Teen Counseling in Fuquay Varina, NC, Raleigh, NC & Wake Forest, NC
Does it feel like you don't even know your teen anymore?
Are you tired of feeling like you just can't communicate with your child?
Parenting a teenager is hard. Sure, the toddler years were difficult. And the attitude started to show up during the pre-teen years. But the teen years? It's a whole new ball game and you just aren't sure how to get through to your child anymore. Some days, it feels like pulling teeth just to get your child to talk to you at all. Other days, you don't see your son or daughter at all because they're holed up in their room only coming out for food. You don't know if some of this is "normal" teenage behavior or if there is a bigger problem. You want your child to have a safe space and a reliable adult they can talk to and work through some things.
Teen Counseling Can Help
The teen counselors at Foundations Family Therapy are experts at talking to teenagers. We like working with teenagers. That may sound strange to some parents, but as therapists, we truly believe in your teen and enjoy working with them.
The teen years of a time of great transition. Your child is exploring their independence and developing a framework for how they are going to look at the world around them. Teens begin to "try on" different values and question why they believe the things they believe. This is a time of great potential. It's also a time of great stress and a moment when the wrong choices can have a lasting impact on your son or daughter's life.
Most importantly, we know as mental providers that intervening and helping your teen with their mental health now can help set them up for a better transition into adulthood. We can help your son or daughter learn the value of expressing their feelings now. Through counseling, your child will learn new ways of looking at and responding to their emotions. These lessons in expressing and managing big feelings will help your teen later as they transition to adulthood.
Common Reasons Teenagers Start Teen Counseling
Teenagers come to counseling for many different reasons. In fact, anytime your teen is facing a situation they find overwhelming, teen counseling may be able to help. Some of the most common reasons teens come to our counseling offices in Raleigh, Wake Forest, or Fuquay Varina include:
- Depression or often feeling “down”
- Self Harm or thoughts of suicide
- They've experienced something traumatic or really upsetting
- They are exploring their identity
- Conflict between teenagers and parents
- A drop in grades, behavior issues at school, or school refusal
- Major life changes such as a parents divorce, moving or transitioning to high school
- Nightmares or difficulty sleeping
- Grief or Loss
- Difficulty making and keeping friends
- Anxiety including test anxiety and social anxiety
- Eating Disorders
- Making unsafe choices such as experimenting with drugs and alcohol
Any major changes in mood, behavior, relationships or grades can be an indicator of mental health concerns.
Teen Counseling for Depression
Did you know that about 20% of adolescents will experience depression by the time they are an adult? There is so much going on during the teen years as children begin to explore who they are as a person. They're torn between childhood and adulthood with increasing responsibilities and expectations. High school can be challenging not only academically, but every high school comes with its own set of social stressors as well. Your child is trying to fit in and worries about what others are thinking of them. Not to mention the hormonal and physical changes they're experiencing! So, it's not surprising that depression can find its way into your child's life.
It's important to seek treatment for depression as quickly as possible if you are concerned about your teenager. Your teen may feel more overwhelmed than they ever have before. In fact, they may begin to feel hopeless. As teen counselors, our staff has seen the healing impact of depression treatment. We know your teenager can get better. Therefore, we can communicate this to your child and help them on their path to feeling better.
*It's important to note that any reference to suicide should be taken seriously. If a teenager has referenced suicide, it is important to seek professional assistance. If you are worried about your child's safety, please error on the side of taking them to the nearest Emergency Room for an evaluation. The National Suicide Hotline also offers a 24-hour suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
Teen Counseling for Anxiety
High school can be filled with situations that would make anyone anxious! Some teens experience anxiety right before tests. Other teens experience social anxiety that can make it hard to even function in school. In fact, sometimes a teenager's anxiety becomes so high that they start refusing to attend school. This may look like truancy, but is actually just a symptom of their anxiety.
Anxiety treatment is typically very effective for teens. Whether your child's anxiety is around social situations, tests at school, home life or just facing specific situations in general, our therapists can help. Through counseling, your teen will learn specific coping skills they can use when they feel anxious. Furthermore, they'll learn to slowly and with support face some of the situations where they've been feeling nervous or worried. Our teen therapists at both Raleigh, Fuquay Varina, and Wake Forest locations understand the pressures your teen is facing and we want to help.
Teen Counseling for Life Transitions & School Problems
There are so many transitions teens go through naturally. First, there are the physical transitions that happen in adolescence. Then, there are the social transitions. The social landscape in high school is much more complex than things were in elementary school or even middle school. Then eventually they face college which is a whole other ballgame. If you add to this any changes such as a divorce, move, or loss of a loved one your teen may feel a little lost.
Through counseling, your teen can get back on a firm footing. Their therapist will help them process their emotions about the changes in their life, identify their personal values, and feel confident about facing these life transitions. Our teen counselors are experts at building relationships with teenagers and understanding their experiences. We enjoy helping teens through difficult moments and can help your child make the transitions in their life successfully.
Faith-Based Teen Counseling
As a parent, you want your child to share your values. Therefore, when they come to counseling you want to
know the guidance they receive won't be in conflict with your belief system. Most of our therapists identify as Christians, and you are welcome to specifically request a Christian counselor. We encourage you to read about our approach to Christian Counseling.
We also know the teen years are one of expiration. Your teen may be telling you they don't believe in God or the Bible right now. On the other hand, your teenager may not know what they believe right now in general. Whether your child holds a strong Christian faith and is looking for a therapist who can help them find bible verses to bring them comfort or they have announced they are leaning toward atheism, we will meet them where they are on their faith journey.
Our counselors won't "push" religion on your child, but will try to understand your teenager's current perspective and where they are in life. Your son or daughter may need a sounding board. They may need to feel it's safe to express their opinions without judgment. We are here to be exactly that. Yet, you as a parent may find comfort knowing that we always do this through the lens of our own Christian values.
High School Friends & Mental Health
If your child is struggling with their mental health, there is a good chance they aren't sharing the details with you. However, it is common for teens to talk to their high school friends about their depression, anxiety, relationship struggles, or other mental health problems. Talking to friends may bring your teen some sense of relief. In fact, it may help your teen feel less isolated when their friends share their own struggles. However, other teens don't have the mental health training to help prepare your teenager with the skills they need to get through this difficult time. Furthermore, their friends haven't had the opportunity to see teenagers over and over get better and therefore can't communicate that hope to one another.
There are a couple of different ways to explain the advantage of seeing a mental health professional to your teenager. One way to explain the difference between a teen therapist and a best friend is that their friend will do their best to give them lots of wonderful advice about stressful situations based on their own experience, values, and observations. However, a counselor will help your teen discover based on their own values, preferences, and resources the best path forward. You can also say that a therapist is focused solely on your teenager while a friend may also be carrying the weight of their own problems.
An Important Note About Privacy & Teen Counseling
It's important that we address privacy for teenagers in counseling from the very beginning. As parents, you want to know that your teenager is ok. Your teenager, on the other hand, may have a lot they don't want you to know about. In fact, most teenagers have some secrets from their parents.
If your teen thinks that their therapist is going to report everything they say in counseling back to their parents, counseling will be ineffective. While our counselors understand your desire to know what's going on, we also know that the best way to help your teen is to hold their secrets in confidence.
In general, your counselor and teen may tell you general topics they're working on such as "anxiety," or "how to handle stress," or "family relationships." Sometimes, your teen, therapist, and yourself may choose to share even less information than that!
Exceptions to Confidentiality
There are some things you can be certain your teen's therapist will share with you. Namely, your child's therapist will inform you of all suicidal ideation or intent. If you are concerned that your teenager is going to seriously harm themselves or someone else, you will be notified. Other times we break confidentiality include when a minor reports that they have been abused or neglected. Your teen's therapist will explain the limits of confidentiality in more detail at the start of treatment.
Begin Teen Counseling in Raleigh, or Fuquay Varina, Wake Forest, NC
You do not have to struggle with communicating with your teen or worrying about their health any longer. Our skilled teen therapists can help your child work through the common stressors teens face and learn how to communicate their needs. We want to help you and your teen feel more supported and better connected. If you have questions or would like to start teen therapy in Raleigh, NC, Fuquay Varina, NC, or Wake Forest, NC, please feel free to contact us or schedule an appointment. You can enjoy life with your child once again and move from surviving to thriving!
Other Therapy Services Offered at Our Raleigh, Fuquay Varina, and Wake Forest Locations
Foundations Family Therapy offers a variety of mental health services at our Raleigh, Wake Forest, and Fuquay Varina offices. We want to help your entire family thrive. Our supportive mental health services include Christian counseling services, family therapy, family counseling for teen and child therapy, child therapy, therapy for men, couple's and marriage counseling, premarital counseling, trauma therapy, therapy for chronic illness or medical diagnosis, depression therapy, and anxiety therapy. In addition, we can help you find other mental health resources including blogs with mental health tips. If you are still unsure whether counseling is for you, please feel free to contact us with the information below or refer to our frequently asked questions.