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4 Reasons Teenagers are More Awesome Than They May Realize

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I'm one of those therapists who really enjoy working with teenagers. My entire career that started in 2003 has been providing teen therapy, young adult counseling, and family therapy.

And I was eager and excited to start a group practice in Katy, TX where we would hire other therapists who specialize in teen, young adult, and family therapy.

Teenagers today are experiencing more depression, anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety and other challenges than previous generations. So much so, that the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children's National Hosptial have declared teen mental health a "national emergency".

And yet, more and more teenagers are accepting help through therapists who specialize in teen counseling. We have the honor and privilege of working with a wide variety of teenagers from very diverse backgrounds.

There are several common themes that show through our work with teenagers. Strengths that teens present that inspire us as teen counselors.

And because of the stressors and pressures in a teen's life many do not see these strengths in themselves. On top of this, when their emotional focus is spent on trying to manage emotional challenges, it can be difficult to see their inner strengths.

But as teen therapists, our superpower is to see the internal strengths each teenager brings to counseling.

Common Strengths We See in Teenagers During Teen Counseling

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Many of the teenagers we work with today share common strengths. These strengths lend well to the counseling process as the teen counselor can bring out these strengths in the teenager to help them overcome their emotional or behavioral challenges.

Below are some of the common strengths we have observed as teen counselors. I'm going to start with a very common strength that may not come from inside the teen but a strength none the less. The other strengths will be strengths that reflect their inner strength.

1. Supportive, Invested, & Loving Parents

Bear with me on this one. I know it's not a strength that comes from within a teenager. But one of the common strengths we see teens bring into teen therapy is supportive, invested, and loving parents.

The ingredients to a teen being successful in therapy is when they have parents who are invested and willing to make some changes themselves. The majority of the parents we work with fit this description.

Even if a teen comes in defensive or resistant, if we have parents who are invested in the teenager's therapy and are open to making changes themselves, we usually can help the teen overcome the challenges they came to therapy to address.

Many teenagers start therapy open and willing and want to participate. Some do not. Regardless, a strength that is common to the majority of our teens is the great parents they have supporting them.

2. High Levels of Resiliency & Grit

The American Psychological Association (APA) conducted a separate survey of adults and teenagers. In this survey, they asked adults to rank their stress levels. They also asked teenagers to do the same.

What they found was that teenagers are reporting as high as stress levels as adults report. Except for when school is in. When school is in, teenagers are reporting higher stress levels than adults report.

Many of the teens we work with have longer "work" weeks than most adults. Teenagers waking up at 6:00 a.m., attending school, quite often taking pre-AP or AP classes, afterschool extracurricular activities, then coming home to finish homework by around 10:00 p.m., going to sleep and starting it all over again.

This in part helps me to understand why we are seeing such an increase in anxiety and depression.

And these teens are resilient. The teens we see demonstrate a level of grit and tenacity that is amazing.

Living in 2 states and 2 different school systems, I have a comparison in regard to the competitiveness and rigors of our school systems compared to the 2 other states. These teens are amazing at the workload they can carry.

Now, this comes with a caution. As a specialist in teen therapy, I have my own thoughts about overscheduling and overworking our teens. This is often a topic in therapy that is discussed that is tied into the teenager's depression, anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety, etc.

Balance and work life balance it not only important for adult success, but for teen success as well. And sometimes a teenager who is depressed or anxious is so overscheduled that parents can't (won't) find time to fit in therapy to help their teen overcome these emotional challenges.

3. Kiddo, You're Way Smarter Than You Give Yourself Credit For

One reason as a teen therapist I have enjoyed working at Katy Teen & Family Counseling, is that many of our teens are super smart. Many we work with are in the "gifted & talented" category. While the other teens, who may not have been tested or meet the specific definition, have gifted intellects that help in the therapy process.

Intelligence in the teens we work with is a strength that helps with the stressors and pressures they face in life. While they may experience overscheduling, because of their intelligence, they tend to succeed despite carrying around the heavy weight of depression, anxiety, and other challenges.

And as before, this comes with a caution. It can be easy for parents to see their teenager succeeding despite reporting feeling depressed or anxious. And because they seem to be succeeding, having them see a therapist tends to lose its priority.

Things like depression and anxiety tend to not go away. This is something that teens likely will not grow out of but will grow into.

The goal can be to help them continue to be successful as a teen AND to address depression and anxiety while they are a teenager, so they don't need to carry this into their college life where the supports around them are few.

4. You Are Courageous!

It is not easy starting teen counseling. To think about talking about the challenges one has in their life can be intimidating. Many adults who struggle with emotional challenges may choose to not start therapy because of these things.

And we see teenagers day in and day out facing tough emotional challenges. Being open and willing to talk about their hurt, their fears, and concerns is a courage in action.

We also see teenagers using this courage outside of therapy sessions. They may get homework assignments from their therapist to start practicing certain things in between therapy sessions.

Sometimes these are challenging homework assignments. A teenager with social anxiety may be asked to strike up one conversation with one new person at school. A teenager with depression may be asked to exercise at least twice in between therapy sessions.

And more times than not, they push and challenge themselves to do these things. Because they may not have a comparison, it may be hard for them to see just how courageous they are. But courageous they are!

Teen Counseling at Katy Teen & Family Counseling Can Help Your Teen Overcome Emotional Challenges in Their Lives

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These are but a few of the strengths that we get to see in the teens we work with. I could write another blog, and may do so, on the strengths we see our parents bring to the therapy sessions.

When we have parents who are willing to do some things different more times than not, we can get the teen to accomplish their goals.

Any as a teen counselor, my heart aches when we get a phone call for a teen who is struggling but due to their "schedule", they can't find a time to come to therapy. When I think about if the teen had a more severe problem that required medical treatment, most parents would find the time in the schedule to ensure their teen received needed treatment.

One main reason I started Katy Teen & Family Counseling was to help teens today, resolve their emotional or behavioral challenges. When teens resolve these challenges in their teen years, this means they don't carry these challenges into their adult years.

When teens are too busy for therapy during the teen years to resolve these challenges, quite often it means that something will happen as an adult that will cause them to then need to address them.

Parents, make therapy a priority for your teenager if they are struggling. Help them resolve these challenges during their teen years so they don't take them with them into their adult years.

Teen counseling is an investment in time and money that will pay dividends the rest of the teenager's adult life in relationships, in college academics, in career, and even in their parenting when and if the time comes.

Katy Teen & Family Counseling: 70+ Years of Combined Experience in Providing Teen Therapy & Young Adult Counseling in Katy, TX & Houston

The teens of today are faced with challenges, pressures, and stressors that previous generations of teens did not face. Along with these new challenges comes with it an increase in stress. As a result, depression, anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, and other challenges are becoming more common.

Now is the time to help your teen overcome these emotional challenges. Don't let them grow further into depression or anxiety, help them overcome these obstacles today.

At our Katy, TX location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we are ready to help your teen or young adult. If you are ready to start, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:

  1. Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling

  2. Talk with one of our caring therapists

  3. Start the healing today

Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling

At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we provide a variety of therapy approaches that are supported by research and shown to be effective. Some of the teen therapy and young adult counseling we offer are:

Board Certified Neurofeedback Therapy

Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)

Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)

Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)

Group Therapy for Teens

Body Image

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Couples Therapy & Marriage Counseling

To succeed in any relationship takes work. This is a common understanding that many of us have.

However, sometimes life will throw challenges at us that create situations that put strain on our marriage or relationship. It may be due to:

  • Choices and actions that have been made by one partner.

  • Financial downturn in the economy creating financial strain.

  • Feeling like you're growing apart.

  • Feeling like you don't have as much in common as you used to.

Whatever the reason may be, marriage counseling and couples therapy can help. Couples therapy and marriage counseling has also been found to work in less time than individual therapy can.

If you've worked hard for this relationship and find that there are now barriers in the way of maintaining a healthy relationship, contact us at Katy Teen & Family Counseling.

About the Author

A man sitting at a desk, right arm resting on the desk, left arm and fist resting under his chin, he's wearing a pink polo, silver watch, beard, glasses and is smiling. He provides trauma therapy katy, tx and ptsd therapy in katy, tx 77494. He also provides trauma treatment in katy, tx and therapy for gifted students katy, tx 77494.

Jason Drake is a Licensed Clinical Worker - Supervisor (LCSW-S), Board Certified in Neurofeedback, EMDR trained, and a Certified Brain Health Professional through the Amen Clinics. He has provided therapy to teens, young adults, and families since 2003 and is the Owner & Lead Clinician at Katy Teen & Family Counseling and Katy Counseling for Men.

He specializes in leading teams of high performing therapists who also specialize in teen therapy, counseling young adults, and family counseling.

Jason is also a leader in the field of teen, young adult, and family counseling providing expert coaching and technical assistance to teen Residential Treatment Centers across the country.

Jason is also a regular contributor to various magazines and publications lending his expertise to various mental health related topics. You can check these articles out on our "Featured Articles" service page on our website.

He has also been a guest on Fox 26 Houston and on a podcast, "Grow a Group Practice" with Alison Pidgeon.

If you are ready to start teen counseling or young adult therapy call, text, or email us today!

Phone Number: 281-519-6364

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