Counseling for Teens

So when did this happen, this thing where my kid went from being a cute little child to being a teenager?

It seems so sudden, doesn’t it? One day your kid hops readily into your lap, and the next they want nothing to do with you, or they seem distant or super irritable. You’re in the thick of this parenting game now, with a child who acts so different than before, who is showing you all sorts of new behavior. So much has she changed from when she was little.

You’re may be seeing an array of new, not so fun things right now. The fun-loving kid of yesterday may now seem super stressed, brooding, irritable, or anxious. And it’s hard on any parent. Sometimes you think it’s just a phase; other times you wonder if there’s something more serious going on.

If they would just talk to you, maybe you could figure that out. But with teens, it can be so hard to communicate. They shut you out, or tell you how lame you are.

Parents, we got you. We understand how hard it can be to know what is going on with your teen and how scary that can be. You can feel pretty lost and alone, wondering if other parents are dealing with this sort of thing. And it can be scary too, because the road seems unclear, the path uncertain. If only you knew you were on the right track…and that your teen was too.

teen counseling

As you know, teens are going through a period of major upheaval and change. Their bodies are changing, hormones raging, and they’re trying to figure out who they are, how they fit in, and where they’re headed. They’re also coming of age in a time of massive uncertainty…and disappointment. And all of this can be, well, too much for them. After all, they are still so young and inexperienced, even if they act like they know everything.

Counseling may be helpful for your teen if he or she…

  • Seems sad, apathetic, or withdrawn
  • Is often worried or stressed out
  • is dealing with family changes such as divorce or family conflict
  • Is drinking or using mood-altering substances
  • Self injures
  • Struggles in school
  • Lacks confidence or struggles with low self esteem
  • Has difficulty with peer relationships
  • Wants to sort through sexual orientation (LGBTQ) issues
  • Has issues with body image, dieting, or weight
  • Has experienced a major life transition or traumatic event, such as loss of a friend, illness or death of a family member, a recent move or school change, or divorce or remarriage of a parent

You may be concerned that your teen is depressed.

Some common symptoms of depression are sadness, irritability, low energy and motivation, decreased interest in activities that were previously enjoyed, withdraw from friends and family, physical complaints, and sensitivity to rejection and criticism. Depression in teens can lead to suicidal thinking, which should always be taken seriously. Learn more about depression in teens here.

You may also be concerned that your teen is suffering from anxiety.

Some common signs of anxiety include excessive worry, asking repetitively for reassurance, avoidance of new or challenging things, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and physical symptoms such as racing heart, muscle tension, difficulty breathing comfortably, and excessive sweating. Anxiety can rob your teen of enjoyment and cause her to have difficulty with relationships and school performance. Learn more about anxiety in teens here.

Teens also frequently suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), in which the teen may have obsessive thinking and attempts to reduce the anxiety by performing a behavioral or mental ritual. Learn more about OCD treatment here.

counseling for teens

Counseling can really be helpful to your teen. He or she can :

  • Feel supported, hopeful, and optimistic
  • Become more confident and fun to be around
  • Feel more connected to peers and family
  • Make better decisions
  • Solve problems more effectively
  • Figure out who they are and where they’re headed

How Can You Help My Teen Now, during Coronavirus?

Online counseling for teens (telehealth) is available, is convenient, and has been shown to be equally as effective as in-person counseling.

You don’t need to feel lost or alone in helping your child. We’re nearby to help you help your teen, with offices in Park Ridge and in Willowbrook. Call (630) 269-2886 today to learn more about how counseling can be helpful to your teen…and your family!