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Teen Counseling Services in New Milford, CT
Teen Counseling Services
Your child’s teenage years are full of many changes. As they learn to become an adult, you may notice your teenager acting differently. Has their teacher contacted you with concerns about their behavior? Have they been struggling in school? Maybe you haven’t noticed any changes at home, or maybe they have become withdrawn and angry when you approach them to talk. No matter the reason, if you feel your child is not acting like themselves, it may be time to consider counseling.
Our licensed therapists begin by listening to your concerns. Together, we will discuss your at-home observations and any reports from school personnel. We will also take into consideration the last time your teen has been for a physical exam. It is important to rule out any medical conditions that may be affecting your child. This is because some medical conditions, such as diabetes, may cause changes in behavior.
We know it is of the utmost importance to be mindful of development. Like children, teenagers usually meet certain milestones that tell us about their emotional maturity. Not every teen meets every milestone at the same time, but it is important to keep them in mind as we discuss your child’s concerns. It is also important to look at your teen’s home and school environment. This will further help us understand what may be impacting your teen’s behavior. Taking a comprehensive approach to best help your teen is our main objective.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COUNSELING FOR TEENS AND COUNSELING FOR ADULTS.
Even though your teen may think they are an adult, there are actually some very important differences to consider. A human brain is not fully developed until around age 25; that means your teen is still learning how to regulate their emotions, make decisions, manage impulsivity, and much more. Teenage therapy is structured around these changes and helps your teen recognize the difference between good and bad behavior. There is great emphasis on building a healthy lifestyle.
The exact type of therapy your teen receives depends on their needs. Talk therapy (also known as psychotherapy) is perhaps the most common type of intervention; as the name suggests, this therapy uses conversation to help your teen work through their struggles. Other forms of therapy include EMDR (which you can read about here), cognitive-behavioral therapy, and group therapy.
SOME COMMON TEENAGE CONDITIONS
There are many factors that may lead to bringing your teenager to therapy. Sometimes all a person needs is a safe space to discuss their thoughts or feelings, other times a structured intervention would be more effective. To name a few concerns, our skilled team of therapists can help with:
• Processing a divorce or loss of loved one
• Substance use and abuse
• Depression or anxiety may affect your child’s functioning at school or home
• Eating disorders
• Low self-esteem
You can click here to read more about childhood ADHD. Additionally, you can read about eating disorders by clicking here.
Finding out your child has a diagnosis can be confusing, for you and for them. Understanding the diagnosis can help you further understand the support your teen needs. Finding out the cause of their distress puts them one step closer to finding relief.
SHOULD I TALK TO MY TEEN BEFORE SENDING THEM TO COUNSELING?
It is always good to promote healthy and open communication between you and your teen. However, it is also important to recognize when professional assistance may be necessary. Let your teen know that they can talk to you at any time about anything they need, but trust your gut instinct. It is okay to reach out for help. One of the challenges with your teen may be that they refuse therapy. It is important to reinforce that therapy is not a punishment, but an opportunity for growth.
I AM A TEEN SEEKING COUNSELING; WOULD I BE ABLE TO ATTEND WITHOUT MY PARENTS KNOWING?
The answer to this is tricky. In Connecticut, a minor must obtain permission from a parent or guardian before attending therapy. If you are 18 or older, then you are a legal adult and may pursue therapy at your own discretion. If you are younger than 18, you must obtain your parent’s consent. However, if a mental health professional believes that a minor is at great risk and that telling their parents would place the minor at even greater risk, then the minor may attend therapy without their parent’s consent. You can read more in-depth about the laws at Connecticut’s page for Laws About the Rights of Minors. The information about mental health care is found in Section 19a-14c.