Are You Concerned About Your Teen’s Behavior?
Does your teen seem withdrawn? Perhaps they are struggling with symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Is your teen having a hard time getting to sleep? Maybe your teen’s sleep schedule has gotten really off track and they seem tired all the time.
Is your teenager having a hard time opening up to you or others?
Maybe your teen seems even more down or anxious right now and you are wondering how COVID-19 is impacting them. You may have noticed that your teen is spending more time in their room or on the phone. Perhaps your teen seems more isolated or irritable. You may feel like you don’t know your teenager anymore and there is tension in your home. Or you feel your teen pulling away and you don’t know what to do about it.
You may be wondering if your teen really needs counseling. You may be worried about your teenager, but you don’t know if therapy will help. It is hard for parents to know what is normal behavior. Parenting a teen is not easy, but you are not alone. Adolescent therapy can help you and your family navigate the unique challenges that families face during this difficult time.
Mental Health Issues are Common in Teens
Anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders often begin to show up in teenage years. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that 1 in 6 US kids and teens experience a mental health disorder and 50% of mental illnesses begin by age 14. Teens face a variety of pressures, including keeping up with school work, peer pressure, bullying, as well as performing in sports and other activities. Teens are also dealing with hormonal changes and the desire to assert a sense of independence.
Teens often don’t want to confide in their parents and it is normal and healthy for teens to want to talk to someone else. Adolescence is a tough time for teens and families, but teen therapy can help.
Teen Counseling Can Help the Entire Family
We are familiar with the issues that adolescents struggle with the most. We create a welcoming, supportive and non-judgmental space where teens can share what is bothering them. Our therapists are empathic and collaborative in our approach. And, in our practice, we also recognize the concerns and feelings of frustration that come with parenting teenagers. Our therapists understand the neuroscience of the teenage brain and we are trained to support your teen with a variety of needs. These are our areas of clinical focus for teen therapy:
Sleep: During adolescence, sleep patterns change a lot. By using CBT-i (cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia) we can help identify and change dysfunctional habits around sleep. We educate teens and parents about healthy sleep and work to reduce negative thoughts and stress around sleep. Teen therapy can help lay the groundwork for better sleep at a critical age.
Anxiety: Anxiety typically starts to show up or strengthen in teenage years. Teens struggle with social anxiety, performance anxiety and generalized anxiety. Our therapists help explain how anxiety works in the brain and use CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), talk therapy and EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) to help teens work through anxious feelings.
Trauma: If your teen has been through something difficult, but can’t seem to move forward, EMDR therapy can help. Teen therapy using EMDR is very effective for helping to reduce negative thoughts and feelings about an experience. EMDR therapy can be done very effectively online and teenagers may feel even more comfortable in their own home. Teens who have been through bullying, abuse, divorce, or significant loss can really benefit from EMDR counseling. EDMR therapy helps teens to process trauma and helps create resiliency.
Pain/Illness: Teenagers who deal with pain or a chronic physical illness face unique challenges. Teen therapy can help allow teens to express their feelings about their situation. We also help teach mind-body therapies to adolescents that can help to reduce stress around pain and illness. We are very familiar with resources that can help support adolescents. We are knowledgeable about pain science and help teach teens and their families about the neuroscience of pain.
Our therapists are skilled at integrating cognitive behavioral techniques, talk therapy, EMDR and mind-body strategies. Engaging an adolescent in therapy is not always easy and is not one-size-fits-all. Incorporating different practices in teen therapy is important and this is what our therapists do best.
You May Still Have Questions About Teen Therapy
Can Teen Therapy Be Done Online?
Teens are one of the easiest groups to engage in online therapy. Teens are used to talking to friends through FaceTime or Zoom and are used to developing relationships online. During this challenging time when your teen is missing social connections, it is important to have them develop healthy habits. Teen therapy online provides flexibility when a busy schedule makes it hard to add another activity. Family therapy can be done online as well and can be easier to coordinate when the family is home together.
Will I Be Involved in My Teen’s Counseling?
Parents are always involved in teen therapy. Our therapists prioritize the connection with the teenager, in order to build trust, while also incorporating parents. Your therapist will be available to answer any questions or concerns that you have along the way. Your therapist will also explain how confidentiality works in teen therapy. Your role as a parent is essential and your therapist will help give you strategies to support your teen during therapy.
Is Teen Therapy Worth the Investment?
Therapy is an investment in the health and future of your teenager. While you are committing resources to therapy, your teen can learn habits and skills that can benefit them throughout their lives. It is important to intervene during adolescence, as the teen brain grows and develops. In many ways, teenage years are the most vital time to engage in therapy. And many insurance companies will reimburse a portion of therapy costs.
Your Teen Can Learn Healthy Habits
Teen therapy is a great way for adolescents to learn more about themselves, their choices and emotions. Teen counseling can be an important way to support the entire family during an already challenging time. We want you to know that you don’t have to struggle alone and we are here to help.
If your teen is ready to thrive, we invite you to contact us or call 202-656-3376. We offer a free consultation to answer any questions you have and to see if our practice is a good fit for your teen.