The teenage years are rarely easy ones – for parents or adolescents themselves. Although the developmental changes which take place during adolescence may naturally cause a degree of challenging behaviour, in some cases this can become significant enough to have a negative impact on the teen and those around. Other issues such as difficult family circumstances, ADHD, autism, ADD or mental illness can further exacerbate behavioural issues. If your child is acting in a way which is damaging to themselves or others, teen counselling can help. Sydney Couple and Family Specialists have helped many Sydney families come safely out the other side through what can be a challenging time.
What is teen counselling?
Your teen may feel they can’t communicate with their parents or teachers. They may not want to disclose things about themselves. They may not even know how. In teen counselling, our highly-trained professionals provide teens with a supportive, non-judgemental environment in which they are encouraged to talk.
Our Therapists, who are all parents themselves, are very effective at getting teens to open up. We can also challenge, explain, suggest and question in a way that might not be welcomed from parents. Teen Counsellors also encourage teens to see different perspectives, examine their behaviour and emotional responses, and consider healthy alternatives.
Counselling isn’t necessarily going to be a long-term intervention: we typically start addressing key issues in the first few sessions. Parents of teens at Sydney Couple and Family Specialists usually see changes very early on. Our aim is to give teen clients the tools they need to not only overcome the issues they present with, but also to enable them to deal with future challenges successfully.
What issues can teen counselling help with?
Teens and adolescents can see positive outcomes from counselling if they are dealing with any of the following:
- Emotional regulation ( assistance with low mood, lack of motivation, aggression or temper tantrums).
- Damaging or risky behaviour (if your teen has problems with substance misuse or is engaging in inappropriate sexual activity, for example).
- Relationships, from strained relationships with parents or step-parents, through to difficulties with peers and problems with authority figures.
- Family difficulties such as fitting into a blended family, parents divorcing, conflict with siblings, or difficulty managing a break-up of their own relationship.
- Difficulties at school. Truancy, school refusal and poor behaviour.
What happens if my teen won’t engage?
Many parents are desperate for their teen to access the benefits which counselling can bring, but find that their teen doesn’t wish to engage. The adolescent might not think there is a problem or may feel uncomfortable with the idea of counselling. In some cases, teens point-blank refuse to attend an appointment. If you’re in this situation, there is still plenty you can do. We recommend that you go ahead and make the appointment with the expectation that your teen will attend. We’ve found that many teens eventually come around and attend the appointment. In other cases, parents have used the meeting with the counsellor to get tips and advice to encourage their reluctant teen to attend at a later date.
Remember, you can’t always control what your teen does, but you can control your response.
In some cases we may recommend family therapy. This is where an experienced family counsellor works with more than one family member in order to improve relationships and facilitate effective, respectful communication – family counselling is one of the best ways to get a reluctant teen to come along as most like the idea of having their say in a group without intense focus.
Why use Sydney Couple and Family Specialists?
When you see our therapists, Sydney teens can expect the following:
- A safe, non-judgemental and supportive environment where teens will be listened to.
- The opportunity to access a range of different counselling approaches. Our therapists are trained in a variety of techniques, enabling them to select therapies which they feel will be most effective.
- If it transpires that one or more of the issues arising from initial counselling sessions requires a more in-depth piece of work, our team is able to provide it. Our services include grief counselling, suicidal counselling and relationship counselling. These specialisms enable us to deal with particularly difficult issues in a sympathetic, skilled manner.
- We give teens a practical tool kit of tips and tricks to use in order to manage their behaviour more effectively. This not only helps them to move forward at the present time, but also helps to ensure that when future challenging circumstances arise, they are better placed to deal with them in a positive manner.
- We teach/coach teens how to communicate in a healthy effective way. We also help them to manage social situations and educate them on safety aspects that most parents worry about.
What are the benefits?
When it comes to teen counselling, it’s not just teens who benefit. Parents, siblings, teachers and peers can often benefit from the positive changes which the teen clients make. If you’re tired of living in a home that resembles a war zone, or are plagued by phone calls from school regarding your teen’s behaviour, teen counselling can make a powerful difference.
- Teens who we see at Sydney Couple and Family Specialists often tell us that they felt listened to and that they were able to have a say.
- Counselling can give teens the opportunity to deal with the issues which are leading to poor choices. Problems such as unresolved grief, difficulty coping with a family break-up, insecurities, fears or loneliness can all lead to unacceptable behaviour. By addressing the underlying issues, counselling can often result in improved behaviour and outcomes for teens.
- Counselling now can not only help to resolve what’s happening, but also put in place strong emotional foundations for the future.
- If your teen is experiencing issues, or if you’re experiencing issues with your teen, counselling can help. We offer teen counselling Sydney residents can easily access at either of our centrally located practices.