Counseling for Adolescents
As parents, we are our kids’ protectors and guardians. This is a big responsibility, and it can often feel frightening, as we want to protect our kids and teens from everything life throws their way. In reality, however, this is impossible to do every second of the day. We have to have time away from our offspring to take care of ourselves, to work, and to give them the space they need to develop autonomy, attend school, make friends, and more. Unfortunately, there are going to be things that happen to our kids while they are out in the world that we cannot control or protect them from. In these instances, all we can do is be there to listen and support them in any way we can.
According to research, one in three teens will have an anxiety disorder by the time they reach age 18, and over 10% will have at least one major depressive episode. 14% of teens ages 13–17 will experience depression or bipolar disorder, and over 50% will use alcohol. On top of these stats, over 85% of teens will be exposed to community violence, while 25–43% will be exposed to sexual abuse. These numbers are terrifying, and they don’t even account for accidents and disasters that can impact kids and cause trauma responses.
Sadly, the majority of kids and teens who are exposed to childhood trauma do not seek treatment. This could be for a variety of reasons, including that kids may not always disclose traumatic experiences that happen to them out of shame or fear of what might happen. This can lead to them either internalizing the trauma, which can lead to depression and anxiety, or self-harm or externalizing the trauma, which can lead to negative behavioral patterns such as violence, bullying, or abuse toward others.
When a child or teen is in need of help and doesn’t get the right kind of mental and emotional support that they need, they can experience greater difficulties with mental health and substance use and abuse later in life. If you’re concerned about your teen and are wondering if therapy is the right choice for your family, we welcome you to contact Idaho Youth Ranch to learn more about the our team of teen therapists, treatment options, and resources available.
Does My Teen Need Counseling/Therapy?
The thought of going to therapy or counseling can be scary, and very often it’s even stigmatizing. However, talking to a therapist or counselor is a lot like talking with a trusted friend or family member, with the added benefit of them being able to equip you with the tools and resources you and your kids need to overcome any struggles or issues you may be facing, whether it’s a behavioral or mental health concern, exposure to trauma, the loss of a loved one, abuse, or simply an emotional time in life.
Having the ability and opportunity to open up and talk to someone you can trust who offers support and positive solutions and resources is one of the most healing experiences your children and teens can experience. In fact, it’s incredibly beneficial for all adults to have, as well.
Some signs or red flags that may indicate that your child or teen could benefit from teen therapy or family counseling include:
- Harm to others
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Substance use/abuse
- Trauma exposure
- Emotional difficulties
- Behavioral issues
- Relationship struggles
- Anger outbursts
- Attitude or mood issues
- Self-destructive behaviors
- Impulse control issues
- Antisocial behavior
- Eating and/or sleeping changes
- Decline in grades
- Lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed
- Symptoms of concern or of a possible mental health disorder
There are a variety of other scenarios in which therapy or counseling can benefit your adolescent. If there is ever a doubt in your mind about the stability of your child or teen, or their ability to function in life, and you find yourself questioning if therapy or counseling can help, it’s likely that you and your child or teen could benefit from the assistance of a certified therapist.
If you’d like to learn more about the therapy/counseling services provided by Idaho Youth Ranch, get in touch with us. One of our adolescent counselors would love to speak with you about your unique concerns.
What Is Family Counseling?
Family can mean a great many things to many people. Whether your immediate family unit is comprised of biological parents, guardians, relatives, godparents, or adoptive parents, whomever resides with you—whom you take care of and live with—are family.
Sometimes, family units are able to coexist peacefully—providing one another with positive support. Other times, it can be difficult for everyone to get onto the same page and see eye to eye. Family counseling, or family therapy, provides a safe space in which families can communicate and work through any struggles that are impacting them. Whether it’s discord; the loss of a loved one; a difficult or trying time of transition or loss; divorce; or a behavioral, physical, or mental health issue with a family member, this form of intervention can help.
Family therapy uses a variety of different therapeutic tools and interventions, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and a variety of individual and group techniques, including some of the following forms of group therapy:
- Structural: Focused on strengthening the family unit and helping to adjust it as needed
- Systemic: Focused on the unconscious meaning and communications behind family members’ behaviors
- Bowenian: Focused on an individual who wishes not to involve other family members by allowing them to vent and learn ways to become less reactive and regulate emotions when interacting within the family unit
- Strategic: This form of therapy is very direct and is a shorter form of therapy than the others. Its focus is primarily on assigning homework to the family
Some of the goals of family therapy may include:
- Observing how family members interact with one another
- Identifying and working through relationship issues
- Diagnosing and treating psychological disorders
- Reducing dysfunctional behaviors and providing healthy solutions for coping and communicating
- Implementing a holistic approach to wellness for the family
Some of the issues that families may choose to seek family therapy or counseling for include:
- Conflict in the home
- Loss of a loved one, job, or health
- Behavioral problems in kids
- Forming and sustaining healthy, positive, and supportive relationships
- Divorce, separation, or marital discord
- Substance use or abuse by a family member
- Communication issues
- Mental health issues or trauma involving a family member
- Issues within an individual in therapy that have been tied to the family unit
- Cross-generational, mixed, interracial, LGBT, unmarried, or culturally and/or religiously mixed family members
- Blaming or picking on another family member (scapegoating)
If you would like to learn more about the family therapy options provided by Idaho Youth Ranch, we’d love to speak with you. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help.
Watch Lyric & Amber's Family Therapy Success Story:
What Types of Teen Therapy/Counseling Are Available?
When your child or teen is struggling, you want to know that your investment into getting them the help that they need is going to work. As with every form of therapy, and within each individual case, results will vary on a case-by-case basis. Research shows that an important component to therapy is the relationship between the therapist and client. There are also a variety of evidence-based therapeutic practices that have been shown by research to be effective. Not every form of therapy is evidence-based, and not every form of therapy will be ideal for each unique individual. The therapeutic interventions that will be used in working with your teen will vary depending on the unique factors surrounding your teen. Some of the common evidence-based forms of therapy that have been proven to work include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Behavior Therapy
- Cognitive Therapy
- Family Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Motivational Interviewing (MI)
- Contingency Management (CM)
At Idaho Youth Ranch, our teen counselors dedicated to providing the best care for your teen. It is our goal to help your teen overcome any issues they’re facing, heal, and thrive once they leave our care and enter into the world. We’ve worked with a variety of families over the years and believe that when our clients succeed, we succeed.
If you’re interested in learning more about teen therapy, equine therapy, or family therapy, we’d love to speak to you. At Idaho Youth Ranch, our dedicated team of professionals is here to provide the right kind of support for you and your family.
What Types of Teen Therapy/Counseling Are Available?
There are a variety of forms of therapy that can be used and which depend upon the unique needs of each individual. At Idaho Youth Ranch, we offer a wide range of therapy options so each client can have a customized therapeutic experience.
Some of the forms of therapy that we offer include:
- Residential and outpatient therapy options
- Individual Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Family Therapy
- Equine Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
If you’d like to learn more about the various therapeutic approaches we offer, we welcome you to contact us to schedule a consultation for your child or teen. We’d love to discuss your teen’s and/or family’s unique concerns and needs and help form a therapeutic plan that is best suited for everyone.
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- 5 Common Misconceptions About Teen Mental Health
- Understanding Self-Harm
- Success Story: TeleMental Health
When Should I Call for Help?
When is it the right time to get help for your teen? This is unique for every individual; however, anything suggesting there may have been trauma exposure, substance use or abuse, or a developing behavioral or psychological struggle can certainly benefit from the guidance of a licensed therapist or counselor.
Generally, when parents or teachers and peers observe negative behavioral patterns, this can signal that your teen is experiencing stress or has experienced something upsetting. The warning signs that it may be time to seek help lie in the behavior of your teen. Often, they may be trying to say something through their behaviors rather than with their words.
Behaviors that parents should consider causes for concern and which warrant the need for help include anything that extends beyond normal teenage behavior.
For example, it’s normal for teens to become easily annoyed by daily life events. However, it’s not normal for them to go into an angry rage with little prompting. It’s also normal for teens to eat and sleep more than the average adult. However, if eating becomes binging and the sleeping habits are consistently extreme, this could signal a need for some help. Some common behaviors that extend beyond normal teen behaviors include:
- Angry or violent outbursts that are not proportionate to the situation at hand
- Sleeping over twelve hours per day, every day
- Extreme insomnia
- Obsessive dieting, exercising, and/or binging and purging
- Self-isolating from family and friends
- Sadness and/or anxiety that becomes worse over time
- Self-harm or harm to others
- Hiding and collecting sharp objects, lighters, etc. for self-harm
- Heavy substance use/abuse or sexual promiscuity
- Suicidal thoughts or tendencies
These are some of the behaviors that parents can look for when determining whether their teen is in need of some help. While these are behaviors that signal a need for immediate intervention, there are a variety of reasons that a teen may require some help beyond exhibiting any of the mentioned behaviors. Bullying, divorce, death of a loved one, a scary experience or accident, reports of abuse, self-esteem issues, exposure to anything traumatic, and other traumatic events can warrant the need for therapeutic intervention.
Should you decide that it’s time to seek help for your teen, we’re here for you. Please do not hesitate to give us a call to speak with us about your unique situation and we’ll schedule you for an evaluation with one of our teen therapists. We’re on your side and want nothing but for your family and teen to thrive.
My Teen Needs Counseling/Therapy; Am I a Failure?
A teen requiring counseling or therapy can often be a difficult experience for parents and family to endure. Many parents may feel like a child or teen needing therapy signals a failure on their behalf in some way relating to their parenting skills; however, this is not the case.
While there can be issues occurring within the home that warrant the need for therapy, this doesn’t mean that you as a parent or guardian are a failure. We are all doing our best to take care of our families and ourselves, and there are times when there can be stress, discord, and hardships within the home of a family unit. This is normal. However, when the struggles become too difficult to bear on our own, there is no shame in asking for help. It takes strength to seek help, and it is not a sign of failure but a sign that you are committed to your child or teen’s success and ability to thrive.
There are a variety of reasons a teen may require counseling or therapy that extend beyond what a parent is physically capable of controlling. We cannot physically protect our children from everything that is potentially traumatic, harmful, or hurtful every second of the day. There are various instances and scenarios in which having a resourceful and competent individual on our side to help us work through our struggles can help us live better lives.
Seeking counsel or therapy is not a sign of failure in any sense of the word. Those of us who engage in therapy are not failures at life, rather we could simply use a bit of assistance, much like when we go to a dentist when we need to have our teeth cleaned or need relief from a toothache, or going to a doctor when we have a physical concern. Therapists and counselors help us with our mental health and emotional and behavioral concerns. It’s never a bad idea to check in with a therapist from time to time. We can all benefit from it, even other therapists.
Mental health struggles are becoming more and more common in the U.S. and other developed countries across the globe. Each year we’re seeing an increase in the number of people who struggle with mental health disorders, stress, and emotional issues. We are also living in a time during which there are more reasons for us to stress and experience fear and anxiety. Giving ourselves permission to seek help when we need it is important. It’s also important to remember that we’re all in this together. We all need one another to survive, and sometimes that includes therapy or emotional support during times of need.
If you’re struggling with feelings of guilt or failure pertaining to the struggles your teen is facing, we’re here for you too. We offer a variety of individual and family support services for families and parents. Whether you’re seeking emotional support, classes for parenting skills, family therapy, or community resources, we have you covered. When families can come together and work together to heal and form healthier patterns and connections, it’s the best kind of support that can be given for those who are struggling.
The dedicated team of professionals at Idaho Youth Ranch is here for you and your family during this time. If you’d like to learn more about our teen therapy or parenting resources, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’re looking forward to speaking with you and helping you get to the place you want to be with your kids and family unit.