Sometimes therapy gets a bad rap among teens. There you are sitting in front of someone you barely know and you’re supposed to share your deepest thoughts and feelings. Sure, that’s what it might feel like in the beginning. However, if you give therapy a chance, you might find that it can be supportive in a number of ways. And in some cases, you might be asked to go to therapy if you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts. Even here, therapy can be a tool to help change your life around.
For instance, here are some incredible benefits that therapy can bring:
Therapy can provide you with coping mechanisms. Being a teenager is stressful. You are undergoing major life changes. Add to this, adolescence is sometimes a stage in which any unresolved trauma resurfaces. On top of all this, as an adolescent, you may not have yet learned appropriate and healthy ways to manage intense feelings such as anxiety, fear, sadness, shame, or anger. A therapist can provide specific ways to manage emotions and stressful circumstances.
Therapy can help you manage your moods. A therapist can work with you on how your medication (if you’re taking any) is working. They can also provide you with specific mood managing techniques where medication might fall short. Therapy can also help with identifying certain thoughts and behaviors that can contribute to emotional turbulence. And with that, therapy can help you pinpoint new and healthy thoughts and behaviors in order to avoid that emotional roller coaster.
Therapy can help you get overcome past experiences that were troubling. Whether it was the divorce of your parents, a trauma, or a recent breakup, a therapist can help you identify behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that keep you stuck in the past and facilitate your journey into the future.
Therapy can help when you’re facing a situation that is unusual for adolescence. It’s rare that a teen has to live with a terminal illness or experience the loss of a parent. However, under these circumstances, therapy can be incredibly useful. The support of a therapist can provide a teen with coping and social skills as well as a safe relationship in which a teen can explore his or her feelings and thoughts.
Facing symptoms of depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder by yourself is challenging and even risky. And getting a therapist involved can help. At the same time, you don’t need a diagnosis to see a therapist. As a teen, you may want someone in your life to share your struggles and even your secrets with. In fact, for some teens, therapy can be life changing.
If you’re considering therapy, talk to your parents, if you haven’t already. Keep in mind that many schools have a psychologist or therapist on campus. At the very least, they have a drug counselor. Even if you didn’t need a drug counselor, they may be able to connect you with a therapist in your neighborhood that might be available.
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