As adults, most of us can look back to what it was like to be a teenager. Along with the fun of connecting with friends, there were complex peer pressures and heartbreaks.
What we didn’t have were the pressures of social media, online bullying, a global pandemic requiring isolation from peers, and frequent mass shootings permeating the news. Each of these things is difficult on its own, but it’s a heavy load for adolescent hearts and minds to carry cumulatively.
Remember your childhood and how excited you and your friends were when you heard there might be a fire drill that day? It meant you got a break from class and went outside with your friends for a little while. Or maybe you giggled with your friends as you were crouched in the hallways for tornado drills.
Now imagine what goes on in a child’s mind at school during an active shooter drill. How ominous could it feel? Forty states require active shooter drills in schools, including Illinois. However, research reveals that these drills increase anxiety and depression in students. Additionally, their fear of death increases by 22% after active shooter drills.
Adolescents don’t need to have earthshattering problems to benefit from counseling — their everyday lives are enough reason to have a trusted professional with whom they can process their realities. Read on to learn more about how counseling can help your adolescent child.
The Season of Adolescence
Adolescence is the developmental period when your child transitions from a dependent child to an independent adult. It consists of three distinct phases ranging from early adolescence at about age ten to early adulthood at about age twenty-four.
The reason adolescence extends into early adulthood is because the prefrontal cortex of the brain is the last to develop, and that is the area that allows rational decision-making and impulse control. Before that time, your child processes information with the emotional part of their brain, the amygdala.
During adolescence, new neural pathways are forming that can impact your child for a lifetime. It’s the perfect opportunity to develop positive life coping strategies and behavioral habits to set them up for future success.
Benefits of Counseling Sessions for Adolescents
We regularly hear about the trials facing students in low-income communities, yet adolescents in affluent communities also face significant risks. They can feel like they’re in a pressure cooker to achieve academically, socially, and athletically, leading to anxiety and depression.
But there is good news! Counseling offers numerous benefits to your adolescent child, including:
- Improved view of the benefits of counseling for personal growth
- Ability to share their feelings honestly in a safe setting to promote healing
- Feeling heard and valued
- Learning to manage anxiety and depression
- Learning healthy coping strategies — such as appropriate boundaries
- Improved problem-solving skills
- Increased self-esteem
- Improved communication skills
- Improved relationships
- Increased self-awareness
- Clarity on life goals and direction
- Processing grief or trauma
- Breaking addictions
- Increased emotional intelligence
- Empowerment by being equipped with new tools for a better future
Adolescent Counseling at Eunoia
Significant development is occurring in your child during adolescence mentally, socially, and emotionally. Eunoia offers experienced counseling for your teen to help them through this challenging time that’s also marked by positive growth opportunities. Reach out to us for an appointment today. We look forward to talking with you!