Counseling can be helpful to anyone of any age and background, but teens especially have not yet learned the tools to deal with their emotions, and may not feel comfortable talking to family or friends about their problems.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 in 20 people over the age of 12 report feeling depressed. Whether your teen is dealing with anger issues, anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, self-harm, or an eating disorder, therapy can be a great benefit to them, even if their problems don’t seem very severe. Here are some ways counseling can benefit your teen.
They will feel heard and validated
The Center for Young Women’s Health says that if you have symptoms of depression for more than two weeks, it’s time to get help. By encouraging your teen to talk to someone, you are validating that their feelings are real and not their fault. The therapist will further make them feel validated by confirming that they are not wrong to feel the way they do. Many teens’ depression stem from feeling alone or like no one is listening to or believing them. Talking to a therapist can help just by making them feel heard, and not like they are making their problems up.
They will be given coping mechanisms and tools
As adults, years of experience have taught us how to cope with our feelings and given us tools to overcome them, and even we can all benefit from therapy. Teens do not have the skills adults do to deal with their emotions. Therapy will give them healthy coping mechanisms to deal with their problems now and for the rest of their lives. Building healthy habits as teens and learning to cope with emotions in a healthy way will help them for the rest of their lives, even if they are only in therapy for a short time.
They will gain perspective
Being depressed or having another mental health issue can distort reality in ways it is hard for teens to realize for themselves. A therapist can help illuminate these perceptions and how they may not be accurate. For instance, if a teen is feeling depressed because they feel like no one likes them, a therapist can help them see that this may not be the case. People may not see them the way they think they do. For teens, they may not even be consciously aware they have these thoughts, and even if they do, may not realize why they think them or that they may not be true. Realizing many of their depressing or anxious thoughts are fears rather than realities can be an enormous relief.
There is very little risk or negative consequences of counseling for adolescents. If they are harming themselves or have thoughts of suicide, it is essential to get professional help right away, but even if their problems seem mild or less severe, therapy can provide benefit to their health and increase the quality of their daily life for now and for the rest of their lives.
- 7 Signs Your Teen Needs Professional Counseling (doorwaysarizona.com)
- Only Half of Teens with Mental Health Issues Get Treatment (doorwaysarizona.com)
- 4 Common Types of Counseling, Explained (doorwaysarizona.com)