Teen Therapy Woodland Hills

Are You Worried About Your Teen’s Mental Health?

Is your teenager showing signs of anxiety or depression? Have their grades dropped because they have trouble concentrating or expressed no longer wanting to go to school? Rather than confide in you about what’s wrong, have they become isolated and withdrawn?

When your child is struggling emotionally, it’s impossible not to notice. Seemingly overnight, your happy-go-lucky child may now seem anxious, moody, and unmotivated. Perhaps you’re concerned because the activities they once loved don’t seem to interest them anymore. After social distancing for so long, they may get anxious and uncomfortable in public nowadays. Perhaps they clash with friends or other family members, causing them to isolate and prefer to spend time alone more often.

Your Teen Might Be Shutting You Out

As much as you try to talk to your teen, they may stonewall and keep you at a distance. Or maybe their bouts of silence are punctuated by tears, angry outbursts, and door slamming. Aside from emotional eruptions, your teen might also be experiencing somatic symptoms of anxiety or depression, such as headaches, stomach pain, dizziness, or a lack of energy and focus.

Perhaps your child is also having issues with sleep, staying up late at night before sleeping most of the day. If they constantly compare themselves to others and struggle with body image, they may restrict their diet, or refuse to eat. As they try to figure out where they fit in, they might also be exploring their gender identity and sexual orientation.

As a parent of a teenager, you may wonder if what they’re going through is normal for adolescence or if your teen could benefit from support from a qualified therapist. If your teen is struggling, therapy can help them feel understood and heard. Having a safe place to unpack their feelings will help them accept themselves as they are.

Adolescent Can Be A Turbulent Time Of Transformation

Adolescence is known as the “coming of age” phase of life for teenagers. Not only do their hormones go haywire, but their relationship to their bodies also changes. During this often emotionally taxing time, they sometimes develop a fear of not being good enough or feel like they don’t fit in anywhere. As relationships with others grow more complicated, teens often retreat into themselves.

As parents, our child’s transition from childhood to adolescence can create blurry lines we are uncertain how to navigate. When our kids alternate between childlike and grownup behavior, we often struggle to determine what our parental role should be.

The Factors That Contribute To Mental Distress In Teens

If it seems like more teens suffer from anxiety and depression these days, it’s because they are. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medicine Association (JAMA), “Between 2016 and 2020, there were significant increases in children’s diagnosed anxiety and depression.” [1] Although the factors contributing to this spike are numerous, a few stand out:

  • Social media has played a big role in the comparison trap, causing teens to feel inadequate and insecure. The impact on their self-esteem can be extreme and potentially dangerous.
  • In the aftermath of the Covid-19 quarantine, some teens are finding it difficult to transition back into daily social interactions without experiencing anxiety.
  • In the past few decades, the pressure placed on teens to succeed academically and plan their future has steadily climbed.
  • Macro-level life changes, such as a recent divorce in the family, loss of a loved one, or moving to a new place can cause emotional instability.

Despite these factors, there is hope. With therapy for teenage anxiety and depression available in Woodland Hill, your child will have a non-judgmental environment where they can process their feelings and learn coping skills they can carry into adulthood.

Therapy Offers The Tools Teens Need To Manage Life’s Stressors

If you’ve put off seeking counseling for your teen in the hopes that this difficult phase would pass on its own, it’s okay. It’s not too late for them to receive help that can improve their emotional health as they approach adulthood. At Embracing You Therapy, we offer a safe and private place for your teen to share their problems and challenges. Because your child doesn’t innately know how to manage their thoughts and feelings, we will help them create a road map so their inner world no longer feels like a strange, confusing place.

One of the biggest challenges teens face are the relationship issues that come up with their parents, family, and friends. That’s why we examine the relationships your teen has with others and explore unhealthy patterns that may be holding them back. Although counseling cannot change how others will treat them, it can teach your teen how to show up courageously and authentically.

The Parent’s Role In Counseling For Teens

Except for a 10-minute check-in with parents at the top of our first session, all therapy for teens aged 13-17 will be conducted one-on-one. After the counselor initially covers confidentiality policies with you, you can expect collaborative treatment planning that will be routinely reviewed at scheduled check-ins every few weeks, either in 15-minute phone calls or 30-minute in-person visits.

As a parent, your role will be to help reinforce at home what your teen is working on in therapy. They will be assigned various exercises and worksheets to perform outside of sessions that we will ask you to facilitate. Your teen’s therapist will also provide you with psychoeducation in the form of articles, blogs, and slides so you can better understand what your teen is experiencing and why.

Our Approach To Teen Therapy

Our goal in therapy will be to help your teen build their self-awareness through a variety of helpful exercises that will appeal to their interests so they remain engaged. Some of the things we may explore during sessions include:

  • Helping your teen identify their feelings by rating their emotions, tracking their mood daily, and exploring how emotions manifest in their bodies;
  • Creating a behavior plan that establishes new routines and a step-by-step guide for implementing coping skills;
  • Establishing healthy boundaries with family members and friends by engaging in role play and learning assertive communication strategies;
  • Using art and play therapy—through such things as drawing, storytelling, and video games—to explore their thoughts and feelings;
  • Learning emotion regulation, such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills and grounding techniques.

Additionally, your teen’s therapist will utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help them challenge anxious thoughts and tackle negative self-talk.

What your child is experiencing is part of their development and journey to become who they are meant to be. By getting professional help, they will realize that they do not have to figure everything out all by themselves. Through therapy, your teen can build the right foundation for their future.

But You May Have More Questions About Teen Therapy…

As a parent, will the therapist keep me in the loop about what my teen talks about in their counseling sessions?

Maintaining your teen’s confidentiality while they foster a trusting relationship with their therapist is our main priority. Confidentiality is breached only if we have concerns about your child’s physical safety. Although your teen’s counselor won’t divulge details about what is talked about, they will meet with you periodically so you can reinforce and support what they are working on in sessions at home.

What if my teen doesn’t want to talk about what’s going on in counseling and would rather learn skills?

Unfortunately, sometimes talk therapy gets a bad rap because just talking for 50 minutes with no action plan isn’t the most productive use of your teen’s time. At Embracing You Therapy, the conversations we have with your teen will lead to an actionable treatment plan. Not only will your teen get to share their story with their counselor and process their feelings by uncovering hidden triggers, but they will also learn life-long lessons about communication, boundaries, relationships, and ultimately self-love and self-acceptance.

Let Us Help Your Teen Thrive

Just a little support can go a long way in helping your teen feel seen and heard. To schedule an appointment to begin teen therapy at our Woodland Hills therapy practice or online, please fill out the contact form to schedule a free phone consultation. 

[1] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2789946

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