As a parent, you just want your child to be happy and healthy, and you wish you could protect them from anything unpleasant. Unfortunately, no one handed you that magic wand when you brought home your bundle of joy, so you do your best to protect them and comfort them.
When kids are little, their hurts tend to be little, and often a bandaid and a kiss do the trick. But your “baby” is now a teenager, and overnight (it seems) things became infinitely more complicated. You’re not always sure how to support them.
Why consider therapy for your teen before it’s “needed”? Because teens today are facing more pressure than ever, and “it takes a village,” as they say. At Simi Psychological Group, we understand and respect that you are the expert on your child.
Our dedicated psychologists in Thousand Oaks want to walk with you and your teen as you navigate these fragile years, and offer therapy for teens even before the you-know-what hits the fan.
If you’ve ever wondered about therapy for teens near you, here are the reasons why it’s worth considering teen therapy before you think it’s needed.
Social media has been a blessing and a curse. It allows teens to connect anytime, and that’s awesome. And also, it allows teens to connect anytime, which can be not-so-awesome. Teen years are all about fitting in. Social media helps teens feel seen and heard. It gives them a platform to post thoughts and feelings and connect with their peers. Social media can be fun and playful and can help teens feels less isolated and alone. That’s the awesome bit.
The not-so-awesome bit is social media is used to compare, and as Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Social media adds a lot of extra pressure on our teens. While trying to fit in and connect, social media gives them instant access to how they measure up, or not.
Therapy for teens can help them talk about, process, and figure out the best way to use and manage social media so they have access to the positives and limit the negatives. Yes, parents can and should have these discussions with their teens as well.
But often a non-biased person, like our compassionate psychologists in Thousand Oaks, can be that safe place and sounding board for teens. In fact, we offer both in-person counseling as well as telehealth therapy for teens.
Teens feel pressure in school, and whether they show it or not, most teens want to do well. There is school stress connected to grades, sports, and other extracurriculars. If they are at the bottom, it affects their self-esteem and they often give up. If they’re at the top, their self-esteem is often tied to their performance and can lead to anxiety.
Therapy for teens is a useful tool to help them talk about these pressures, and give them strategies for time management as well as healthy coping skills to manage stress.
Sometimes even a few therapy sessions can make a big difference to your teen’s overall well-being.
Peer relationships are everything to your teen, and your teen does not have to have a specific mental health diagnosis to stress about friends. Even the most emotionally regulated teen (if there is such a thing) worries about friendships, fitting in, and being liked.
Do they have good friends? Do they have a best friend? Do they have someone to talk to and sit by in class or in the lunch room? Are their friends mad at them? Is someone talking smack about them behind their back? They worry.
What if what they said at lunch was weird? What if their friends don’t like their outfit? What if they answer a question wrong in class and look “dumb”? What if they don’t get invited to the social event?
The what if’s are endless for teens.
While you encourage open communication with your teen and make sure they know you’re there, you’re accessible, and you’re interested, giving your teen a safe and neutral space to talk about their peer relationships in therapy is another smart way to offer support.
By adding an additional resource through teen therapy, your teen can learn more about healthy versus unhealthy relationships, both platonic and romantic, and develop tools to improve their communication skills. They’re able to process thoughts and feelings with a trusted psychologist before those thoughts and feelings escalate and morph into something else.
At Simi Psychological Group, our psychologists in Thousand Oaks are specially trained in a range of services to support your teen as they navigate those peer relationships, giving them skills to avoid some of the more dangerous pitfalls, and resources to manage their emotions when things don’t go the way they had hoped.
Again, those teen years are tough and hormones can wreak havoc on your teen, as well as everyone in their path! Teen therapy gives your teen resources to manage the fluctuations in their mood.
By providing appropriate psychoeducation about why their brains are working the way they are and why their emotions are so all over the place, our psychologists help validate and normalize your teen’s experience. Your teen will understand they are not alone in this, and what they’re experiencing is normal.
Parents should consider teen therapy before it’s needed because…the Future
“So, Tommy, what are you doing after high school?” “Beth, have you thought about what you want to major in when you get to college?” “Make sure to keep those grades up, Sam. It really affects your future.” Sound familiar?
Our teens are fielding these questions and these statements all the time, especially as they move into their junior and senior years. While some kids have those answers, many more really don’t.
Too often teens are made to feel like they’re supposed to have their whole future figured out, and if they “mess up” even a little, it’s all over for them.
Teens need to learn how to manage their thoughts and feelings, and the expectations they have of themselves so they don’t suffer unnecessarily. They need to know it’s ok not to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives, and that while it’s important for them to do their best, grades will not make or break their entire future.
Teen therapy helps your teen learn healthy stress management techniques that will serve them well now as well as in that ever-so-scary future.
If you’re reading this article, we know you’re the kind of parent who wants the best for their kiddo and is actively involved. And we commend you! Parenting is hard and showing up in the way that you have is awesome. But sometimes teens just need someone else to talk to who can be objective, and someone who they don’t have to worry about upsetting.
That’s where we come in. At Simi Psychological Group, we will take good care of your teen, and offer them the kind of professional support that we’ve been trained for.
While there are a number of common mental health concerns that bring teens into therapy, including anxiety, depression, self-harm, eating disorders, ADHD, behavioral problems, family conflict, substance abuse, or trauma, there are so many good reasons to bring your teen to therapy that don’t have to rise to that level. Low self-esteem, stress management, peer conflict or relationship issues, concerns over body image, questions about identity, and just dealing with the everyday pressures of being a teen in today’s world are all good reasons to consider teen therapy Simi Valley before it’s “needed.”
Our team of licensed therapists in Thousand Oaks is here to support you, walk alongside you, and help you and your family live your best lives. At the Simi Psychological Group, we offer individual as well as group therapy, and treat anxiety, depression, trauma, and more! Reach out today for a free consultation at (805) 842-1994.