Raising teenagers can be a challenge, especially when it comes time to suggest counseling to your teenager. If your teenager is struggling with strong emotions, such as depression or anxiety, it may be beneficial to consider professional teenage counseling. But how do you convince your teenager to go to counseling? In this blog post, we will provide tips on how to get your teenager to go to counseling and help them on the path to emotional wellbeing.
Understanding Your Teenager's Brain
Raising a teenager can be a difficult and stressful experience. This is especially true when it comes to trying to get them to go to counseling. Before you can successfully help your teenager to make the decision to go to counseling, it’s important to understand their brain and how it works.
Adolescence is a stage of life characterized by intense physical, emotional, and psychological changes. During this period, the teenage brain is going through a lot of development and transformation. This makes teens more prone to risk-taking behaviors, acting on impulse, and emotional outbursts.
During this time of great change and growth, teens often have difficulty regulating their emotions. They may have difficulty understanding the consequences of their actions and expressing themselves in healthy ways. This is why it is so important for teenagers to have access to counseling services – to provide them with an outlet for their emotions and teach them positive coping skills.
Understanding how your teenager’s brain works can help you to better understand their behavior and feelings. It can also help you to be more supportive and patient with them as they navigate this challenging stage of life.
Why Teenagers Refuse Counseling: Understanding the Stigma
Teenagers often feel pressure to appear strong and in control, so seeking help for mental health issues can be viewed as a sign of weakness. This fear of vulnerability or stigma can prevent them from seeking counseling. It’s also common for teenagers to be concerned about how their peers may react if they seek help. Unfortunately, these fears can lead to shame and embarrassment which may stop them from seeking the support they need.
In addition, teenagers may feel embarrassed or ashamed of their thoughts and feelings and worry that their counselor won’t take them seriously. They may also not have faith in the counseling process due to preconceived notions that it is ineffective or won’t yield any lasting results. Finally, some teenagers may not want to admit that they have a problem that needs help.
As parents, it is important to understand the stigma associated with counseling and mental health in order to best help your teenager. By normalizing the idea of counseling and mental health, you can help remove any lingering doubts or worries your teen may have about seeking help. Let your teenager know that there is no shame in getting the help they need, and that you are available to support them throughout the process.
Having a conversation with your teenager about counseling can be daunting, but it is an important part of helping them get the help they need. Here are some tips to make the process smoother.
1. Keep Your Tone Respectful and Understanding: Try to remain calm and understanding during the conversation. Explain why you believe counseling might be beneficial for them, and avoid language that could be interpreted as shaming or judgmental.
2. Frame Counseling as a Positive Experience: Explain to your teenager that counseling can help them to better understand themselves, process their emotions, and learn new coping strategies. Make sure they know that counseling is not just for people who have “serious problems” – it can help anyone to gain insight and improve their mental health.
3. Ask Open-Ended Questions: Ask questions such as “What do you think about counseling?” and “How do you think counseling could help you?” This will help your teen to reflect on their own feelings and think more deeply about the possibility of counseling.
4. Talk About Your Own Experiences: If you have seen a counselor or therapist before, share your own experiences with your teenager. Explain that seeking help is a sign of strength rather than weakness, and that many successful people see counselors or therapists regularly.
5. Be Supportive: Let your teenager know that you are there for them and that you support their decision to seek counseling. Reassure them that you will be there to support them through the entire process.
Talking to your teenager about counseling can be difficult, but having an open and honest dialogue will help them to feel more comfortable with the idea. Remember to be patient, understanding, and supportive during the conversation.
How to Check In With Your Teenager After They Start Counseling
Once your teenager starts counseling, it’s important to keep in touch with them and make sure they’re continuing to get the help they need. Here are some tips to check in with your teenager after they start counseling:
1. Ask How They Are Doing: First and foremost, make sure to ask your teen how they are doing. Listen to their concerns and experiences without judging or offering advice. Let them know that you are there for them if they need to talk or need help.
2. Give Positive Reinforcement: Let your teen know that you are proud of them for taking this important step and acknowledge their progress, no matter how small. Praise and positive reinforcement can help encourage them to keep up with their sessions.
3. Discuss Sessions: Ask your teen about their counseling sessions and encourage them to talk about the changes they’ve noticed in themselves since starting counseling. Offer support and understanding as they process their thoughts and feelings.
4. Offer Help: If your teen is having difficulty completing homework or finding the time to attend counseling sessions, let them know that you are willing to offer help. This could include providing transportation to and from sessions, checking in with their counselor or helping with homework assignments.
By being supportive and encouraging, you can help ensure that your teenager is getting the most out of their counseling sessions. Check in with them regularly and be sure to praise their progress and offer any help they may need. With your help, your teen will have a better chance of seeing the positive results of counseling!
As parents, it can be difficult to know how best to support your teenager while they are in counseling. However, it is essential to create a safe and supportive environment in order to ensure that the therapy is beneficial for your teenager. Here are a few tips on how to show your support:
1. Encourage Open Communication: Make sure that you are encouraging your teen to open up and talk about their feelings. This can be an uncomfortable process, but it is essential for healing. Let them know that you are there to listen and offer support without judgement.
2. Offer Emotional Support: It’s important to be patient and understanding when your teen is going through a difficult time in therapy. Make sure that you are offering emotional support and checking in regularly to see how they are feeling.
3. Set Boundaries: It can be tempting to try to “fix” your teen’s problems, but remember that it is not your job to do so. Instead, try to focus on providing support without interfering in the therapeutic process. Setting boundaries will help you avoid overstepping your role as a parent.
4. Respect Your Teenager’s Privacy: Your teen may not want to share all the details of their therapy sessions with you. Respect their wishes and don’t push them to talk if they don’t want to.
5. Model Healthy Coping Skills: It’s important to model healthy coping skills for your teen while they are in counseling. Show them that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it and that talking about your feelings can be beneficial.
By following these tips, you can provide a supportive environment for your teenager while they are in counseling. Remember that this is a difficult process, but it can be beneficial for your teen in the long run.
Counseling for Teenagers in Denver
Connected Brain Counseling offers counseling for teenagers in Denver near the Sloan's Lake area. Their team of master's level therapists focus on PTSD and trauma responses, including family therapy and therapy for teens in Denver. If you are interested in speaking with a therapist that specializes in teen counseling, you can set up a consultation here.