It is hard for parents in today’s world is trying to ensure the safety and well-being of their child. In an ever-evolving world where kids are given a little reprieve from bullying, the constant barrage of unrealistic standards, and feeling ever more disconnected, trying to protect your child can feel like a losing battle. Over 8% of children aged 6-17 have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety is over 6%. Those numbers might sound mild in percentages, but that is 5.5 million kids being diagnosed with depression or anxiety! Many tweens and teens do not get the support they need in therapy for teens early enough.
In fact, being diagnosed is only part of the concern. 15% of tweens and teens have faced a major depressive episode, 36% consistently feel hopeless, 19% have seriously considered suicide, 15% made a plan, and 9% made an attempt at suicide (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022). That is why it is absolutely critical that tweens and teens receive early intervention for mental health support and that the issues are not left to compound. Getting your tween or teen early mental health support matters.
How Do I Know My Child Needs Help Therapy for Teens?
Unfortunately, this is not always an easy answer. Your teen will have several periods from pre-teen to young adult where they become disconnected from the family, appear shut off, have random mood swings, and are at times “not themselves”. So, how do you know when it is just a normal part of puberty and growing up, and when it is problematic?
There are a few things to look out for in your child’s behavior to know if mental health support is necessary.
If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD puts them at an increased risk of developing a mental health disorder. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD and other signs start to emerge, such as acting out, violent behavior, drug/alcohol use, or an increased concern over body image mental health support will likely be of benefit.
Additionally, while it is normal for your tween and teen to withdraw somewhat from the family as they begin to form their own identity, completely independent from the family, this can become drastic. If your teen shows a persistent change in their behavior and emotional state, such as becoming more aggressive or almost completely withdrawing from the family, this is a red flag. The natural process of your teen forming their own identity should not include them being hostile or trying to completely detach from the family.
Another warning sign is your child’s eating habits.
Teens are always going to worry about how the world views them. This too can be natural and part of their journey. However, if they become obsessive about their weight and this leads to concerning behavior, mental health support will be helpful. If you notice your tween or teen is skipping meals frequently, losing or gaining weight rapidly, or there is evidence of your teen vomiting after meals, it is possible they have developed an eating disorder.
Again, a certain level of withdrawal is normal. However, if your tween or teen appears to lack any motivation or energy, begins failing in classes (assuming this is a new issue), or loses interest in things they enjoy (hobbies, friends, etc.) they could be suffering from depression or anxiety. This will also likely occur relatively rapidly and not be a gradual issue. If you notice this in your tween or teen, early intervention is the best method. Your child may even become less cautious. Trying new things and being adventurous is not abnormal, however, if there is a drastic increase in risk-taking behavior this is also an indication something may be wrong.
Tweens and teens will test their boundaries and limits.
If you have a teen, you know at times they will fight you on any and everything. The color of the sky, the color of the grass, maybe even the name you should call them. But if your tween or teen refuses to go to school or work. Or, they have consequences from repeated absences, this is a red flag.
The last thing to look out for, perhaps the most obvious of all when it comes to distinguishing the normal from the concerning, is self-harm. If you see signs of self-harm, it is imperative that you get them help as soon as possible. Warning signs of self-harm often present themselves before the act itself. You may find notes, letters, texts, or creative works discussing or depicting self-harm. Your child may engage in much self-deprecating talk or talk about themselves being hurt. If your tween or teen suddenly begins having a lot of accidents in which injury occurs, this could be a sign that something is wrong.
Will the Teen Therapist Tell Me What Is Wrong With My Teen?
All clients have confidentiality regardless of age. It is the single most important aspect of the therapist-client relationship. Without it, there can be no trust and no rapport. When your child enters therapy for teens in Florida, the therapist will maintain your tween or teens’ confidentiality. Unless the child gives written consent, what they say in therapy for teens will stay between them and the teen therapist. But this should be viewed as a good thing, not bad! You hire the therapist to help your teen navigate their mental health struggles for a reason, allow them to hold onto that struggle, and help them navigate it so that you can focus on being supportive and being a parent, knowing your child is working through their struggles. If you are doing family therapy, then you are in the session with your child and will obviously be aware of what they say.
Confidentiality Matters in Therapy for Teens Too!
When your tween or teen knows what they say is kept secret, it allows them to be more comfortable entering a vulnerable state. They can speak more freely knowing what they say stays between the two of them. Your teen will feel more comfortable not fearing that they will get into trouble for what they say in therapy. Not to say they would, but in their mind, that may be a real fear. There are exceptions to confidentiality, though. For instance, if your tween or teen reports sexual abuse, plans or self-harm, or plans of doing harm to someone else, the therapist is a mandated reporter and must report these things appropriately. This does not mean they have to report them to you, however.
Is Individual Therapy or Family Therapy Better for my Teen
In a lot of ways, this comes down to personal preference. As mentioned above, your tween or teen might feel more comfortable speaking with the therapist alone. However, as time passes—maybe as early as one or two sessions—we may have the whole family join in. Or certain members of the family. Family therapy in Florida can be wonderful for tweens and teens because it gives them a voice in the context of the whole family, as well as introduces ways for the family to be supportive of the young person. It will also allow everyone to share their concerns and feelings openly and constructively. Lastly, family therapy can help change the structure and dynamic of the family to be more conducive to mental wellness.
If your tween or teen says that they would rather do therapy individually, do not take offense. The mental health support, at the end of the day, is what matters. It is better that they are receiving it than not. Early intervention is key to ensuring substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, or self-harm are caught early—or prevented entirely. As long as your young person is getting the help they need, it is a victory.
Is Online counseling for teens effective?
Yes, online therapy for teens is very effective. Many teens are used to navigating the world via technology as it is. So many teens often like this environment because they get to have therapy in a space of their choosing. This allows them to be safe and comfortable. There are many benefits of online therapy in Florida. For example, teenagers have spent much of their life connecting to others using technology. Whether it’s Snapchat, Whatsapp, Instagram, or playing video games. So, they’re often very comfortable meeting with a therapist through our secure video platform.
Where do I go to get my Teen into Therapy?
True You Always Counseling offers online therapy throughout the state of Florida. Teens with depression in Brevard County, Florida, or anywhere in the state can meet with their therapist. With the added benefit of doing it from the comfort of their own homes. This can also make life easier for you as you do not have to rearrange schedules to drive your child to sessions. You do not have to leave work early to make appointment times. Contact True You Always Counseling to learn more about beginning therapy for teens or tweens.
Begin Online Therapy for Teens in Brevard County, FL, or Anywhere via Online Therapy in Florida!
Ready to start feeling better? If you feel life is always painful, then counseling for teens and tweens could help. Call us now to get started or click below to fill out a form and we will contact you. We are here to help you get through life’s challenges. At True You Always in Florida, you will work with our teen therapists who understand your specific needs. If you’re ready to feel heard and valued in your own space, then follow these simple steps:
Other Services Offered At True You Always Counseling
We offer many services with a wide range of therapists who are here to help. Our goal is to provide a safe and accepting space for you to breathe and be your authentic self. Along with therapy for teens, we offer additional services at our Florida therapy practice. You may also be interested in therapy for first responders, therapy for work stress, anxiety, and stress treatment, or PTSD Treatment and trauma therapy. Additionally, we offer couples therapy, family therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, therapy for disordered eating, support for families with a loved one struggling with ED, therapy for adults, substance use disorders, therapy for spouses of first responders, play therapy, therapy for allergies, and chronic illness. All services are offered via online therapy in Florida so you can get help from the comfort of your own space
Additionally, we are happy to offer a variety of services.
We know therapy isn’t for everyone, which is why we have online life coaching which is available anywhere nationwide. If you’re looking to develop authenticity in your life in a way that promotes healing and growth or to develop more self-love, get in touch with our online life coach, Alexis. Regardless of what brings you to our therapy practice, we hope you will find a therapist who can support you.