Is Your Teenager Having A Difficult Time Emotionally?
Are you the parent of a teenager who is struggling at school or at home? Does your teenager have trouble regulating their emotions? Do you have a sense that they are not reaching their full potential?
Perhaps your teen is struggling with a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder. Or maybe your child has a hard time with social interactions and is unable to make or keep friends. As a result of the physical and emotional symptoms that are causing disruptions in your teenager’s life, they may be avoiding or underperforming in school, which presents an additional set of challenges for you and your family.
In recognizing ongoing, disruptive symptoms, you may have sought out therapy in the past for your teenager, but the treatment plan did not prove effective. Instead of responding positively, your teenager may continue to feel misunderstood by the adults in their lives, including parents, teachers, and mental health professionals. It is painful to watch your child struggle and resort to self-destructive behavior or, in some cases, suicidal ideation, and you may feel as though you are helpless in providing them with relief.
If your teen is not functioning at their best or achieving their highest potential, counseling with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) can be the answer to helping them find both community and sustained happiness.
Teens Face Unprecedented Pressures In Today’s World
Every teenager grapples with the changes that take place during adolescence, regardless of if those changes have physical, mental, or emotional manifestations. Because teenagers’ brains are still developing, the frontal cortex—where good judgment skills are established—is not fully formed yet. As a result, teens can often be impulsive or destructive with an inability to make good choices or well-informed decisions.
All teens and adolescents struggle with this physiological shift, but if your child is particularly sensitive, these challenges can be amplified. If, from a young age, your child has been acutely affected by their surroundings, they may face certain setbacks that other kids don’t experience. It is possible that your teen’s sensitivities isolate them and cause them to feel generally misunderstood, especially in the context of counseling, if treatment has failed in the past.
Our modern era of technology has complicated the lives of teenagers. Social media and cyberbullying present a new dynamic of teenage relationships, fostering an environment where hurtful things can be said without consequence and where there exists play-by-play evidence of potentially harmful or humiliating interactions. A teenager with issues in controlling their impulses may be more likely to post something offensive without fully understanding the consequences. With the advent of social media, teens have a public persona before they can fully comprehend the kind of damage that can be done to themselves and others.
The way we see it at Suffolk DBT, the function of every teenage behavior is a means to find relief from the emotion and confusion experienced during adolescence. With the insight of counseling, we can provide your teen with the toolbox they need to fully understand their emotions and impulses without acting on them.
Counseling Offers The Opportunity For Your Teen To Process And Respond To Their Emotions
Our therapists understand that your child is struggling; life is painful, even from a young age. And if your child is particularly sensitive or empathetic, life as a teenager can feel even more difficult and burdensome than it already is at that age. Our counseling experts at Suffolk DBT aim to create a warm, compassionate, and welcoming environment where your teen will be validated and treated as the capable, emotionally intelligent developing person that they are.
As a team, we evaluate the emotional symptoms of each new client and match them with a skilled therapist who will best suit the individual needs of your child. In the first counseling session, your teen’s therapist will perform an intake that addresses the history of your child, as well as the commitment necessary for effective DBT treatment. In the six months to a year that is recommended for counseling, your teen will undergo individual and group therapy, as well as skills coaching. As a parent, you will also be expected to participate in a multi-family group session where you too will learn the dialectical behavioral skills to help ensure your teenager’s success through treatment.
Using a diary card model in between sessions, your child will learn to keep track of events that impacted them during the week, and we will help them to identify what was happening in their mind and body during moments of distress. Over time, they will gain clarity on the triggers that cause dysregulation and have more of an idea as to how they can reduce the disruptive symptoms that occur as a result.
Capitalizing on mindfulness, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance, we will use the four pillars of DBT to help your child to grow a skill set which allows them to be less reactive and more productive. If and when a crisis occurs, they will be able to handle their emotions in a healthy way that does not create harm or disruption in their life or the lives of those around them.
Since 2008, Suffolk DBT has identified, supported, and provided counseling for sensitive teens and adults alike, helping individuals to nurture a healthier and happier relationship with themselves and their surroundings. And we have found that it is possible for teens to be both emotional and functional. The gift of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is that it can allow your teenage child to become not only more aware of themselves but of others, fostering an empowered perspective on life.
Perhaps you are considering counseling for your teen, but you have some concerns…
I am concerned I can’t make the commitment to DBT for my child.
Our form of therapy at Suffolk DBT will help your teen to benefit from therapy far into the future. It can not only help your family have a happier time together, but also give your teen the opportunity to envision a future without crisis. While it may seem like a substantial time investment now, counseling will pay off in the long term and have big returns for your teen both now and as they grow into adulthood.
My teen is pushing back on the concept of counseling.
If your teen has tried therapy before but has been unsuccessful in the past, it is understandable that they are hesitant to try a new and different approach. However, we want to do our best to assure your child that the environment at Suffolk DBT is warm, friendly, and welcoming. By meeting with your teen’s counselor before the start of treatment, you and your child have an opportunity to feel confident in the match. We aim to create an enjoyable and positive experience, even if it can be emotionally difficult at times.
I am worried that my teen will not go for group therapy.
We get a lot of younger clients who are reluctant to explore their emotions in a group setting, but more often than not it turns out to be our clients’ favorite part! Group sessions offer your teen the opportunity to find a community in which they don’t feel so different. This setting allows them to feel better understood and cared for, as they process their emotions with the guidance of a counselor and alongside other teens who are experiencing the same struggles that they are.
Your Teen’s Happiness And Full Potential Is Within Their Reach
If your teen is suffering from emotional and physical symptoms of depression, anxiety, or dysregulation, or if they are not achieving their full potential, counseling at Suffolk DBT can help. For more information and to schedule an appointment, contact us or call (638)828-2264 today.
All teens experience mood swings. It’s one of the defining characteristics of that age. However, some teens struggle more when it comes to mood than their peers. This struggle is more than typical teenage moodiness. Teens may feel sad, depressed, or even angry. Therapy can help with these issues, especially dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT.
We often read articles about improving communication between you and your teen. And it's true; we need skilled communication to succeed in any relationship. However, if you dig a little deeper, something more nuanced needs our attention — validation. If you have a sullen, argumentative, or dismissive teenager, you know how hard it can feel to communicate with them.