not mean I dismiss them, far from it. I hear and acknowledge their difficulties, within the context of them not being alone in experiencing their issue. We discuss the whole issue from many angles and my aim is to help your teenager develop their own internal guidance system of how to act and react in certain situations. Importantly, I also expand their awareness around why they think, feel, and experience things the way they do; as well as bring their awareness to the impact of their actions on others. If they need to be more assertive and powerful we will work on that (and vice versa,) but never at the expense of helping to develop and whole, balanced individual who can meet the challenges of their teenage years with empowered self-understanding.
How to get Counselling Help for your Teenager
If you want to come and see me with, or about, your teenager I work face to face in my Sydney clinic in Rose Bay, or via Skype. Teenagers are usually great with technology and find the Skype process works well for them. Feel free to make contact and have a chat to hear more about how I work.