“Young people will be more resilient if the important adults in their lives believe in them unconditionally and hold them to high expectations.” Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg
Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg explains that teens have two common questions on their mind, they want to know “Who am I? and Am I okay?”
Those are pretty powerful and introspective questions in young and developing minds in teens.
Adolescents typically start experiencing mood and behavior changes between the ages of 13-14 years old. Perhaps they may withdraw, talk back, change their attitude, appear irritable or moody or just don’t seem like themselves anymore. Some of these are common and normal while teens adapt and adjust during puberty.
During adolescence, teens support system starts to shift from parents to peers. They may seek advice or help from friends. However, they still benefit from having caring and trustworthy adults who can provide guidance and counseling regarding identity, life or relationship concerns.
If they are not opening up or talking to parents, it can be very difficult to understand where teens are coming from. In some cases, it can feel hopeless because no matter how much parents try; it seems that there is no way in.
It’s common to feel that family members are walking around eggshells not knowing what to say or what to do anymore.
When is the right time to get help?
The National Institute of Mental Health outlines the following as warning signs in adolescents regarding mental health:
- Have lost interest in things that they used to enjoy
- Have low energy
- Sleep too much or too little, or seem sleepy throughout the day
- Are spending more and more time alone, and avoid social activities with friends or family
- Fear gaining weight, or diet or exercise excessively
- Engage in self-harm behaviors (e.g., cutting or burning their skin)
- Smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs
- Engage in risky or destructive behavior alone or with friends
- Have thoughts of suicide
- Have periods of highly elevated energy and activity, and require much less sleep than usual
- Say that they think someone is trying to control their mind or that they hear things that other people cannot hear. (Child and Adolescent Mental Health)
If any of these are present in your teen’s mood or behavior, we recommend seeking help.
Counseling provides us with the opportunity to explore current changes and situations in our lives. It’s also a place to increase both mental and relationship health.
Teens have the opportunity to learn about their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. They have a safe place to express how they feel and talk about difficult subjects with the support and guidance of a professional counselor.
Counseling also offers them a place to receive tools that increase coping skills and self-esteem. This permits them to use and practice skills outside of session, increasing their confidence and autonomy.
We are here to help.
Feel free to call us for more information.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2020, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/child-and-adolescent-mental-health/index.shtml