Teen Counseling Services
in Houston, TX and Online
Do your teen’s recent behaviors, moods or choices concern you?
You may be feeling frustrated and unsure of how to help your child. Transitioning to teenage years can be challenging. Teens struggle to form their own identity while coping with peer pressure, physical changes, fluctuating emotions, and mature choices and decisions. School can become more challenging and poor study habits are hard to overcome. Some insecurity, conflict, limit testing, and mood fluctuation is normal. However, your teen may need additional help when these become persistent or destructive. Our teen counseling services help your teen and your entire family get back on track.
You may be feeling frustrated and unsure of how to help your child. Transitioning to teenage years can be challenging. Teens struggle to form their own identity while coping with peer pressure, physical changes, fluctuating emotions, and mature choices and decisions. School can become more challenging and poor study habits are hard to overcome. Some insecurity, conflict, limit testing, and mood fluctuation is normal. However, your teen may need additional help when these become persistent or destructive.
Our teen counseling services help your teen and your entire family get back on track.
When is Teen Anxiety & Worry Too Much?
All teens experience anxiety and worry whether about school, friends, belonging, performance, etc. Anxiety in teens is also increased due to hormone changes and increased responsibilities and expectations. However, it’s important to recognize when your teen’s stress is actually a symptom of an anxiety disorder. Today’s teens face more stress than ever before with social media and technology exposing teens to higher expectations, pressures and bullying.
Over 25% of teenagers have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety can negatively impact your teen’s social relationships and academic performance. It can be generalized with worries about many things or specific such as test anxiety.
Anxiety can be debilitating and make it difficult for your teen to focus. Anxiety in teenagers can sometimes be confused with attention deficit disorder.
Look out for these anxiety symptoms in your teen:
- difficulty concentrating, feeling keyed up or on edge, irritability, restlessness,
- excessive fear and worry (general or specific),
- physical symptoms such as stomachaches, headaches, muscle aches and cramps, fatigue,
- hyperventilating, blotchy skin, excessive sweating,
- withdrawn or fearful in social settings,
- beyond shyness, being fearful of how you are perceived can be a sign of social anxiety disorder.
Get Help for Your Teen's Depression
It can be difficult to know if your teen is struggling with depression or going through teenage angst or just the blues. Depression is different from the blues because it lasts longer and is more intense. Teens are coping with hormonal and physical changes which can impact mood fluctuations not to mention the stresses of peer relationships.
Teen depression is more serious however and impacts 20% of teenagers. It can be critical to get help for teen depression early on before things become destructive.
How to Recognize if Your Teen Needs Help for Depression
- irritability, consistent high reactivity or sad mood, high sensitivity to rejection, failure and perceived criticism,
- consistent complaints of physical aches and pains,
- withdrawing from friends, major changes in sleeping and eating patterns, extreme sensitivity to criticism, no longer interested in activities previously enjoyed, self-injury and persistent low energy, destructive behaviors,
- struggling in a particular area of life such as school or friends,
- symptoms are persistent over time.
Major Life Changes Are Hard for Teenagers.
Losses or changes such as death, divorce, new family members or moving or changing schools, changes or illness in the family can trigger difficult emotions, behavioral issues and arguing amongst family members. These can be difficult times for everyone involved.
Sometimes teens can experience a difficult or traumatic situation such as a natural disaster, bullying, rejection, abuse, violence or teen pregnancy and you know they need help, but you’re not sure what to do. Navigating gender identity and sexuality orientation issues can make the adolescent years even more challenging for teens and families.
Getting support can help your teen experience better mental health outcomes.
In situations of trauma, it’s extremely important that your teen has an opportunity to process and make sense of what happened so they can heal. It can also be critical to seek help during times of major change even if your teen isn’t showing obvious signs of teen depression or anxiety. This can help prevent issues from becoming worse.
Therapy Can Build Self-Esteem and Instill Coping Skills
Counseling can be an important factor to help your teen cope with difficult emotions, such as feeling overwhelmed, anxious or depressed, identify unhelpful thinking patterns, build self-confidence and self-respect, and grow and mature. Learning tools now can prevent more serious problems from developing and benefit your teen in adult years as well.
Through therapy, realistic goals are set so that positive changes can be made. This may include changing destructive or problematic behaviors, learning effective communication and problem-solving skills, and building social skills and self-esteem. Symptoms can be reduced while developing a solid sense of self.
Therapy can also help reduce conflicts in the family and help your teen learn how to cope with difficult emotions and situations in a healthy and productive way. This can be an invaluable tool as your teen is faced with more challenging and stressful situations. This can also impact the family as a whole as your teen learns the impact of behavior on others.
Counseling Can Help Your Teen:
- Cope with peer pressure, rejection or bullying
- Reduce conflict and destructive behavior in or outside of the home
- Build self-confidence, reduce social isolation and make friends
- Deal with family changes such as divorce, separation, or addiction
- Learn to cope with a traumatic event or loss
- Cope with the ups and downs of teenage life
- Make healthy decisions and have self-respect
Therapy for Teens FAQ's
Eating disorders also typically emerge in the teen years and are the third most common chronic illnesses in adolescent females. Young males are increasingly developing eating disorders as well.
Eating disorders in adolescence can develop as teens become more conscious of their appearance, cultural norms, and their changing bodies.
Body image concerns may also develop and cause significant distress in your son or daughter, with or without eating disorder symptoms. Poor body image can relate to low self-esteem and be a risk factor in the development of an eating disorder.
Signs of eating disorder symptoms include:
- fear of becoming fat,
- eating in secret (finding food wrappers in your teen’s closet),
- preoccupation with food,
- or food phobias and avoidance.
- obsession with looks or parts of body they dislike,
- repeated checking of their looks or asking for reassurance,
- hiding their body (baggy clothing, etc) or trying not to be seen - avoiding social interactions.
It may be more difficult to notice if your teen is binge eating, purging, restricting calories or over-exercising (another form of bulimia). If you suspect that your teen is struggling with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, it’s important to bring them in to a trained eating disorder specialist for an evaluation.
Keep in mind that weight can have a lot or little to do with this complex disease. Both underweight, normal weight and overweight teens can suffer from a devastating eating disorder. Identifying an eating disorder in the early stages can be critical for recovery and to avoid medical complications.
The first step to helping your teen is to start a conversation. Be open to listening and validate feelings expressed vs. offering advice.
You may feel shut out, but be persistent and supportive and continue to express your concern. Your teen may not want to go to counseling or perceive it as a “punishment”.
You can let your teen know that while they may need to get help for teen depression (not a choice), the choice of who they speak with is up to them. Let your teen review our available teen therapists and select one they connect most with.
The therapist selected will want to make sure that there is a good fit and that your teen feels safe and secure in order for therapy to be effective. Our therapists who work with teens are skilled and experienced in teen counseling and offer a compassionate and supportive approach combined with practical strategies and solutions.
It Can be Hard for Teens to Open Up
It can be difficult for teens to open up and talk about what they’re experiencing either because they don’t really understand or know how to express it or they feel shamed or fear being misunderstood.
Don’t force the issue. Rather, let your teen know that you care and are concerned and trust your instincts. Offer support without overly questioning them as this may push them further away.
While medication may be beneficial, it’s important that your teen have the opportunity to process their feelings through counseling with a teen therapist.
In many cases, talk therapy may be sufficient in helping your teen resolve their concerns. Plus, it provides your teen with greater awareness of themselves and coping tools and resources to handle stressful situations that come up later.
If appropriate, we can provide a referral for medication management.
Teens May Feel Anxious About Starting Therapy
If your teen is fearful or resistant to therapy, it can be important to remember that they may be feeling anxious about starting therapy. Explore how your teen feels about therapy, discuss their concerns openly and offer validation and information.
You might affirm for example that therapy doesn’t mean that you are crazy or that something is wrong with you.
Therapy is a way of learning new skills to cope, to understand yourself and your emotions in a healthy way, and to develop ways to handle difficult and challenging situations. Most importantly for a teenager, is having an objective person to talk to and share their stresses, worries and concerns with.
This can be incredibly relieving to a teen who might not want to worry or burden their parents, or who might feel they need some privacy to explore their innermost concerns. Further, taking care of one’s mental health is just as important as physical health. Sometimes, it’s about prevention and learning new skills.
If your teen is still resistant to therapy, you may choose to go together as a family for your first session. At that time an assessment and recommendation can be made with everyone present and involved.
When your teen is unhappy, everyone in the family is affected. As a parent, you want the best for your child and it can be difficult to know what to do to help. If your child is struggling with a serious issue such as major depression or an eating disorder, it can be very scary. You want to know how to support them while also making sure they get the help they need. You might also need support going through this crisis point in your family life.
On the other hand, fluctuations in mood, angry or withdrawn behavior may trigger increased arguing and discord among family members. This is normal. When your teen isn’t feeling well, it impacts you.
At Eddins Counseling Group our goal is to support all of you as a family in recovery and healing. To help you learn to resolve conflict, communicate effectively and establish effective boundaries and structures in your family.
Ultimately, our teen counseling services are designed to help all of you strengthen your relationships with one another.
The following services are available to parents of teens:
- Individual parent coaching and support.
- DBT skills and support group for parents of teens.
- Family therapy.
Counseling can help increase communication strategies among family members and provide guidance to parents on how to cope and set appropriate boundaries. Parents often feel frustrated and walk a fine line between offering support and maintaining expectations and limits.
Support for Parents of Teens
Parent support can give you the tools you need to effectively communicate and use creative strategies to help your teen succeed. Working together as a team, the therapist, teen and parents devise a plan to ensure success and minimize confusion and powerless feelings. Parent coaching can also help you cope with the changes that surface as your teen matures and develops a sense of their own independence. You may experience sadness, anxiety or fear as you go through these changes with your teen. You may even benefit from counseling to help you adjust to a new role in your life as your teen approaches graduation.
It can be challenging to know what to do when your teen is struggling with depression, anxiety or other mental health condition. Getting your child help for depression early on can benefit the family as a whole.
As a parent, you may also want to understand how to work with your teen, to both support and facilitate their success while managing harmful behaviors and communication patterns.
Our therapists can help parents develop effective strategies to create more peace and support at home.
We work to facilitate open communication between parent and child as well as create a dialogue and conversation within the family. It’s our goal to help your child or teen develop the skills he or she needs to express worries, pains, fears and hopes directly to you. When you join us for sessions, you and your child can talk in a safe, calm space.
We may involve you in sessions directly with your teen or meet separately for parenting support depending on the needs of your family. We also recognize that it is important for your teen to have space to process their struggles independently and come up with their own strategies and coping skills.
Online Teen Counseling is Available
We understand the challenges families may face in pursuing counseling for their teen. A teen’s life can get very busy and driving in Houston is no easy task. Video therapy sessions are also an option in these cases.
If video therapy makes better sense for your family, you can discuss this when scheduling your initial appointment. It works the same as face to face counseling in that you will have a scheduled appointment time and we ask that the teenager has a private, confidential space to meet with their therapist in a video session without being interrupted or overheard.
We do require that teens have their camera on whether participating in individual or group therapy.
Video based therapy is not an option in all cases - teens with severe mental health conditions will need to be evaluated first.
Teen Counseling Services
Our licensed therapists specializing in counseling for adolescents can determine what treatment strategies will be most effective as well as who else might need to be involved. Individual, family and group therapy options are available for teens. We respect your teen’s privacy, though involving parents is typically part of the process. We encourage and facilitate open communication amongst family members.
Typically, therapy for teens may start off more frequently and then reduce in frequency once skills are learned and practiced on a regular basis.
If your teen has thoughts of death or suicide or is actively harming themselves, it’s important to seek help right away. This could indicate a very serious situation and it’s important that your teen is evaluated by a professional.
If you are concerned about your teen’s stress levels or notice mental health issues or symptoms that don’t seem to go away with time, a counseling session can provide an assessment and plan for your teenager.
Group Therapy Options for Teens
- DBT Skills Group for teens ages 14-19. DBT therapy teaches healthy coping skills for many of the social, emotional and life challenges teens face. Teen DBT can be a powerful adjunct to individual or family therapy.
- DBT skills for pre-teens, ages 11-13.
- DBT skills and support for parents of teens.
- Teen Therapy group. We find that group therapy can be an excellent way to build self esteem, learn stress management and social skills, and manage the transition to adolescence through support and connection with others.
- Pre-Teen/Middle school therapy group. This group helps kids navigate the challenging middle school years, where puberty, hormones, social relationships, and academics bring new difficulties to your child’s life.
We’re here to help you understand how to support your teen as well as help you teen heal. Talk to us about your questions and concerns.
Get Help From a Specialist in Teen Counseling Services
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