Youth Counseling

Can Tough Love Help My Teen Stand Up For Himself?

Parenting Teens


Having a rebellious teenager is one of the worst nightmares of parents. Most kids who reach their teenage years attempt to make their own decisions and try to get away from sticky situations no matter how destructive they may be. Parents fear about what their teens do in and out of the house, and these things take a toll on them, causing them much stress and anxiety.

On the other hand, some parents opt for the opposite. They tend to disregard the danger signs, hoping that it’s just a stage that their child is going through, that they will outgrow them in no time, finding out too late that they’ve been raising an alcoholic or a drug addict without them knowing it! They realize too late that the challenges they are facing with their teen are now bigger than their own.

Can You Be Tough For Your Kids?

“Rebellion in teens can be secretive or obvious depending on the personality of the teenager and the circumstances,” says Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC. Every parent wants the best for their teens, and they know that if you want what’s best for them, they would have to be disciplined in a way that would encourage them to do what is right. But what if talking it out and trying the calm ways just won’t do it for them? What if they never learn the easy way? Is tough love as effective as studies suggest? And can parents even do it?


“In order to figure out what they value, many teens actively reject their parents and their parent’s values.” Evan Kimble, LMHC said. When your teen has resorted to drugs or alcohol, there is no better way to help him but to establish the fact that there is no way you are tolerating their behavior and that you CANNOT and WILL NOT allow them to destroy their lives just like that. Before deciding to bring them to therapy or rehab, discipline them first. Show them that tough love means loving them yet enforcing hard rules and boundaries for them because they are what’s best for them.

What Tough Love Is NOT

It does not mean kicking your teens out of your home because they broke the rules. It only means they’d need to stay IN the house to learn the lesson of responsibility. It doesn’t mean shaming your teen in front of others when he does something wrong, but it means having a hard talk about what he has done on himself and on others and helping him discern wrong from right. Ultimately, it doesn’t mean hurting them physically, but it does mean not being able to use the car or go to his friend’s party because he has to learn his lesson well.

What Tough Love Is


Tough love advocates firm discipline, one that encourages your teen to do better and be better. It lets your teen still see how much you love him despite the tough consequences. Tough love also enables you as parents to guide your teen while giving him the freedom – and the respect – he needs. Remember, “Our teens are taught just by observing their world that they need one too, and they get that message very early on.” A reminder from Susie Raskin MA, LMHC.

Tough love indeed creates a safe and healthy haven for your teen and your family as well. And it practices you to take a stand to your obligation as parents, in turn helping your teen to take a stand for himself in a positive way. It challenges him to be a better person for himself and for others because he sees the love from you and he sees that you only want him to be the best that he can be.



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Making Counseling A Creative And Encouraging Process



School counselors play a vital role in meeting the mental and emotional wellness needs of students. It is a fact, too, that students are not very keen on attending counselors’ therapy when they need to. They are either bored, inattentive, anxious or angry. Children and teens, especially, are often deviant and do not conform to the rules set for them, and when they are advised to go to therapy to resolve some behavioral issues, it is difficult to keep them there regularly.


“Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.” That’s according to Chris Corbett, PsyD. In this regard, dedicated school counselors are inspired to look for creative and interesting techniques to better their school counseling services. This means that they need to find new approaches that they can incorporate into the conventional counseling services that they offer so that students are encouraged to have themselves evaluated for guidance and support.


Counseling Through Expressive Arts



The addition of counseling with the use of the expressive arts is a new technique but has already shown positive outcomes, according to a study done by Susan Chuang and Michael Mason. They stated that after a few weeks of joining the arts program as part of the counseling process, the kids showed an increase in self-confidence, assertiveness, and leadership and social skills. Susan Clifton, MSW, LCSW elaborates that “Art is a powerful thing; it is creative, it is calming, it is a powerful therapeutic tool. The growing movement towards holistic treatment has supported the view that expressive arts in treatment are valuable for health and wellness.”


Here are some activities that school counselors have been applying for particular purposes.


Activities for career enhancement

Kids and teens can benefit from the techniques taught in expressive arts as they begin to contemplate on what they would want to become when they grow up.


Children are encouraged to participate in games such as Charade. For this particular activity, they are going to act out different jobs and different career men and women. The competing team is going to guess which career the other team is acting out, and then they go next.


Another activity that the kids have found to be interesting and enjoyable is drawing a brochure on the kind of career that they want to pursue, and how they can influence others to go for that career. Here, the kids are taught how to give value to their career goals and also to develop their writing and drawing skills.


Activities for Personal and Social Enhancement



Traditional counseling for personal development involves having a one-on-one conversation with the child and enabling him to realize his strengths and weaknesses. Incorporating expressive arts, they have added some play therapy strategies to further develop the children’s thinking and hands-on skills as well. “Art can function as the voice, or even a third party, in the therapeutic conversation. For example, if a painting is entirely black, it could be indicative of depression, or perhaps the creator grabbed the last available bottle of paint on the shelf.” Melissa J Weaver, LMHC, ATR also adds.


The school counselors group the children consisting of 4 or 5. They are to criticize a painting, which includes how they feel when they look at the painting, and what they think does the painter want to express. They are not asked to write their answers but to discuss them among themselves. This is done so that they are able to develop their social skills through their interactions with each other.


Activities for Academic Enhancement

Individual or group counseling can greatly benefit from expressive arts programs, and the teachers and counselors can also join in to make learning easier and more manageable.


When trying to help an average or below average student, one activity is asking that particular student to cut out some images from a magazine and make a collage out of these images. Then he or she is given the time to explain what the collage is all about. There should be no judgment whatsoever on how the student performs – only an ear to listen and the compassion to help.



There are many other activities that school counselors can utilize to better help the youth in developing their strengths and overcoming their weaknesses. Many kids suffer from social anxiety and insecurity because of their family and other personal problems. This is where the school can play a major role in guiding these students, reaching out to them, and encouraging them to be the best that they can be.

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Helping Traumatized Children (As Advised by An Official Psychiatry Website)

One can find much valuable information about mental health and related issues over the internet especially if the website is an official psychiatry and psychology page of the American Psychological Association. It is their mission to create, communicate, and apply knowledge about psychological issues for the benefit of everyone needing information. For this particular blog, we want to disseminate valid sources and materials on how to assist children who have been through a traumatic event.

All the tips and ideas herein are inspired by the Trauma and Children article of the American Psychological Association website. Hopefully, it can reach some followers and readers, and equip them with ways to support and help a friend or loved one who was traumatized. Because as Cynthia Ridgway, MA, LMHC, NCC, DCC explains, “Kids with trauma (and the more trauma, the more true this is) are very vulnerable when they are disciplined, so you want to discipline very carefully. Try to be as gentle as you can while still holding reasonable and safe guidelines.”

Tidbits On Trauma In Children In The United States

  • About fifty percent of children in the United States suffer at least one traumatic event in their life brought about by physical and emotional abuse, violence at home, in school, the community, and worse, from war, terrorism, natural and human-made tragedies, and death of a friend or loved one.
  • Others may experience one traumatic event while during their childhood, but some children are suffering trauma over and over again on a regular basis. “We know many of the risk factors from poverty, trauma, maltreatment and social isolation through to bullying and the impact of excessive testing and unrealistic academic pressures,” explains Katie Hunt, Clinical Psychologist.
  • Some children are victims of chronic trauma and with such events happening to them regularly, they barely have the proper time (or treatment) to heal and recover.

Children Experience Distress After A Traumatic Event

  • A child in distress can go back to his or her usual self after a period of healing and recovery with the help and support of the child’s family and friends. And according to Dr. R. Y. Langham, Ph.D. “When a child’s social and emotional issues and psychological distress are left untreated, it can negatively impact his/her educational aspirations and developmental milestones.”
  • Some children may not recover as quickly as others, and these type of kids need the assistance of mental health professionals. The distress in them may escalate over time if the traumatized children are left untreated.
  • A child’s reaction to a traumatic experience varies, and it has a lot to do with his or her maturity, age, and exposure to constant trauma.
  • Kids who always face chronic trauma are more prone to its effects, subsequently.

Mental Health Professionals Help Traumatized Children

  1. Counselors and therapists who are certified to handle traumatized children will have to identify and assess the trauma-exposed child. After that, the professional will have to make a program that is culturally amenable for the child to start healing and recovering.
  2. The children who are traumatized, as well as their families, must have appropriate followup actions from the professionals. It may also include intervention programs with the purpose of helping the families connect with each other during this challenging time.
  3. Those with specialized training can also assist during emergency situations.
  4. Mental health professionals with specialization in trauma counseling can also assist children in schools, hospitals, and community-based organizations.
  5. One must be equipped to handle children that are culturally diverse and with developmental issues.

Responding To Traumatized Children And Their Families

  1. The certified mental health professional must educate the child and his or her family about how recovery from trauma is going to happen. They must have an idea of what to expect from the treatment with a hope that the child, their loved one, will heal in time with proper guidance and support.
  2. There are phases in recovering from trauma which the child will have to undergo. The mental health professional must assist the child on that and also impart to their families and loved ones that if at times the phases will induce a violent reaction on the child, it is part of healing.
  3. These children have different cultural background, religious beliefs and such. The counselor must recognize that and cater the program according to the child’s need, concerning his family.

As a counselor, you are also just a human being. Take care of yourself and if you’re feeling stressed or getting to that burned-out stage, take a break. You can only help others if you are in tiptop shape.

If you’re not a counselor but a family member or a friend whose loved one is traumatized, then equip yourself with techniques on how to help your child, sibling, relative or friend. You may not be a licensed professional, but you know your loved one better than anyone else. Your support is invaluable and priceless.

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Social Media, Sex Scandal, Depression, And Suicide (Teenage Discussion)

I understand that teens nowadays are different. Almost all of them do not listen to reasons because they believe they know everything. That because society accepts their current norms, it becomes okay for them to continue doing what they think is the definition of “living life to the fullest.” It’s sad to see the youth getting blinded by the idea that the only way to enjoy life is by controlling it without considering the consequences of one’s actions.

Social Media

The sole purpose of social media is to connect bridges and gaps. Unfortunately, for most teens, it becomes a place for emotional and psychological destruction. “Social media allows teenagers to communicate with all of their friends at the touch of a button, and this ability takes bullying to a new level,” says Dr. Jeff Nalin, Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Teens are so hooked up with all the things and information they see in their feeds, believing that what others portray in it is what they call #ultimategoal. A lot of teenagers in today’s generation couldn’t live without their social media accounts. Sometimes, it is often a big deal for them when people try to stop them from using different platforms. Social media is becoming the worse tool for teenagers due to its potential ability to introduce unlimited details of sex, violence, crime, and abuse.

Sex Scandals

It’s not long before teens appear involved in such activities. Honestly, there are lots of youths practicing pre-marital sex. But what adds further damage is the intimacy’s association with technology. That said, the point of taking videos and clips of two teenage individuals having sex is becoming somewhat an undesirable inspiration for other kids alike. It is as if these children think that the only way to get the desire of intimate, thrilling satisfaction is through sex video recording. These teenagers both feel fear and excitement at the same time, which further pushes them to create these scandalous clips.


According to Simon Rego, PsyD. “Many people mistakenly believe that if you can’t see it like you can a broken bone, it must be less significant and therefore can be overcome by simply using willpower. If not, they mistakenly believe that people who suffer from depression are weak.” With the stigma of what depression is all about, most teenagers believe that because they are at the exact age of learning things beyond their control, they are entitled to have depression. But honestly, it is one of the stupid reasons anyone would ever hear. That is because not all teenagers are suffering from traumatic experiences. Therefore, using depression as an excuse for being irrational and impulsive is not always acceptable. Some teens can control their anxiety and depression because those were never there. I tell you, if it is something that relates to mental illness, these teenagers can never cure themselves instantly, like what they claim they can do.


Social media, the internet, and sometimes the news show that teenage suicide is something that needs attention. Well, it does for everybody’s sake. Suicide is not a joke, and people must know the importance of understanding its cause, signs, and symptoms. However, sensationalizing an incident is pretty much doing the opposite thing. That instead of sharing to give a warning, it becomes the other kids’ motivational idea. No, it does not mean we shouldn’t talk about it, because we do. What I am trying to say is that too many details of it somewhat allows teenagers to challenge themselves on committing the act. “Many people who end up killing themselves have mentioned suicide to someone directly or in directly, so take them seriously.” Torey C. Richards, LMHC reminds everyone.

People might not agree with this ideology. But I guarantee that these are the reality of teenage lives.

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Special Needs Child – Education, Therapy, Support, And Love



When Your Child Has ASD/ADHD

My son is not a regular kind of young boy. He is super sweet and kind. One of his teachers called him an expressive soul, and he is very articulate with his words even at seven years old. But then again, my son is different from others. He has ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) with signs of hyperactivity, impulsiveness, lacks focus and control, and with a short attention span. My loving son may have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) as well.

“Children who have been diagnosed with ADHD are at a much higher risk of developing noncompliant or negative behaviors than a child who does not have ADHD.” –Kara Tamanini, M.S., LMHC

He Failed All His Subjects

Last year was a tough time for me, and I came to a point wherein I was aggressive. I overreacted in an office meeting which almost cost me my career. Good thing my boss was understanding and forgiving – he gave me a week off from work and allowed me time to recover from my mental anguish. You ask, what was wrong with me? What was the reason for my “difficult time?” Well, it was my son. I received his card. And can you guess what I saw? An “F” on all his six 1st grade subjects – “F” as in failed.

How can a 7-year-old boy fail first grade? He wasn’t an idiot. My son is not shallow. You can talk to him straight, and he will give you an honest answer. He can even joke around and has his sense of humor. I mean, what was the matter with him? His developmental delays were manifesting and being in a traditional school didn’t help him at all.

“Asperger’s Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is more common that we realize and there are increasing numbers of high-functioning adults who are self-identifying or being diagnosed.” –Eva A. Mendes LMHC


Traditional School Is Not For Special And Unique Kids

What is a traditional school? It is the type of school that people go to and attend. This is the type of school that we are used to going. There is a blackboard in front, and the kids are adjacent to that board. They are all expected to sit down, listen to the teacher, and absorb the lessons that the educator is teaching.

But my son cannot just sit down and face the blackboard from 8 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon. He cannot listen to the teacher all day and do nothing else. My boy cannot absorb all the lessons being taught to them by the educator. He gets easily bored and needs to talk with a seatmate or roam around the classroom.

The teacher cannot control him, maybe because they have no idea on how to handle children with behavioral and developmental delays. He has ASD with signs of ADHD. They can’t seem to understand how my boy functions and the teachers in a traditional school don’t have a clue on how to address his needs. They don’t know how to teach him and they are not trained for it. They’re limited to traditional teaching.

“Children meet developmental milestones when they are ready. There are ranges of what is considered appropriate and what may be considered delayed.” –Francyne Zeltser, Psy.D.

What To Do As A Parent

Is it a failure on my son’s part? At first, I thought that he was at fault. But then again, if the hormones in his brain and blood were “working well,” my son would have been able to sit down instead of losing his focus. I had to accept that his disorder is acting up and causing my son all these issues.

That realization liberated me in more ways than one. I brought my son to see an occupational therapist and a reading specialist as well. These experts were recommended by a neurodevelopmental pediatrician. They designed a therapy program for him. It was also time for him to leave traditional schooling and attend a Montessori, where he has the freedom to move and learn at the same time.

I hope my decision is right because my life as a mother is incomplete if I cannot help my son live a mentally healthy life when he becomes an adult. This is difficult for me, but what else can I do, right? I think this is it.

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Dating And Sex Advice For Teenagers

I know that teenage dating and sex is not the best topic to talk about. But the reality is there are so many underlying things about it that need a particular one-on-one conversation. Things like losing someone’s virginity and its effects on the emotional and psychological aspects must get considered. There is also teenage pregnancy and its complications that require a more in-depth understanding. Also, there are the pros and cons of having a baby at a younger age. There is the responsibility of being a child, student, and lover all at the same time as well.

I get that most of you teenagers are often curious about what is going on. Most of the time, you are lost with information because there are limits to your capabilities. So I would like to share some tips that might help. But for a fair warning, some of these tips are somewhat unconventional and not widely accepted by society. Nonetheless, all of these guarantee a realistic approach.

Think About These

It is never an achievement to have sex with a lot of different people. Even if you are a boy or a girl, having multiple sexual experiences with different people is not something that you should be proud of. Not only it can cause damage to your physical health, but it is also not helpful in the emotional and mental well-being. It can ruin someone’s reputation. Yes, I’d have to say that there is a thin line between teenage male and female sexual experiences, for that matter. That is because society sees it as usual for boys and an insult for girls. But the entirety of having too much sexual experience for both genders does not guarantee an overall growth.

Engaging in sexual intercourse has been normalized almost in the entire world. With that, people see no problem when it comes to getting in a relationship and eventually doing the act. But as teenagers, it is essential to know the value of using protection. It is not something you should ignore just because no one in both parties feels like using it. Consider utilizing protection associates with the responsibility that goes along your decisions of having pre-marital sex. So for teenagers out there engaging in sexual stuff, I highly suggest you always choose to be smart and safe.

Another tip for young adults out there that practice teenage sex is to avoid recording the act. Cut the crap of thinking that private videos can stay private whenever the hell you kids want. It will eventually come out. So to save yourselves from the humiliation and other people’s judgment, never take a video of you doing acts of lust or entirely having sex. There is no point in keeping a recorded copy of you and your significant other’s intimate moments. There is nothing good in that.

Keep in mind that teenage sex is already risky. Therefore, do not put yourselves in a complicated situation where, in the end, all you can do is regret and cry it out loud.



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Long-Term Effects Of Divorce On Your Children (Problematic Marriage)

When A Marriage Collapses, What Happens To The Children?

You can’t expect your child to be happy with your divorce. I mean, did you think he’d smile when you tell him that you and your spouse are splitting up? Come on. It’s your child’s life too. If you two get divorced, and your child is still a minor, there will be a lot of problems underway.



Now, this article is about the long-term effects of divorce on your children. There is also a blog on this site containing the short-term effects of divorce on your kids. Read this article and the other one, as well. You might gain knowledge on the manifestation of these effects and get the help that your needs instantly. Because “Divorce is not something that should never be entered into lightly. It means an end to that relationship and the breakup of a family, which can be greatly traumatizing to the children of that marriage.” Jennifer Baxt, LMFT, LMHC said.


Behavioral And Social Problems

One of the short-term effects of divorce on a child is volatility which affects his behavior to the highest level. If you don’t address this as soon as possible, this can significantly affect the child’s behavioral and social skills. Furthermore, social skills are learned first through the parents, and if you’re divorcing, your child won’t have two parents to guide him every single day.

If there are adverse changes in your child’s behavior, bring him to a behavioral therapist or counselor immediately. These experts will know what to do and how to help your child through your divorce. If this is left untreated, your child may grow up with mental health issues (bipolar disorder, dissociative identity disorder, and more) spawning from your split-up.


Trouble With Relationships

It is one of the saddest effects on a child because of his parent’s divorce. If a child, at a young age, sees a relationship fail, then there is a significant chance that he will grow up not believing in marriage and commitment. The kid may have a negative connotation regarding relationships which will affect how your child interacts with people, romantically speaking. Therefore, “Don’t fall into the trap of sharing divorce details or your angry feelings about your ex with your older kids. Their own anxiety and need for control causes them to be ‘understanding’ of what you’re going through, but you need to be the parent.” M. Gary Neuman, LMHC said.

The only way to fix this is through therapy. Your child must understand that your failed marriage is not a failed life. A counselor may be able to intervene in that aspect.



Poor Education And Socio-Economic Status

When a child feels anxious and starts to lose interest in school activities, your kid can grow up without proper study habits or an excellent extracurricular background. Education and other activities are essential for a child to develop himself as a person, and your divorce can that take that away from him.

You have to do everything in your power to make things as regular as possible. It will be tough, but you have to do it for the sake of your child. These are the problems that divorce brings with you, and your child will bear all the effects of it. If you’re worried that his school interest will take a toll, then visit a learning specialist or a child counselor.


Substance Abuse

Frustration and anxiety, as well as depression, all rooted from the divorce of parents, can lead to substance abuse. These mental health issues can push a kid to look for an alley to release his painful feelings and forget the family problem. If not guided well, substance abuse can take on that role, and that is something that you do not want to happen.

If you suspect that your child may be into drugs and alcohol, then put a stop to it immediately. Contact a substance abuse counselor for more details.




Understand that “Depression is different from passing sadness or temporary frustration with life’s issues. There are number of common signs for depression and they tend to be persistent.” Kurt Smith, Psy.D., LMFT, LPCC, AFC said. As mentioned above, intense sadness brought about by the loss of a parent due to divorce can result in depression. Depression is a critical mental health disease that can push your child to massive problems, the worst being self-harming and suicide.

If you see that your child is extremely sad, always angry, or never goes out of bed for more than two weeks, then he is depressed. Take your child to a therapist straight away.


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Reasons Why It Is Never Okay To Ignore Teenage Behaviors

There is this misconception that because teens are at the stage where they no longer listen to parents, it becomes okay to let them be. There is this hope that all negative things will eventually come to an end once teenagers realized that their actions go with consequences. But is that entirely reasonable to ignore their behavior just because society believes that some of their misconducts are part of growing up? That even if there are issues along with their emotional and mental state, people should not get alarmed? I don’t think so.

Teenage Resistance

“Our teens are taught just by observing their world that they need one too, and they get that message very early on,”  explains Susie Raskin MA, LMHC. What is damaging for kids may not be that big of a deal for some parents. Perhaps that is due to these people’s idea that kids will have to change their ways one way or another. But the thing is, it is never easy to change in an instant. That is especially when all these kids’ lives are all about doing the same thing over and over.

Teenage resistance can grow deeper when they realized that parents who do not show some care mean nothing to them. These kids begin to ignore things as well because that is how they see it in their parents. These teenagers will think that it is okay not to attach themselves to other people, and that includes their parents. Evan Kimble, LMHC says, “Some people are able to find their truth without pushing back so hard on their parents, but usually there is some turbulence in the process.”

Teenage Depression

What lots of parents do not realize is that teenagers are often a victim of emotional and mental abuse from all sources of social interaction. That includes family members, school friends, and acquaintances, as well as their special relationship with a particular someone. Teenagers are prone to stress as they figure out their purpose in life. So when parents tend to ignore them, these unfortunate ones end up with depression.

Robert Allison, MA, LPC used to say, “Depression is more than an emotion or a state of mind, it is really a process. It is a combination of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.” Teenage depression is not something that these kids can shrug off any time they want. It is a mental condition that leads to the destruction of each of these kids’ lives. It results in isolation, inappropriate communication, unworthiness, loneliness, as well as self-harm. Parents must try their best to identify their kids’ behavior and distinguish the damaging habits from the good ones.

Teenage Suicide

In line with the mental illness that teens often get, the importance of addressing and understanding teenage behavior is vital in keeping them safe from unwanted thoughts. These teens, every action, words, gestures, and appearance should not be taken lightly. Yes, teenagers are impulsive, and they always do not care about things. But it is not enough reason to believe that they cannot commit to harming themselves. That explains why almost a significant percentage of teenagers commit suicide. It is because no parents can identify these unfortunate youths’ emotional and mental issues.

The truth is, no one assumes in advance when and how teens will commit suicide. That is because it is an unpredictable phenomenon. It usually happens because parents do not seem to know anything about their kids. Yes, some are aware of these kids’ pain, but these parents often choose to ignore their teens’ unusual behavior. With that, regret becomes the last resort.

Knowing these things, try asking yourself. Will it be worth it if you ignore your teenager’s behavior?

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The Basics Of Teenage Counseling



We don’t want to admit it. As parents, when our children commit grave errors and regretful mistakes in life, it’s like we’ve done it ourselves. It could be that we focused more on our work, earning cash, and ignored our teenagers for far too long. We love them so much, but with life being very challenging and difficult, most of us don’t have the luxury to look after them 24/7. It is heart-breaking, indeed.

With this said, we as parents need to find ways on how to help our teenage children move back to the right path. Do you honestly believe that your son or daughter is a lost cause? No, absolutely not! They just need to feel our love again, and they have to be guided from now on. As a parent, it is your responsibility most especially if your teenage son or daughter is still a minor.


One way of helping your child behave accordingly, and learn of the right moves and decisions in life is through Teenage Counseling. “Child counseling is a type of therapy that focuses on young children, teens, and adolescents with one or more mental illnesses. It also provides aid to youths, who have experienced trauma, and/or who are experiencing a dysfunctional or stressful home environment,” explains Dr. R. Y. Langham, Ph.D.



What Is Teenage Counseling?

Teenage Counseling is a form of therapy program geared towards the mental healing of teenagers, in general. An expert on the treatment program, more like a certified mental health counselor or therapist for minors, will be the one designing the said program according to the teenager’s need. It can last for a few months and some extreme cases, the program can extend for years. The whole point is for the teenager to outgrow his teenage angst and rebellious vibe to become a better and well-rounded young person.


Who Needs Teenage Counseling?

“When a child is diagnosed with mental illness, it can overwhelm the family. On the one hand, many parents feel that they finally have answers for behaviors that are confusing and often scary,” says Katie Hurley, LCSW. Teenagers who are troubled need therapy immediately. Those who are not delinquents, but are experiencing mental health breakdowns due to stress, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, paranoia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and many other mental health issues, also require the assistance of a teenage psychological health counselor or therapist. Basically, teenagers who have mental health concerns, behavioral problems, and other personal baggage, need adolescent counseling facilitated by an expert.



What Can You Expect From Teenage Counseling?

This bit is for the information of parents whose teenage child will undergo the counseling program. Most adolescent counseling treatment programs will make this move – parents are not allowed within the “safe room” after the first session is done. A safe room is where the counseling takes place. It is the office of the mental health counselor.

Also, the mental health counselor cannot disclose any information communicated by the teenager during the session. It will violate the counselor-client confidentiality clause. I know, it’s appalling, but that’s the law. As for necessary information on the meetings like the diagnosis of the mental health counselor, the progress of the teenager in therapy, and future referrals if applicable are open for parents to know.

Most parents will not see this as something possible to do, but a teenager will never open up his or her feelings or emotions if the parents are privy to what is going on in per detail in therapy sessions. It is likely that the mother or father will want the teenager to answer and provide the reasons why they feel in such a way.


For example – Why did you tell the counselor that mom and I are always fighting and that it sickens? We’re not always fighting, and it’s not the counselor’s business to know.


See? With that kind of interaction, the teenager won’t release his or her real feelings. When the emotions are bottled up, there is no way for the teenager to heal. For your son or daughter to recover from his or her mental health concerns, he or she should be able to let out the things bothering him or her. The mental health counselor will then help your teenager validate these feelings, and also assist him or her to process it healthily then, let it go. That’s how it goes, generally speaking.


In The End, It’s All About Love

It’s not easy to impose to your teenager that he or she needs Teenage Counseling. “During adolescence, teens experience rapid physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, and social developmental changes. In addition, teens are often faced with a brand-new set of responsibilities and privileges, causing them to swing back and forth between dependence and independence.”  Bella Stitt, LMFT said. The only way you can tell him or her that you want it done is by appealing to his or her soft side – I am worried about you, and I love you very much. Maybe we can do this Teenage Counseling thing for you once a week and also a Family Therapy session which will include me, dad, and your sisters? I have so much to tell you because you are my child and my life. I hope it’s not too late to repair our relationship.

If this approach is not working, then, let’s practice tough love.

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