Mental health symptoms can make the normal developmental experiences of adolescence feel overwhelming, scary, or hopeless. It is important that parents and other loved ones learn more about mental health and how to best support their child.
There are several misconceptions about adolescence. I will briefly address three of the most common ones that I discuss in my work as a mental health counselor.
Hormonal changes are not the only cause for the challenging behaviors and emotions that adolescents display. There is significant brain development that is occurring during these years that influence mood, impulse control, and behaviors. For more information on this topic, I highly recommend the book Brainstorm by Daniel J. Siegel.
Mental health symptoms are sometimes ignored or minimized in young people. People who experience anxiety and depression often have symptoms that impact their appetite, sleep, energy level, attention/concentration, and relationships. When you witness these changes in behavior, mood, or functioning, it may be time to make an appointment with a counselor to see if your child is experiencing a mental health disorder.
Not every decision that your teenager or young adult makes is an act of defiance or rebellion. A key developmental feature of adolescence, which was first described by Carl Jung, is individuation which involves becoming your own person, with your own beliefs and ideals that are separate from your parents and/or society. While the process of individuation can be challenging for parents, I believe that it is also a pivotal time for parents to support their child’s freedom and growth as a person. And when met with empathy, I have witnessed this developmental process strengthen the relationship between parent and child.
One of my favorite parts of working with teenagers and young adults is supporting my clients in discovering who they are and how they relate to the world. I have witnessed my clients ask questions and work through challenges in brave and powerful ways. I feel honored when my clients allow me into this integral part of their story.
If you or your child are looking for a counselor who works with teenagers or young adults, please consider reaching out to me for an appointment.
I believe there is healing power in owning and sharing our stories. We all have parts of our story that we wrestle with, hide, run from, or try to numb. Through my personal and professional experience, I have been amazed by the resiliency and strength of the human experience. I understand the courage and trust that is required to work through these parts of our stories. I feel honored when a client invites me to journey with them in their healing process through counseling. I am passionate about creating safe places for the individuals I work with. My goal as your counselor is to help you feel heard, seen, and valued.