Being a Teen Isn't Easy.
The teen years are difficult. You’re old enough to have your own thoughts, values, opinions and emotions but still need your parents for a lot of things and generally have to live by their rules. Emotions change from minute to minute, your relationships (with friends, significant others, parents, etc) are constantly evolving, and you’re expected to make major life decisions. In the midst of all this, you’re expected to figure out “who you are.” How does a person even do that?
Add in a little depression, the loss of a loved one, bullying at school or just about any other unexpected complication and it’s no wonder teens start to feel overwhelmed sometimes. You don’t have to face all of these challenges and emotions alone. Counseling can help.
Are you a Teen Struggling with....
Issues with Friends?
Adjusting to big changes?
Knowing who you are?
Communicating with your parents?
Counseling Can Help
Teenagers come to counseling for all kinds of reasons. And everyone's situation is just a little bit different. But we're here, because we believe in the power of counseling to help you grow through stressful moments in your life. As therapists, we believe you deserve support.
Some teens ask their parents for counseling because they're ready to face something big and not sure where to start. Other times someone else recommends you go to therapy and you just aren't sure if it can help. Either way, we've watched countless teens find new ways of seeing the stressful situations in their life and become more confident through their time in therapy. If you're ready to commit to "doing the work" and find a therapist who is a good fit, counseling truly can help.
✓ Build your confidence
✓ Conquer your anxiety
✓ Express your true self
✓ Look forward to the future
✓ Cope with strong emotions
✓ Improve your relationships
Why not just talk to my friends or parents?
Yes, you have friends to talk to about your problems. Maybe you talk to them. Or maybe you don't want to worry you friends. The truth is that friendships can be very powerful in helping you cope with stress. But your friends are also going through some of the same tough things you are. I like to say that your friends will offer you the best advice they can based on their own life experiences and what they know about you. A therapist will help you find within yourself the answer that is best for you as an individual. Through therapy, you may learn a new set of skills to try out and see if you can figure out which ones work best for you. Or you might process something that happened and try to find a new way of looking at it so you don't feel so much pain. But the role of the therapist isn't to lecture or advise. It's to empower you to be the best version of yourself.
And of course your parents want to talk to you. Maybe you want to talk to them but just don't feel like they "get it." Again, talking to your therapist is very different than talking to your parent. One difference it that your parents are truly to do the best they can to instill their own values in you before you reach adulthood. A therapist is more there to help you clarify your own values. Additionally, the therapist is much less likely to take anything you say personally. We care about you, but we're not emotionally attached in the same way a parent is. So, often it's easier to talk to a therapist about things you just aren't ready to say to your parents.
Our Approach to Counseling with Teenagers
We see a lot of middle school and high school students, but our approach might be a little different than some other therapists you’ve seen. You are the expert on yourself, and your therapist understands that. We believe that you deserve respect and to be treated as an equal in the therapy process. This isn’t to say that we don’t talk to your parents, because we do. However, we consider you the expert on your own needs/goals and we listen closely to your take on things.
Your therapist will treat you with respect and as a partner in the counseling process. We work with teenagers every day and very little you can say will shock us. A therapist isn’t here to judge you or tell you what to do. Through counseling, you will become more confident in who you are as a person and learn new ways to cope with strong negative emotions.
A Message to Parents and Caretakers
You want the best for your child. As a parent, you want to protect them from the “real” world as long as you can. If your child opens up to you, you try to be there and offer them a safe haven. You try to give them everything they need. Yet, your teen may be struggling and sometimes you’re not even sure how to be helpful. If any of this sounds familiar, you’ve come to the right place.
Teenagers are old enough to develop strong opinions and are old enough to have a feel for what kind of people they get along with. You may insist that your teen needs counseling, but we strongly encourage you to involve your teen in the process of choosing a mental health provider. We know from research that your son or daughter will get more out of therapy if they feel a connection with the counselor. If you are looking for a counselor for your teenager, I encourage you to show them websites and profiles of potential therapists and/or make a list of things they think would make a good therapist. Teenagers seem to respond well to seeing a video of a potential therapist like the ones on our therapist’s individual pages. This gives them a good idea of the counselor’s personality before they even come in.
Online Counseling for Teens
Many teenager respond well to online counseling and most of our teen therapists are able to offer therapy sessions online. Teenagers have spent much of their life connecting to others using technology whether it’s FaceTime, while playing video games or other methods. So, they’re often very comfortable meeting with a therapist through our secure video platform. Furthermore, they like not having to rely on parents for rides and being able to just set up a computer in the comfort of their own home to hop on for a counseling session.
We are able to meet with teenagers located anywhere in the state of Missouri, so even if you live in Kirksville, St. Joseph, Rolla or another area of the state where our office isn’t very convenient to travel to, we may still be able to work with your teen if it’s a good fit. It’s worth noting there may be times where the therapist wants to visit with the teen in person for the initial assessment or some issues that are better addressed in person.
Begin Counseling for Teens in Columbia, MO & Throughout Missouri
At Aspire Counseling, we believe it’s important to find a therapist that both the teen and parents trust. Therefore, we encourage parents to include teenagers in the process as much as possible. If you’re ready to get your teen some help, here are the steps:
- Contact Aspire Counseling online or by calling 573-328-2288 and talk to our team about which therapists currently have openings and who might be a good fit.
- Meet with one of our therapists for a free consultation to see if you’re a good fit.
- Your teen will start receiving the support they need to thrive through their teen years.
Blog Posts About Teen Mental Health
- Adolescent Anxiety
- How to Choose a Therapist
- 6 ways to Relate to Your Teenager Using Validation
- Discussing Gender Identity with Your Child
- How to respond to you teen’s comments about suicide
- Helping Your Teen Cope with the Stress of Divorce
- 2 Techniques for Test Anxiety in High School
- Addressing Your Child’s Anxiety after School Shootings
- Supporting an LGBTQ Teen Coming Out
- When Your Teen Skips School due to Anxiety
- 5 Signs Your Teenager is Struggling with their Mental Health
- A New Way to Teach Meditation to Teenagers
- 7 Tips to Help Your Teen Cope with Your Divorce
- Helping Your High School Athlete with the Disappointment of Loss
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Other Mental Health Services
Aspire Counseling offers a wide range of mental health service at our office in Columbia or online anywhere in Missouri. We work with clients age 10 years old through senior adults. Our mental health services include depression counseling, trauma therapy/PTSD treatment, counseling for caregiver stress, anxiety treatment, grief counseling, LGBTQ affirming therapy and more! You don’t have to keep living like this. It’s time to get some support and start moving toward your mental health goals.