Being a teenager has never been easy, but being a teen today has an additional set of challenges. Not only do they have to navigate their social and academic lives but they do so often in a very public way. Social humiliation has taken on a new meaning with Facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. One misstep and everyone is privy to your business AND feels the need to comment on it. We’ve all read about the teen that has been bullied and hurt to the point of self harm. This doesn’t seem to be going away.
The good news is that many teens are asking for help.
While parents encourage their kids to open up to them, the kids want to open up to someone else. No judgment, no admonishment and no repercussions. I see a lot of teens these days. They will come in feeling depressed, lonely, confused and feeling like they’ll never fit in. Many think they’ll worry their parents if they talk to them about these things. In therapy their feelings are validated, and we figure out ways to deal effectively with their particular situation. Whether it’s bullying, friendships, boyfriends, girlfriends or parents. Nothing is off topic. They feel heard, listened to and leave with tools to handle what may come their way.
I often will get a text from a parent saying that their child told them “I need to see Helaine”. They’re aware of when they’re feeling down or confused and are looking for a healthy way to handle it. See they really do listen!