Are You A Parent Who Just Can’t Get Through To Your Teenager?
Do you feel like your teenager is acting out for some reason you simply can’t understand? Or, are they withdrawing, making you worry that something is wrong? It may be that you want to be the person that your child opens up to about their daily concerns, but they just won’t talk to you. As much as you may want to be that “soft place to land” when their day gets tough, you don’t know how to open the lines of communication. Maybe all you really want is for your child to be safe and happy, but at times, you just can’t understand them. Do you feel frustrated, helpless and overwhelmed by distance or conflict in your family? Do you wish you could better understand your child and support them through their transition to adulthood?
The Teenage Years Are Challenging For The Whole Family
It’s very common to struggle with communicating with your teenager, especially if you feel excluded from your child’s inner world. Like most parents, you want your child to enjoy their teen years, but you also want them to be safe and feel secure during this transitional stage. At the same time, your teen wants to be understood and trusted, and they want their voice to be heard—but sometimes they just don’t know how to communicate those feelings with you.
As children enter the adolescent and teenage years, they can face emotions and experiences that they don’t fully understand or know how to express. For example, perhaps your teen is going through their very first relationship, or even their first rejection—your teen might not know what to do with those feelings because they haven’t learned how to recognize and regulate them. As they shut down or act out, you both might argue more than usual.
To make matters more complicated, in middle school and high school, there is an immense pressure for teens to fit in with their peers. Social media makes it even easier for teens to constantly compare themselves to others and feel they come up short. Older teens are also facing their future after high school, so there tends to be a great deal of anxiety surrounding their academic success and their need to be “perfect.”
While your teen likely desires their own independence, they probably still don’t want to go through this alone. Thankfully, there is a way to help your teen healthily identify and express their frustrations, fears, and struggles. A skilled, qualified therapist can help your child gain clarity and develop communication skills that will help them thrive as they transition into the next phase of their life.
Teen Counseling Helps Create Open Communication Within Your Family
At the Relationship Counseling Center of Austin, we can help your teenager open up about their emotions and build skills that will help them tackle the challenges of adolescence. We provide a safe space for your teen to speak honestly and openly, without the fear of being judged or ridiculed for what they feel. It can be very useful for teens to talk with an objective third party who can help make sense of what they are going through. Our skilled therapists offer confidentiality*, understanding, and acceptance, empowering your teen to address and resolve issues now and in the future.
In sessions, your teen’s therapist will create a safe, compassionate environment, and tailor therapy strategies to meet your child’s individual needs. Sometimes, families need some help communicating about positive challenges, such as picking the right college or navigating a new relationship. More often, though, teens struggle to communicate the more difficult topics with you, such as anxiety, low mood, social conflict, or academic hardship. Especially if your teen feels overwhelmed or ashamed by something they’re struggling with, including mental health issues, they may not know how to put words to what they are feeling.
Your teen’s therapist will use strategies to help them identify their feelings and emotions, as well as learn communication skills that can help them feel more confident reaching out when they are struggling. We focus our practice on opening family communication between parents and their children. Once your teen feels equipped to verbalize their experience, you can begin to create an atmosphere of healing and support for the whole family.
Throughout the teen therapy process, your child will primarily come into sessions on their own. During those sessions, we can get to the root of what your child is going through and help them address challenges directly and effectively. We do, however, invite you, the teen’s parent or primary caregiver, to the first session. That way, we can make boundaries clear from the beginning so that the experience is positive for everyone. Then, we like to keep you involved by offering regular check-ins with your teen’s therapist so that you feel secure about your child’s safety and well-being.
Our therapists have professional licenses in family counseling and professional counseling, and experience counseling teens and families in a variety of settings. Some of our counselors have worked in public education with special education students, counseled students residing at therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment centers for teens and adolescents, and counseled teens through services offered at public and non-profit organizations. We understand how difficult it can be for parents and teens to connect, but we also know that is possible to strengthen the relationship between you and your child.
Our therapists are here to support you and your child during this transitional period, no matter what the situation is. It is possible for you and your teen to reconnect and move forward together with improved communication and a strengthened family bond.
You may have questions or concerns regarding teen and family counseling:
How do I know that the therapist is right for my child?
The Relationship Counseling Center of Austin has select counselors who specialize and are experienced in teen therapy. They offer kindness, compassion, and empathy to create a safe space allowing your teen to feel comfortable and relaxed when discussing their particular concerns. They are also skilled in working with parents and caregivers of teenagers, keeping appropriate lines of communication open about their child’s counseling. Our primary goal is to serve you and your teenager. We understand that not all approaches are right for everyone, so our services are tailored specifically to you and your child. We are confident that at least one of our therapists will be able to meet your family’s needs. To be sure one of our therapists is a good fit for you and your teen, ask about our free, no-obligation consultation. In the consultation, you will be able to speak to the counselor and decide for yourself whether the therapist feels like a good fit for your teenager and your family.
I want my child to go to teen counseling, but my child does not…
This is a common challenge in families, so we work hard to make sure that your teenager feels safe when talking with their therapist. We want your child to feel like they won’t be judged and that they have an ear to listen to them. Your teen should know that we keep our sessions private, and we establish healthy boundaries for both you and your teen before we continue counseling.
For your child’s safety, however, we keep a line of communication open between the counselor and the parent. Most of what your teenager discusses with a therapist, though, will be kept confidential so they feel that they can share honest feelings. A trusting therapeutic relationship is an essential part of a positive therapy experience.
We have busy schedules—how will we find time for counseling?
As busy middle school and high school students, it can be difficult to find time outside of school and extracurricular activities to go to therapy. This is why we offer evening and weekend appointments, as well as daytime scheduling, to help make it possible to see a therapist even with your packed schedules. We know that teen counseling can help families connect and strengthen relationships, which is why we strive to make it possible for you and your teen to come to us for counseling.
Relationship Counseling Center of Austin Can Help You And Your Teen
We want to help your teenager during these transformative years of their life. Please call us 512-270-4883 to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists, or to ask questions you may have about our services. You can also schedule appointments through our online scheduling system here.
*Note on confidentiality: Keeping your child safe is our top priority. If we fear that they are a danger to themselves or someone else, we will alert you.