Teen Therapy

A supportive enviroment for teens

Help During the Teenage years

Are You Worried About Your Teen?

  • Has your teenage child become anxious or withdrawn?
  • Do they struggle academically, exhibit troubling behaviors, or talk about not fitting in with their peers?
  • As their parent, are you feeling out of your depth about how to help them on your own?

Although you probably never expected raising a teenager would be easy, perhaps your child is encountering more difficulty than you ever anticipated. For example, they may have grown withdrawn and isolated and no longer seem interested in school, friends, or extracurricular activities. This might stem from them feeling socially awkward in their peer group or, if they’re overstretched with too many obligations and expectations, buckling under the pressure to maintain good grades.

Your Teen’s Habits May Be Contributing To Social Isolation And Low Self-Worth

If your teen is spending most of their time consuming social media, it could impact how they perceive themselves. Self-comparison might negatively affect their self-image and confidence. Or maybe they’re preoccupied with video games and are increasingly cut off from face-to-face connection.

You may be wondering why your child seems angry, defiant, sad, or withdrawn. Rather than confiding in you about what’s wrong, you might have to gauge their distress through their behavior. Perhaps they’re experimenting with substance use, struggling with an eating disorder, or engaging in self-harm.

Witnessing your child suffer without knowing how best to support them is tough for any parent. If only you knew how to help them recognize what a wonderful person they are and realize how much potential they have.

Fortunately, Ammirati Counseling Center is dedicated to collaborating with parents to help their teens get through this challenging period. In therapy, a counselor can become a trusted confidante for your teen who can help them navigate their struggles by building more self-awareness and inner confidence.

Today’s Teens Have Had To Contend With Both The COVID-19 Pandemic And Social Media’s Influence

The prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms in children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic doubled, highlighting the staggering effect the pandemic has had on teens. [1] What’s more, virtually all teens—95 percent ages 13 to 17—use social media, with more than 1 in 3 reporting that they use it ​“almost constantly.” Unfortunately, “Numerous studies show that higher levels of social media use among children and adolescents are linked to adverse effects, including depression and anxiety, inadequate sleep—which can disrupt neurological development and lead to depression and suicidal behaviors—low self-esteem, poor body image, eating disorder behaviors and online harassment.” [2]

For Teens, Social Media Often Promotes A Sense Of Feeling Less Than

Adolescence has been a particularly trying time for tweens and teenagers coming of age through the COVID-19 pandemic. Although puberty is already a phase in life when we feel socially awkward, the last few years have exacerbated our children’s sense of isolation, loneliness, and insecurity. Unfortunately, social media has only served to perpetuate unrealistic standards of beauty, body image, and socialization.

During the shutdown, our kids had no choice but to rely on screens as their portal to the world and, as a result, became more reliant on social media. Consequently, their reality is now being filtered through a warped lens, which can lead to a sense of shame and feeling unworthy. They feel like something is wrong with them because they don’t have what others have, even though this perception is purely an illusion.

Today’s world makes navigating adolescence more challenging than ever. If you think your teen could benefit from therapy, our group practice offers professional expertise to help you and your child find solutions customized to suit your needs.

Counseling Can Help Your Teen Get Back On A Positive Path

Teens often feel like the problems they’re experiencing are unique to them and that no one else will understand. Counseling offers a safe space that normalizes their fears and concerns so they can begin to shed the shame they may be feeling. With a focus on solutions, your teen will be reminded of their strengths and learn how to channel their talents and gifts productively.

Our Collaborative Approach To Teen Counseling

Our philosophy for helping teens in counseling is to establish a team approach with parents. Collaborating with you will ensure we are all working together toward clearly defined goals. Initially, we will meet with both you and your teen to better understand the concerns from all perspectives and set expectations for therapy. Thereafter, we will meet with your child individually.

Although we will not discuss what your child talks about in sessions, we will continue to check in with you periodically, keeping you apprised of how treatment is going and providing recommendations for supporting your teen’s progress at home. Teaching you helpful parenting skills, such as empathetic listening, can be highly effective in reducing conflict and opening up the lines of communication between you and your child.

Depending on what your teen needs help with, after building rapport with them, their therapist will teach them how to develop healthier skills. If, for example, your child has trouble fitting in, their therapist will help validate their experience and help them accept who they are and what they bring to the table. In the long term, counseling can help your teen feel empowered to handle anything that life throws at them. When they have a sense of control over how they will respond to any given situation, they can build confidence and assurance that they will be okay.

Our Solution-Centered And Collaborative Approach To Teen Counseling

We aim to provide your teen with solution-based tools, such as Internal Family Systems (IFS), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) for teens. With IFS, we talk about the different parts of themselves, allowing them to tackle “all or nothing” thinking that may have convinced them something is wrong with them.

ACT helps normalize how their thoughts and feelings so that they no longer feel ashamed or stigmatized. Utilizing CBT provides your teen with hands-on skills and tools they can learn in counseling sessions and continue to employ and practice outside of therapy. If your teen is grappling with an eating disorder, substance abuse disorder, or engaging in self-harm, trauma-informed CBT can help them learn how to manage symptoms when they are triggered.

With a therapist as part of the team, you can identify solutions for your teen that may be hard to achieve alone. No matter what’s challenging them, counseling offers hope for teens and their families.

But Maybe You’re Not Sure If Teen Counseling Is Right For You…

How can I best provide support for my child?

When your child is struggling with mental health, it’s common to feel like you have failed them. But there isn’t a book that explains how to deal with the many problems your child will face in life. We tell parents, “An ounce of love makes up for a pound of mistakes.”

It’s okay not to be perfect and have it all figured out. If your teenage child is suffering from anxiety or depression, dealing with substance abuse issues, or struggling as an LGBTQ youth, counseling is the best way to ensure they’re receiving the support they need. 

Trauma Therapy Chicago

I don’t think I can get my teen to agree to attend counseling.

You may initially encounter resistance to getting your teen to agree to counseling. That said, we have succeeded in helping our teen clients realize how helpful therapy can be, especially as they become increasingly comfortable with their therapist. If they seem unwilling to attend therapy, we’re happy to give them an opportunity to ask questions and get more comfortable with the process. In our experience, if we can get your teen’s buy-in, they will welcome the chance to receive additional support.

Isn’t counseling for teens expensive?

At Ammirati Counseling, we strive to make teen therapy as affordable as possible for all of our clients. We work with all insurance companies to ensure you can provide your teen with the benefit of working with a counselor to address the issues they are having.

Together We Can Offer Your Teen Tangible Ways To Thrive

Let us help you find solutions for your teen that will benefit them well into the future. If you would like to find out more about in-person or online teen therapy with Ammirati Counseling Center, you may visit our contact page or call 847-217-9381 to schedule a free 15-minute call to get more information.

[1] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2782796
[2] https://www.aecf.org/blog/social-medias-concerning-effect-on-teen-mental-health

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