Offering in-person sessions in Spokane, WA or online for anyone in Washington state.
White Flag, 104 S Freya St Suite 320, Spokane, WA 99202 | (509) 761-9961

Is Your Teen Struggling With Their Mental Health?

  • Are you the parent of a teen who is anxious, depressed, or distressed?
  • Has your teen exhibited behaviors that cause you to worry about their academic success, social life, or safety in general?
  • Yet, when you try to intervene, are you met with resistance?

Adolescence can be a tough period of life. As your teen figures out who they want to be, they may individuate from you in ways that you don’t always agree with. Whether they’ve become defiant or withdrawn, or they seem to have “checked out,” you may be worried they are slipping away from you. 

What Are Your Teen’s Specific Challenges?

Aside from common growing pains, you may seriously wonder if your teen is struggling with a mental health condition and/or disability. Perhaps they demonstrate anxious, perfectionist tendencies, causing them to be unnecessarily hard on themselves. Or maybe they no longer find joy and motivation in the activities that once energized them. 

If your teen has encountered ongoing struggles at school or with their peers, you may wonder if there is an underlying developmental explanation. You might find it nearly impossible to get them to do their chores or homework as they lack organization, initiative, and time management skills. And if they have trouble connecting with others, you may be concerned about their social abilities. 

No matter your teen’s experience or challenges, a counselor can be a meaningful resource for them throughout their developmental journey. By working to explore their distress, identify their strengths, and enhance their life skills in therapy, your teen can become the healthiest, most confident version of themself possible.

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Teens Experience A Wide Range Of Emotional, Behavioral, And Developmental Setbacks

The World Health Organization (WHO) cites anxiety, depression, and behavioral disorders as being “among the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.” Furthermore, WHO notes: “The consequences of failing to address mental health conditions extend to adulthood, impairing both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults.” *

Beyond depression, anxiety, and behavioral disorders, other conditions tend to appear during adolescence, including:

  • Social anxiety
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Learning disabilities

The adolescent mental and behavioral health crisis in this country is an epidemic, and if left unaddressed, it will continue to impact each generation of teens as they grow into adults.

photo of a smiling teenage boy wearing a beanieWhy Are So Many Teens Struggling?

On top of the tumultuous nature of growing up, today’s teens have to contend with challenges that previous generations simply didn’t encounter. The constant presence of technology has exposed today’s youth to elements of adulthood that previous generations were shielded from at their age. 

With elements like online bullying and school-related gun violence on the rise, it’s no wonder that teens feel anxious, uncertain, and unsafe. Not to mention, the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically impacted how teens participate in academic, extracurricular, and social activities. For many adolescents these days, life probably feels like a constant stream of bad news and endless pressures. 

As parents, we can inadvertently intensify these feelings as we monitor our children’s behavior and enforce a strict set of rules designed to keep them safe and “on track” in life. While we might view these measures as protective, our teens may end up feeling limited, restricted, and unseen on their unique developmental journey. Instead of looking to us for guidance, they may turn away or believe that they can handle obstacles on their own.

Working with a therapist can be your teen’s safe haven. As unbiased, nonjudgmental clinicians whose sole purpose is to provide emotional and mental support for your teen, our counselors are highly skilled in effective, evidence-based therapy interventions. With the help of our team, your teen—and you—can feel more prepared to overcome the many challenges that accompany this period of life.

Therapy Can Help Teens Build Essential Life Skills

Teens are often stuck at an impasse between wanting to do what is expected of them and wanting to chart their own path. A teen therapist can serve as a model for your child as they help to uncover core emotional experiences, deepen connections, and facilitate skills that will allow them to be successful in all areas of life. 

We customize the counseling process to meet the needs of each teenage client. While you, the parent, will be involved to a degree, your teen’s therapist is likely to meet with them one-on-one and schedule check-ins with you between sessions. We view your teen as being in the driver’s seat in therapy but want to ensure that you and your family feel secure and confident with the process. 

photo of two teenage girls smiling standing against a white brick wallMeeting The Needs Of Your Teen With Customized Therapeutic Solutions

In sessions, we are likely to incorporate a range of therapeutic techniques that will help your teen to understand, regulate, and process their emotions in a healthy way. Our therapists are skilled in applying whichever treatment approaches are deemed most fitting for the unique needs of your teenager.

Overall, we typically aim to

  • guide teens in slowing down their emotional responses and identifying unhelpful thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
  • help teens feel more in control of their stress and anxiety levels.
  • encourage teens to engage with their challenges and develop creative solutions and perspectives.
  • provide teens with the ability to restructure their story and self-perception.

Using a combination of treatment methods, our counselors have guided teens of all backgrounds and abilities in identifying their values, strengths, and goals. With this information, therapy has offered our teen clients new and affirming perspectives on how to meaningfully become the person they want to be. And we’ve noticed the connection between teens and their parents improve along the way. 

Maybe You’re Interested In Therapy For Teens, But You Have More Questions…

I don’t think I can get my teen to agree to therapy.

It’s certainly possible to encounter resistance when it comes to trying to get teens to agree to counseling. That said, we have succeeded in helping all of our teen clients see how helpful therapy can be, especially as they become increasingly comfortable with our skilled, nonjudgmental therapists. 

If your teen seems unwilling to participate in therapy, we’re happy to give them an opportunity to ask questions and get more comfortable with the process. In our experience, if we can get your teen to agree to just one session with a counselor, they are likely to see the benefit of therapy and want to continue. 

Will I have a chance to learn about what my teen is discussing in therapy?

The therapeutic process is designed to protect the integrity and privacy of each client. Though there are some limits to confidentiality in teen counseling (limits that we will discuss with you ahead of time), we believe that maintaining the trust of our teen clients is an essential part of this process. 

Depending on your teen’s needs and comfort level, we will involve you in sessions when necessary. And regardless, we will check in with you throughout the course of therapy to make sure that everyone is on the same page. 

How long does counseling take?

Every client is different, which means that the length of time in therapy will vary from person to person. Once we get a sense of your teen’s presenting concerns, we’ll have a better idea of how long they should expect to be in counseling.

Arm Your Teen With The Skills And Perspectives They Need To Thrive

If your teen is struggling with mental, behavioral, or developmental setbacks, counseling can be a safe place for them to process their experiences and build essential life skills. For more information about how we can help, please feel free to contact us.