Today’s world is increasingly complex. It can be especially challenging for young people as they navigate their future, friends, family, and themselves.
Being a youth today comes with challenges new to this generation. Social media impacts, hyper-awareness about global issues, and finding a path through the vast amount of information available are things unique to this generation of young adults. These coupled with the normal teenage struggles of learning who they are, deciding on a path for their future, and developing independence make being a teenager today no easy feat.
If your teenager is struggling to keep their head above water, youth counselling can help them to overcome these challenges and move into adulthood with the tools and knowledge to face their future with confidence. We offer counselling for teens in-person in Toronto or London, ON and virtually throughout Ontario.
What is Youth Counselling & How Is It Different From Adult Therapy?
Overall, youth counselling and adult counselling have a lot of similarities. They both work to help an individual overcome whatever issues are keeping them from being their best selves. However, youths face different challenges than adults and are still learning and growing into who they are. To help bridge these gaps, our youth counsellors have specific experience in supporting youths through the types of issues that are unique to them.
We also understand that the idea and expectations of therapy can look different to young adults. Their background knowledge of therapy might be limited or non-existent. This can make it harder for them to trust the process and feel safe. To help youths feel safe and comfortable, we may use a combination of different modalities to help us build a stronger connection with our young adult patients.
Our experienced counsellors for teens understand the needs and fears of young adults. We meet them where they’re at to work through the issues they identify in a safe and supportive space.
What Types Of Challenges Can Teen Therapy Help With?
We live in an increasingly complex world and it’s easy for young people to feel overwhelmed or lost. Every youth is different and will have unique needs, however, some topics are common among young adults. Some challenges we regularly see are:
- Identity issues and understanding who they are
- Anxiety about their future or expectations they face
- Navigating relationships with family, friends, and romantic interests
- Feeling like they don’t belong or are different from the norm
- Gender and sexual identity and exploring their authentic self
- Dealing with a traumatic event or life change
All of these challenges are a normal part of growing up, but that doesn’t mean that they’re easy to overcome or understand. Counselling for teens can provide a safe, listening ear to help navigate these issues can help youths go into adulthood with tools and strategies to live their early adult years to the fullest.
Signs Your Teen May Benefit From Therapy
Many times, parents aren’t sure if their teen’s behaviour is a normal teenage response or something more serious. It’s hard to know if something is just a phase that will be over in a week, or something requiring more focused support. Knowing how to differentiate between the two is important, as issues requiring professional support will only get worse if left unaddressed.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The thing to remember is that you know your teen best! Trust your instincts and listen to your teenager. You probably have a strong understanding of their baseline personality and emotions. Watch for sustained changes to your child’s “normal” and if both your gut and your teen are letting you know that something’s off, it may be time to find outside help.
That being said, there are several warning signs that your teen may benefit from youth counselling. These can include:
- Overwhelming and continuous feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, or hopelessness
- A change in their performance in school or extracurricular activities
- A lack of interest in hobbies or activities that they used to enjoy
- A change in friends or avoiding seeing people they used to enjoy spending time with
- An inability to settle down or focus and overall restlessness
- Overwhelming worry about their future, their performance, or the world in general
- Dramatic changes in sleep habits – either not being able to sleep or always feeling tired
- Engaging in self-harm behaviours such as cutting, alcohol abuse, or drug use
- Talking about death or suicide, wondering why they’re here
If your teen has been experiencing some of these symptoms, counselling for teens may help them address these issues and feel more like themselves.
If your teen isn’t showing these signs specifically, but you feel something is off, talk to them. Let them know therapy is an option, and you’re here to support them in accessing whatever support they need. Letting your teen know the option is there shows them you see them, you love them, and you’re here to help.
SPEAKING TO A THERAPIST FOR TEENAGERS IN PERSON VS. ONLINE COUNSELLING
We are happy to be able to offer teen counselling both in person at our offices in Toronto or London, ON or online from anywhere in Ontario.
Our virtual sessions are convenient and confidential, allowing you to access support in the comfort of your own home. They are compliant with Ontario’s Privacy Health Information Protect Act (PHIPA) and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
No matter where you are in Ontario, we can help your teen through youth counselling. Contact us to get started!
Being a Teen Can Be Extremely Difficult – We’re Here To Help
Young adulthood is an exciting but challenging time. Learning who they are, what they want from life, and how they fit into our complex world can be an overwhelming prospect.
But neither you nor your teen needs to deal with these challenges alone. At Gibson & Associates, we’re here to help both you and your teen embrace these years and move into adulthood with the skills and tools to face whatever the future holds.