3 Ways Family Counseling Can Help Your Struggling Teen or Young Adult
Mental health challenges have increased for teens and young adults over the past decade. We work with teens and young adults who are struggling with a variety of life challenges. Among these challenges are:
Difficulty in transitioning from High School to College
Individual therapy can help teens and young adults who struggle with these challenges. Often, individual therapy will be the therapy option of choice. Sometimes, an opportunity for a powerful change agent is missed when teens and young adults participate in individual therapy only.
Family therapy can be a powerful addition to that therapeutic journey. While individual counseling for teens or young adults provides much needed tools and resources, family therapy can help solidify the gains made in individual teen counseling or therapy for young adults.
As therapist, we can play a central role in helping teens and young adults over come life's challenges. Yet, within a relatively short period of time, teens and young adults will move on from individual therapy. As teen therapists and counselors for young adults are temporary, family is for a lifetime.
How Family Therapy Can Help
There are many ways that family therapy can help teens as they work to overcome depression, anxiety, panic attacks, or other challenges. Family therapy is also a helpful approach when working with young adults. While some of the emotional challenges may be similar, teens and young adults are in different stages in life.
Normalizing Life Challenges
Teens, young adults, and parents who participate in family therapy often are doing so for the first time. There may be some anticipation of what family therapy may be like.
For the teen and young adult, they may believe that the focus is going to be wholly on them. For parents, there may be a perception that their parenting style will be scrutinized and judged. Not participating in family counseling before, these would all be normal thought processes.
However, family therapy should not be about spotlighting the challenges that the teen or young adult may have created. It's also not a time to put the parents on the hot seat. Family therapy is about capitalizing on the strengths that the teen, young adult, and parents already have.
It's also a time to help the teen, young adult, and parents understand that what they are experiencing is normal. While different families who may have a teen struggling with depression may experience it differently, there are more similarities than differences when a family member is struggling with depression.
You may have a young adult who has struggled to transition from High School to College/University. While families may have different experiences, there again are more similarities than differences in the experience.
Normalizing the thoughts, feelings, and experiences may not resolve the difficulties. It does help alleviate any misplaced shame that the teen or young adult may have been experiencing. It also helps alleviate some misplaced guilt that parents at times can experience.
Opening Lines of Communication
When families start family counseling, one of the elements that they come in with is decreased trust in family relationships. While different families have different experiences with the different life challenges, trusting relationships can often be the first casualty.
When trust is diminished, communication is often impacted as a result. It's difficult to communicate sensitive topics when the perception is that the other family member may not take it serious, dismiss it, or sometimes attack it.
Family counseling can help open the lines of communication. A family therapist can help slow down communication which allows each family member an opportunity to communicate their thoughts and feelings.
Opening lines of communication and providing space to discuss challenging topics can often help teens and young adults progress in their therapy. It often helps things progress in their individual therapy sessions as well.
Cementing Long Term Changes From Teen Therapy & Counseling for Young Adults
As mentioned previously, counseling for young adults and teen therapy are temporary. Young adult counselors and teen therapists will be a part of your teen and young adult's life for a critical but short period of time.
Having family therapy a part of your teen or young adults therapeutic journey can help increase the likelihood of changes from individual therapy remaining long term. Having family counseling sessions provides an opportunity for parents to learn the tools and skills the teen or young adult are learning in individual therapy.
As parents learn what the teen or young adult has learned as coping skills and tools, parents can help the teen and young adult use those tools throughout their lifetime. Family therapy also helps to improve family relationships so that teens and young adults collaborate with parents and allow them in to help them.
Katy Teen & Family Counseling:
Specializing in Teen Therapy, Family Counseling, & Therapy for Young Adults
At the Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we provide teen therapy and counseling for young adults. We help teens and young adults resolve life challenges that are present at their own unique stages of life.
Family therapy should be a part of every young adult therapy and teen counseling journey. Family therapy can help ensure that the work the teen or young adult has done in individual therapy remains for a lifetime.
At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we recognize that young adults face unique challenges in their lives as they transition from teen life to the adult life. Counseling for young adults can help them through these tricky transitions.
If you are ready to start your family therapy journey or you would like to have a teen or young adult start individual therapy, you can follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling, PLLC.
Meet with one of our family therapy specialists who also provides teen therapy and counseling for young adults.
Take that first step in restoring hope, happiness, and connected family relationships.
Other Teen Therapy, Family Counseling, & Young Adult Therapy Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling
At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, in addition to providing therapy for teens, young adults, & families, we also provide other therapy services at our Katy, Tx location:
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
About the Author
Jason Drake is a Licensed Clinical Worker. He specializes in teen therapy, young adult counseling, & family counseling. He has provided therapy to teens and families since 2003.