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by Maddie Lukens, MA

Think back to when you were a teenager: maybe middle school, high school, or college. Remember what your home looked like, the hallways of your school, where you ate lunch. Perhaps you participated in your school’s orchestra or you ran cross country, maybe you were student body president or secretary of the Chemistry club. Wherever you found yourself in middle school and high school surely informed where you went next in life – maybe college, a gap year, or straight into the workforce. To this day, perhaps some of your closest friends are people you spent time with then and you find time to meet up annually now.

There are a variety of things that influence us throughout our lives and no doubt so much of who we are today is influenced by who we were surrounded by growing up. Throughout our teenage years, we encounter a number of things that shape our lives and lead us down the paths of discovering who we are going to be – we figure out the music we like and the type of friend we want to be. Inevitably, there are some challenging things we walk through. Many teenagers experience their first heartbreak, failure, major disappointment or significant struggle – and that is normal. For some kids, the support from friends and family is enough; for others, these experiences can lead to a person’s first experience of depression or anxiety.

4 Reasons Counseling is Beneficial for Teens

  1. Teenagers have the opportunity to learn how to communicate their thoughts, needs, and feelings. Sometimes teenagers will talk to an adult who is not their parent. Now, this isn’t a reflection of someone’s parenting, rather it’s a natural part of development. As kids get older, they tend to talk to their friends more than the adults in their lives, and some might choose to talk to adults other than their parents. Counseling is a great option for some teens because it gives them a different, confidential space to express their emotions and experiences.
  2. Lay the foundation. There is a lot going on in any given person’s life – but the teenage and young adult years are full of one transition after another, typically through college and early adulthood. Transitions are difficult, depending on a person’s support system, resilience, and ability to remain flexible amidst the variety of demands that are placed on them. Going to counseling during young adulthood can help a person clarify the values they have, which develop the foundation for the rest of their life. Instead of life happening to them, through guidance and support, teenagers and young adults realize they can have a lot more influence over the direction of their lives than they thought possible.
  3. Create a toolbox. Although we have worked toward normalizing talking about mental health, there is sometimes still a stigma attached to going to counseling. Counseling is not only reserved for helping a person “fix” their problems, but as counselors, we are trained to empower people to figure out how to best live the life they desire to live. Counseling is a great way to develop tools and coping strategies for a person’s “toolbox.” Throughout life, you can go back in your “toolbox” and utilize what you need for whatever life is throwing at you.
  4. Prepare them for success in the future. Learning how to manage stress is a necessity as we go through life. Learning how to manage stress while a person is young and still developing (did you know our brains aren’t fully developed until we are 25?!) will lay the foundation for a person to be more successful in and throughout adulthood.

Online Therapy in Pennsylvania

If you’re a parent and reading this, thinking your teen might be a good fit for counseling, it never hurts to have a conversation with them – asking them what they think or if they think they might benefit from counseling. If you’re a young adult reading this, or know a young adult who could use more support during a time of transition, know that at Lime Tree Counseling, we are experts in helping people transition to new phases in life. Many members of our team are available to work with teenagers and young adults; we understand the facets of life that make growing up and “adulting” challenging, including trauma and addictions counseling. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment today!