Is Your Teen Suffering In Silence? 

Does your teenager seem overwhelmed by daily life? Do you worry that your child is suffering in silence, perhaps feeling like nobody understands what he or she is going through? Do you notice your teen spending a lot of time alone, or find it difficult to prevent him or her from staying out late partying? Maybe you’re afraid that your child is taking drugs or engaging in self-harming behavior, such as cutting. Perhaps parenting is becoming more and more of a battle, and you know your relationship with your teenager can’t continue as it currently is. It may be that you feel your teen has changed suddenly, becoming more sad or withdrawn. Or it might be that your teen appears to be on a rollercoaster of emotions, and you don’t know how to react to your child’s unpredictable mood swings. Are you afraid that your teenager is slipping into depression or a cycle of anxiety that’s spiraling out of control?

Many parents of teenagers are shocked by how difficult everyday life can become when their adolescent experiences a period of depression, anxiety or heightened stress. Discovering that your child is cutting, for example, can be a deeply distressing experience. Maybe you recognize the source of your child’s unhappiness, but feel powerless to intervene. Or, perhaps you have no idea what’s causing your teen’s problems. Do you wish you could find a way to help your child cope with distress in a healthy and sustainable manner, allowing them to experience joy and success in life? 

There Is Unprecedented Pressure For Today’s Teens To Succeed

Growing up in today’s high-pressure world can be a stressful, alienating experience for many young people. The bridge between childhood and adult life is a tricky one to navigate, often compelling teenagers to act in ways that seem out of character or irrational. Long days at school can contribute to the confusion and fear your teen is feeling, especially with pressure to achieve high grades, outperform peers and fit in socially. Unlike past generations, many teenagers today experience the additional pressure of growing up “on screen.” Not only must they strive to perform well academically, creatively, socially and/or through sports, but today’s teens must now appear flawless while doing so. With every teenager’s life just a click away from being broadcast on social media sites, it’s no wonder that teen anxiety, teen depression and self-harm behavior are on the rise.

While it may seem that your child is the only one struggling to cope, in reality, countless teenagers regularly display a range of distressing symptoms that worry or frighten their parents. The important thing is how you react to the signs of stress, anxiety or depression your child is exhibiting. While you may hope that your teen will simply grow out of a troubling developmental phase, it’s important to face your teenager’s struggles head-on and help him or her identify and overcome the root cause of unhappiness. This is where a skilled and compassionate teen therapist can help. With the support and guidance of teen counseling, your child can learn the skills needed to cope with stress and succeed in the high-stakes world we live in. 

Teen Therapy Can Help Your Child Find Support, Guidance, Insight And Relief

Regardless of the severity of your teenager’s struggle with stress, anxiety, depression and/or self-harming behavior, an experienced teen psychologist may help him or her learn to identify stress triggers and to better understand and manage difficult thoughts and emotions. In a confidential, comfortable setting, your teen has the opportunity to begin learning skills needed to break the cycle of ineffective thoughts, frustration and persistent worry that he or she may be trapped in. Through speaking to a therapist, your child may learn to recognize and work through irrational or unhelpful thoughts and exercise control over emotions and behavior.  

The first step to overcoming any issue is to face it head-on. This is especially true for teenagers who often struggle with their first experience with anxiety, depression or acute stress during the challenging adolescent years. While talking about personal experience can be daunting, teen counseling can provide your child with the space to speak honestly and openly without fear of judgment. Your teen won’t have to worry about getting in trouble or frightening loved ones in the compassionate and safe space of teen counseling sessions. This is your child’s time to unburden worries and discover the root cause of distressing symptoms. By speaking honestly and freely, your teen may begin to let go of the worries he or she is carrying and experience relief. Over time, he or she can also learn effective tools and life skills that may help manage the unsettling feelings of anxiety or depression, and facilitate moving through life with a little more ease and sense of control.

As a teen therapist, above all, I want your child to feel comfortable speaking openly with me. A key part of teen therapy is feeling connected to and comfortable with your therapist, and I am more than happy to refer your child to a number of other experienced therapists if they do not feel a strong connection with me.  In sessions, I will hold space for your teen as he or she shares his or her deepest thoughts and fears, and I’ll endeavor to facilitate discussions that are well rounded, practical and comprehensive. We’ll work collaboratively and compassionately as your teen learns to recognize ineffective thought cycles and begins to reframe debilitating patterns of behavior. Once we understand your child’s specific emotional triggers, we can move towards experimenting with identifying effective strategies to help break through blocks and allow your teen to establish therapy and family goals. Whether your teen is a high-achiever who needs help figuring out how to navigate a work-life balance now that he or she will soon be living away from home, or if he or she is struggling to make it through high school, teen therapy can help your child take manageable, actionable steps toward goals and foster a life that feels happy and exciting again. With me, you’ll be working with a teen therapist who is authentic, accessible and sympathetic to your child’s unique experience. I have seen therapy transform the lives of all kinds of teenagers, and I believe that, with time and commitment, we can help your child find his or her way back on track, too. 

You still may have questions or concerns about teen counseling…

My teen thinks therapy is only for mentally unstable people. 

The majority of teenagers will struggle with anxiety, depression and/or stress at some point while growing up. While the severity of these symptoms can vary widely, teen issues are much more common than many people realize. And, suffering from anxiety or depression doesn’t mean there is something “wrong” with your teen. It may simply be that your teenager is stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts or worries and needs an impartial, third party to help get back on track. 

The first step to overcoming the symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress or self-harm is letting go of the stigma that is often attached to mental illness. It’s important to teach your child that everybody gets stuck in some way at different times in life, and it’s a sign of strength to recognize that you need of help. Also, nothing is too trivial to talk about. Therapy can help everyone, no matter how big or small a problem may seem.

How long will my teen be in therapy? 

The length of time your teen will spend in therapy is dependent upon his or her symptoms, his or her motivation to engage in the therapy process and the connection your teen feels to me as a therapist. Therapy typically takes longer to impact teenagers and children than adults, as young people are often less introspective and have narrower worldviews. For this reason, I hesitate to give time estimates. What I will say is that I believe that therapy can be an enjoyable and worthwhile experience for your teen. It can help your child gain the skills needed to feel in control over his or her life. It also offers your teen a nonjudgmental, third party to confide in, which can be invaluable during these challenging, dynamic teenage years.   

I don’t want to force my teen into therapy. 

My experience working with teenagers has shown me that many adolescent problems stem from a perceived lack of control over their lives. Teenagers are navigating the transition from childhood to adulthood, and it can be tough for parents to discern how much control their teen can handle. Offering choice can be an effective strategy in diffusing a tense standoff with your teen. You could encourage your child to attend just a couple of sessions with me or another therapist, giving him or her the option to try a different teen counselor if he or she feels uncomfortable. Giving your teen a choice over therapist allows him or her to feel some control over the situation, which can be beneficial to self-esteem and create motivation in therapy sessions. 

Your Teen Can Learn To Manage and Even Overcome Anxiety, Depression And Stress

Growing up can be an overwhelming experience for a young person, especially living in Silicon Valley. Teen therapy can help your child overcome stressful and limiting thoughts and feelings and move toward a happier, open and more balanced life.

If you’re ready to help your teen embark on a journey toward a happier, less stressful life, I can help. Call 408-827-8011 or email today to set up an appointment at my Saratoga practice. In your free 10-minute consultation, I can answer questions and set up an initial meeting where your teen will be able to relax in a comfortable environment and better understand the benefits of working with a teen therapist.