Teen Counseling in Calgary, Cochrane, and Online
Effective teen counselling for:
Teens feel avoidance and withdrawal is the answer to their struggles. They connect with the world through social media, gaming or entertaining shows and become obsessive in the use of their devices. Teens feel accepted when they are behind a screen where they feel they are safe from being judged and labeled. The more a teen uses their electronics, the less desire they have to connect with others.
While this may be hereditary, ADHD / OCD / ODD may also be a result of stress, environmental factors, neglect, abandonment and/or nutritional deficiencies. It is crucial to ensure the teen’s emotional needs are being met in a safe and positive manner.
Aggression is a learned behavior. Teens who are bullied at home will release their frustration by being aggressive and bullying others. If the teen feels controlled at home, they will often display this behavior outside of the home.
Teens display anger when they lack the ability to control their emotions. Oftentimes, they have not learned positive skills to deal with strong emotions. This can happen when their emotions are dismissed, they feel neglected, or are victims of bullying.
When teens are in emotional distress, they believe they are a disappointment to their parents. This often happens when they experience academic failure, whether perceived or real. Feelings of guilt and wrong doing also lead to avoidance.
Teens model what they see and hear, especially from their peers and caregivers. Parents are at an advantage in that they can learn how to communicate positively so their teens listen. This means that even if the parents’ upbringing was not ideal in modeling healthy communication skills, it is not too late to learn new skills and teach teens positive and healthy ways to deal with life’s challenges.
Low self-esteem, rigidity due to excessive control in their environment, bullying, exposure to substance abuse, domestic abuse or neglect can hinder a teen’s ability to get along with others. Providing them with a safe place to explore their feelings and learn new techniques goes a long way in helping teens learn how to get along with others.
Excessive worry begins with exposure to or experience of a traumatic event and is often followed by anxiety and extreme fear. DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) is very effective in teaching teens how to regain control of their thoughts and foster a growth mindset.
Teens fear being alone in the home when they are experiencing anxiety, feel unwell, or when they witness abuse or domestic violence. Often, teens who fear being alone, also fear abandonment and rejection which is an indicator of poor attachment to the primary caregiver.
Conflict in the family unit, abuse and bullying can cause feelings of unworthiness in teens. They internalize rejection, neglect and abuse and become judgmental of their ability and strength while questioning their self-esteem. Oftentimes, they have difficulty trusting others. Providing a safe place to explore their feelings and learn positive techniques is very effective in helping bolster self-esteem.
Teens engage in high risk behavior when their emotional needs are not met, they feel unloved or unwanted, and lack validation. They will seek negative attention and engage with the wrong groups of people to defy their parents or authority figures.
Feeling hopeless stems from a lack of self-esteem, lack of control and desperation. Depressed or anxious teens often lack motivation and can be resistant to change.
Teens lose interest when they are pushed beyond their limits, especially when they participate in competitive activities that leaves them emotionally and physically drained. Teens may also feel discouraged when they fail to meet expectations of self or others.
Lying and stealing can begin at a very young age and increase in teens due to poverty, lack of control in their environment, and neglect. Teens rebel in an effort to communicate that their emotional needs are not being met.
Teens experiencing low self-esteem and poor body image may restrict their diets for as long as they can and purge at the first opportunity. They may also purge to punish themselves when they carry shame due to abuse or neglect.
A teen may begin to avoid school when he/she is struggling academically due to a cognitive disability, stress in the home, bullying in school or a mental health disorder.
Selective mutism may stem from fear of authority figures, poor attachment, fear of judgement, emotional neglect or abandonment. From a very young age, children learn what is modeled to them. When a teen experiences constant disapproval and judgement, they avoid speaking to certain individuals in an effort to protect themselves.
Teens internalize their exposure to conflict and often blame themselves for the breakup. In addition to feeling anxious, the teen often becomes the rescuer of one or both parents and takes on the role of messenger in an effort to protect the parents. In some cases, the teen will assume the role of parenting younger siblings despite the emotional toll this takes.
Social anxiety begins when a teen is silenced or embarrassed in public or among their peers. This tends to cause the teen to avoid public areas to save themselves from further embarrassment and judgement. Avoidance often leads to generalized anxiety and phobia of public places and gatherings.
Teens may attempt suicide when they are in distress, abused, or neglected by their caregivers. They often feel as though they are a burden to their family and that the world is better off without them.
A negative experience, such as violence, loss, or crises can cause a teen to experience trauma. How each teen experiences trauma is based on their resiliency and tolerance to stress.
Teens may withdraw and isolate from family activities, friends and social events when they are experiencing anxiety, poor self-esteem, poor attachment with caregivers & siblings, are struggling academically, abusing substances, or are being bullied.