Is this normal?
Who is this moody, strange, alien creature living in my house? And how do I talk to it?
If this sounds like you, I encourage you to read on.
Teenage years come with unique developmental challenges. Teens face day to day struggles with stress, grief, bullying, sadness, guilt, shame, feeling overwhelmed, dating drama, gender identity issues, anger, etc...generally topped off with academic anxiety. All this magnified by the competitive environment characteristic of Fairfield County. It can be difficult to know if your teen is working through any of these issues in a healthy way or if they may need the support of a professional.
It may be time to get a counselor involved if your teen:
no longer hangs out with friends or has changed friend groups
is avoiding school or community activities
is more irritable and quicker to anger than they used to be
can't function due to overwhelming anxiety
is sleeping instead of doing something they once thought fun
is suddenly struggling with school performance
is exhibiting self-destructive behavior
can't sleep due to excessive worry
is so worried about school and grades that they are often in tears
My experience as a high school mental health counselor enables me to help teens deal with social and academic-induced anxiety. I teach teens coping and stress management skills that empower them to maximize academic performance, exercise self advocacy, and resolve the inevitable social snags.
I use cognitive behavior therapy and narrative therapy to help them understand the relationship between their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. This awareness equips them to make better decisions and achieve a balanced perspective.
Therapy with teens is most effective when it is structured and consistent. I supplement in-person sessions with phone or Facetime sessions to keep momentum going.
Let's discuss how I can help you to help your teen.