Are You Struggling to Balance All of the Demands of Being a Teen?

  • teen-counseling-hilo-hawaiiAre you worried and on-edge most of the time?
  • Do you feel stuck in a fog, and it seems that everything around you is uninteresting and meaningless?
  • Are you concerned that other people think you are ugly, stupid or weird?
  • Have you experienced a traumatic event, either during your childhood or more recently and can’t seem to get past it?
  • Is it increasingly difficult for you to get good grades, concentrate in class, spend time with your friends and also manage to sleep?
  • Do you wish you knew how to relax, have fun and feel confident about who you are?

Adolescence can be a very confusing and lonely time. You may feel as though no one really understands you or what you are going through. Sometimes, it might seem as though the adults in your life talk to or treat you as though you are still a child. Maybe you feel like you have no one to confide in who won’t get you in trouble or judge you for your thoughts and feelings. As you look at your peers and classmates, it might seem as though everyone else is doing just fine – making friends, succeeding in school, feeling happy and calm ­– and you wonder if there is something wrong with you. You might feel isolated, exhausted and unsure how you could enjoy your teenage years and feel more optimistic and excited about your future.

Many Teenagers Feel Stuck

If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, poor body image, friendships, romantic relationships, school or a trauma, you are not alone. While it can seem as though everyone else around you is doing better than you are – especially when you look at the fun things they post on social media – so many teenagers share your experiences and fears.

Adolescence brings with it changes to your body, your environment and your responsibilities. Suddenly, it can feel as though your parents and teachers expect a lot out of you, and now you expect even more of yourself. At the same time, it can feel as though you only have a little control over your life. As teens develop an increased awareness of their identities, it’s not uncommon for them to worry about how others perceive them and how their actions – even small ones – might impact their whole lives. This can make the stakes feel high at any given moment, especially when you are choosing between things like socializing or completing your homework. And, on top of all of this, your home life and your past experiences might also be tugging at you, making it difficult to feel present and free. The teenage years are complicated, but thankfully there is a way to feel more confident, engaged and equipped to make positive changes in your life.

Teen Counseling Can Help You Cope With Life’s Challenges

Regardless of what you are going through, I can help you better understand and identify your complex emotions and develop the skills you need to cope with worry, fear, low self-esteem and sadness as they arise. In sessions, I will meet you where you are and treat you with respect. Although I am an adult, I am not your parent or guardian, and I will not judge you or punish you for anything that you say. Instead, I will help you explore and better understand your experience so that you feel more confident in your ability to live the life you want.

Through teen counseling, you can begin to open up about all of the feelings and fears you may have been holding in. No matter how alone, foolish or helpless you might be feeling today, you are not broken. The earlier you address the memories and pains that are weighing on you, the sooner you can begin to feel better able to move forward with greater ease. Early intervention is key when it comes to mental health. And, it is important to remember that you are not “crazy” if you are struggling with something like anxiety, depression or trauma. You are not your feelings, and therapy can help you see all of the great things you are capable of.

You can talk to me freely, and your confidentiality is important to me. However, if you share something with me that indicates that you have been seriously harmed or plan to harm yourself or others, I am required to report this to the appropriate authorities. This does not mean that you will get “in trouble.” Instead, I will do everything I can to get you the best possible care for your long-term well-being. Similarly, if someone else has hurt you, it is important to realize that it is not your fault. In teen counseling, I can help you let go of self-blame so that you can develop greater care and compassion for yourself. You are worthy.

With help and support, you can develop important communication and coping skills. I can help you more effectively manage your time, become more aware of your feelings as they arise and figure out what a healthy relationship looks like. Everyone needs a little bit of help through the teenage years. By talking to someone who understands, you can begin to make positive decisions and enjoy your life again.

You may believe that teen counseling can help you navigate the teenage years, but have questions or concerns…

How much do I have to tell my parents? 

I am legally required to receive permission from your parents or guardian before we begin sessions. In our first session, I will explain to your parents that I am your therapist, and that I will only tell them something if I believe that you are in danger or present a danger to others. If your parent or guardian is someone who you feel afraid of, I will work with you to make sure that you are safe. I will not tell your parents about your dating life or that beer you had. You can feel free to be totally honest and open with me. If you would like, I can also provide your parents with techniques to help them adjust to raising a teenager, as parents can find making the transition from parenting a child to parenting a teen very difficult.

What will other people think if they find out that I am in teen counseling? 

Although Hilo is a small town, and it can seem as though almost nothing is a secret, I will keep your sessions with me completely private. As long as there is no serious danger, no one has to know that you are in therapy unless you want them to. And, therapy is nothing to be ashamed of. By seeking help now, you are taking a brave first step toward feeling better. Nothing is wrong with tending to your physical, emotional and mental well-being.

I don’t know if I even really need counseling.

If you recognize your own experiences in the page above, or if you are feeling increasingly unable to move through life with ease, then I encourage you to seek therapy. I can give you a thorough analysis so that we can determine what is going on and get you the best possible care. Even if you are experiencing very mild symptoms, you shouldn’t have to endure any level of pain or worry by yourself.

If you are ready to talk to someone who understands, or if you are a parent who is concerned about your teen, I invite you to call (808) 747 3445 for a free 15-20-minute phone consultation to ask any questions you have about teen counseling and my practice.