Teenagers (adolescents) are often vulnerable to emotional difficulties, even though they can give the impression of being very tough and independent. They are navigating the huge shift between childhood and adulthood, and this can go hand in hand with confusion and various losses.
Contact one of our therapists if you would like to discuss the difficulties you are having with your teenager, or if you think he or she might need psychotherapy. The therapy process with teenagers is different to therapy with children, in that it involves talking rather than playing. Also, unlike therapy with children, it is usually more effective for the parents not to be involved in their teen’s psychotherapy process. The reason for this is that teenagers need to make a psychological separation from their parents and it can help if their therapy is a private and confidential space to discuss and work through their confusing feelings.
Being a parent of a difficult, troubled or unhappy teenager can be extremely complicated. It’s not always clear whether their moodiness, temper outbursts and rejection of you is normal teenage behaviour or if it indicates a psychological problem. Whilst risk-taking behaviour – including drug and alcohol use – is perhaps more common during adolescence than at other times, it can put your teen into dangerous situations and it should not be taken lightly. Eating disorders, anxiety, depression, self-harming behaviour, issues around sexuality and friendship difficulties are also the kinds of problems that bring teenagers into psychotherapy.