Anxious teens often have trouble opening up to the people around them. If you notice that your teen is isolating, withdrawing, and/or engaging in avoidant behaviors, seeking out a counselor may be indicated.
A counselor is trained to help equip individuals with coping skills for dealing with stressors and adapting to change. Counselors strive to build rapport with your teen and provide support and feedback in a non-judgmental way.
Counseling that utilizes evidence-based therapeutic interventions has been shown to be effective for those suffering from a variety of mental health disorders, such as Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Eating Disorders as well as self-esteem issues and behavioral problems. Below is a brief overview of several evidence-based therapies that are effective in reducing symptoms and getting your teen to feeling like him/herself again.
Different Types of Counseling
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems such as depression, eating disorders, severe mental illness, and anxiety disorders. This treatment generally involves reframing unhelpful thinking patterns and making behavioral changes to improve mood.
This is a short term (12-16 weeks on average) and solution focused therapeutic intervention.
Exposure therapy is an effective intervention for Anxiety disorders and Obsessive Compulsive disorders. Throughout the exposure therapy process, the counselor helps the teen identify situational triggers of anxiety and/or obsessions and collaborates with them around approaching each situational trigger to promote tolerating distress and active coping. Teens find that when they stop avoiding their anxiety and approach it, not only are they better able to manage their anxiety, but also their self-esteem and ability to cope with uncertainty improves.
Mindfulness is usually combined with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The therapist creates an environment where the patient can focus on difficult thoughts and feelings, rather than avoiding them. This is done to help the young person overcome their fear and anxiety. Mindfulness therapists ask their patients to do homework, which includes practicing meditation and breathing techniques, and bringing mindfulness to day-to-day activities.
Given that mental health struggles often impact the entire household, it is essential that your teen’s counselor work with the family. A counselor will help identify negative/anxiety based behaviors, how they may be reinforced or maintained through interactions within the home, and how to effectively target these behaviors to improve the teen’s overall functioning and improve communication within the family.
Are you looking for a center that offers counseling for teenage anxiety near you? Look no further than The OCD & Anxiety Center. We are committed to helping young people with mental disorders get their mental health back on track. Over the years, we have helped many young individuals break free from the invisible shackles of anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. To talk to one of our experts, call us at (630) 522-3124.