The teenage years are the “perfect storm” for turmoil within an individual.  In your teen years, your body starts changing in new ways, not just outwardly, but your very brain structure changes as well.  During these years of change, hormone swings can make what were once mild emotions into supercharged outbursts.  Add to this mix the natural progression from dependence on parents to a desire for independence.  Finally, mix in the rapid change in technology that seems to change all of society at an ever-increasing rate.

It is no wonder your teen may feel jumbled up, ornery, confused, and more.  If you feel like your teen is always “acting up,” “being disrespectful,” or “emotionally unbalanced,” it may be outward signs of the turmoil within.  Your teen might not desire to act up at all, they might just feel like they can’t help it, trapped, and even out of control at times.

Why is My Teen Pulling Away?

What is really hard for some people is that many parents used to be able to help their children navigate through the struggles in life while their children were younger, but in the teen years, it feels like the teen is pulling away instead of running to mom or dad for help. This is part of the natural growth toward independence and is not necessarily a reflection on how well mom and dad are doing as parents.

Sometimes teens just need someone else to talk to outside the family in order to work out their life issues.  The scary part is, many teens will turn to friends who are having the exact same issues as your teen, without having any better solutions.

Why Teen Counseling?

Teen Counseling helps teens explore their life and gives them tools to handle life more successfully. The great thing about teen counseling is what they learn now they will carry forward to give them a healthier emotional life as an adult.  It also helps your whole family out by transitioning your teen into healthy relationship behaviors quicker than with no intervention at all.

How Do I Know if My Teen Needs Counseling?

There are many indicators that your teen should receive professional counseling.  Here are some indicators below including when he or she:

  • Asks to go see a counselor
  • Is recommended to see a counselor by his or her school or doctor
  • Shows signs of depression.
  • Shows signs of a potential eating disorder like sudden unexplained gains or loss in weight
  • Shows signs of violent behavior toward self, others, or animals/pets
  • Shows extreme changes in moods or personality on a regular basis
  • Runs away from home
  • Participates in illegal activities
  • Has a sudden negative change in what friends they hand out with
  • Begins using tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or uses medications improperly
  • Engages in risky or promiscuous sexual behavior
  • Neglects personal hygiene
  • Unexplained significant changes in school performance or school attendance.
  • Is bullied or abused or is a bully/abuser
  • Has a significant life change like:
    • divorce, death, or serious illness in the family
    • loss of a close friend
    • moving to a new community
    • breakup of an important relationship
    • develops a significant illness or disability

What if my Teen Has Suicidal Thoughts or Behaviors?

If your teen expresses suicidal thoughts, you need to take immediate action.  If they are not already being treated for their suicidal tendencies, please immediately take them to a treatment facility or call 911 if necessary.  Just by learning they have suicidal thoughts, it is a cry for help and you should take your teen very seriously.

Counseling is an important component for someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts, but your teen needs to be in a stable place for counseling, so play it safe and be sure they do not take their own life before counseling begins.

We do have trained counselors who can help teens with suicidal thoughts or behaviors.  They will feel welcomed and valued here at Kettle Moraine Counseling.

Why Kettle Moraine Counseling for My Teen?

We love and have lots of experience with helping teens through these stormy years of life.  It is also important for your teen to know we are not trying to “fix” them so much as help them feel like their life is not boiling over.  We give them ways to express themselves, ways that encourage positive relationships with everyone.

We create an encouraging atmosphere for your teen so he or she feels valued and valuable.  There is going to be many things “right” with your teen and we want your teen to feel good about who they are.  We do not want to change the core essence of who your teen is, but instead, we want to unlock their potential, so they are healthy and happy now as well as when they are an adult.

We also want to let you know we take a holistic approach to helping your teen.  Sometimes your teen is struggling because of some of the relationships he or she has with others.  We can help with relationship counseling if something is broken between a teen and a parent, and we can also help with family counseling if working with the entire family can make a difference.

One Final Note on Teen Counseling

One regret many parents have is that they waited so long to get help for their teen.  We rush our children to a doctor for a cold, but we are slow to get them help when they need counseling.  If parents only knew how much better their teens life and the family’s life can be with the right help, many would seek out help sooner.  So please, give us a call today.

Kettle Moraine Counseling is a mental health clinic with 6 locations: West Bend, Cedarburg, Germantown, Madison, Mayville and Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Click here for locations, maps and directions.