|Posted on December 13, 2017 at 6:40 AM|
One of the joys of my psychoherapy practice is working with teens and families. Becoming a parent myself has by far been the most rewarding and joyous experience of my life. Becoming a mother actually changed me not only as a person but as a therapist. My ablity to empathasize has increased tremendously as well as my level of insight and understanding. Becoming a mother transforms you into a new person.
As parents, seeing our children struggle with anything in life is agonizing. When we experience the beauty and joy of becoming a parent, this is not something we imagine. Yet today, teens are faced with so many challenges academically, socially, and athletically. Sometimes it's too much for an adolescent to handle by themseles and the assistance of a professiounal counselor is needed.
Making that frst call to a therapist about your child is often difficult, sometimes painful, having to face the fact that your child is struggling with something that you as a parent can't fix for them. Whether it be an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, or some other mental health issue, no parent is happy that their childs needs counseling. To those parents I can say I truly understand. Let's face it, when our children hurt, we hurt. We have an inborn desire to fix their problems. Mental health issues, however, sometimes can't just simply be fixed. Sometimes as parents the best thing we can do is seek help outside of our families...someone who doesn't know the family personally and can be objective.
Generally speaking, therapy sessions are confidential. Some adolescent therapists focus solely on the teen, leaving the parents in the dark. This is not how I work with kids. I am ALWAYS thinking about the family even when I am only working with an individual child. Parents can play a big part in their child's recovery process. With an eating disorder, this can be in the form of hands on support at mealtimes and shortly thereafter. With depressed kids, this can be in the form of listening and helping to keep the child safe. With anxiety issues, this can be in the form of making environmental changes to help reduce the stress. In addition, parents know their chld better than anyone. I welcome feedback from parents about how the child is doing both at home and in school. This information is crucial in helping me to do my job.
Regardless of the problem that brings an adolescent into therapy, I believe in working as a team. The team includes parents, sometimes siblings or extended family members, school counselors, physicians, or coaches. Together, we can provide a pathway towards healing. Together we can make a difference in a chld's life. There is no greater gift for a parent than to watch their child succeed or overcome a challenge. We can do this together...