Home Mental Health & Well-Being Common Issues Faced by Teens in Counselling: How to Help Your Teen Overcome Challenges

Common Issues Faced by Teens in Counselling: How to Help Your Teen Overcome Challenges

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Challenges. We all face them every day. And for many teens in counselling, challenges are an even greater concern. Sometimes, teens feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of their challenges, leading to feelings of helplessness and sadness. This is not only unfortunate but can also have an effect on their ability to manage their relationships and mental health. So how can you help your teen in counselling to overcome these challenges?

Common issues faced by teens in counseling include depression, anxiety, bullying, family conflict, self-esteem issues, and substance abuse. It is important for counsellors to be aware of these common issues so they can provide teens with the best care possible.

Issues commonly faced by teens in counselling

Issues commonly faced by teens in counselling are vast and varied. Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and ADD are often seen in teens coming into counselling. Additionally, adolescents may face more chronic behavioural concerns that need to be addressed through therapy – things like substance abuse, conduct disorders, and disruptive behaviour. Many teens will also come into counselling with relationship problems, such as teenage dating violence or loneliness stemming from social isolation. Academic stress can also be a major problem for adolescents; they may struggle with low grades, difficulty meeting deadlines, or other challenges in the classroom.

The main goal when dealing with any of these issues is to identify the cause of the problem and provide strategies to help the teen cope with it. It’s important to take a collaborative approach so that the teen can learn effective ways to manage their emotions and behaviours in a healthy manner. This can include teaching them positive coping skills such as journaling, developing constructive outlets for their stress or anger, and reducing their exposure to toxic influences. Parents should also play an active role in the teen’s treatment by providing emotional support and helping them keep their appointments on schedule.

It’s important to recognise that not all teens’ challenges are equal; different individuals have different needs when it comes to addressing mental health issues. Some teens may respond well to traditional methods of therapy, while others may require alternative interventions such as art therapy or outdoor activities. The key is to find a solution that works best for each individual teen so that they can make positive strides towards managing their challenges.

Despite the difficulties inherent in helping teens face challenges, counsellors have proven themselves competent at handling even the most difficult cases. With patience and genuine care for their well-being, counsellors can help teens overcome obstacles and move forward with confidence and resilience. As we explore further techniques for helping teens tackle mental and emotional struggles, it is important to remember that every teen is unique – what works for one person may not work for another – but with empathy, guidance, and understanding, anything is possible.

  • According to a recent systematic review, anxiety was found to be the most commonly reported issue among teens in counselling (35%), followed by depression (31.9%) and family issues (22.7%).
  • A 2020 study published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence found that over 25% of teens aged 12–17 had received mental health services within the past year.
  • Research conducted between 2006 and 2015 revealed that rates of mental health disorders among teens were rapidly increasing, with over 20% of all adolescents experiencing a mental health disorder in any given year.

Mental and emotional struggles

Mental and emotional struggles are some of the most common issues faced by teens in counselling. It is not uncommon for teens to experience significant depression, anxiety, fear, trauma, or other mental health challenges. In fact, according to a 2017 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 5 teens aged 13–18 reported feeling constantly sad or hopeless almost every day in the past twelve months.

Parents and counsellors should approach their teen’s mental health struggles with a compassionate understanding, allowing their teen to express and process the range of emotions they feel. Teens who have the opportunity to openly discuss their feelings can gain better insight into their emotions and learn ways to cope more effectively with challenging circumstances. Providing a safe environment free from judgement and expectations is critical to allowing any growth or change to occur. Additionally, supporting opportunities such as play therapy, art therapy, music therapy, or even meditation can all help when coping with mental and emotional struggles.

Although it can be difficult, it’s important for parents and counsellors addressing teen issues to recognise that underlying family relationships are often where these mental and emotional struggles manifest. Unhealthy communication styles, issues around trust and control, and traumatic experiences in childhood all have powerful implications for the way our children form acceptable patterns of behaviour as adolescents. Going beyond just addressing symptoms of depression or anxiety without looking at the bigger picture may not be enough to bring about fundamental change – making family relationships key when understanding why certain teens face these challenges.

Therefore, we must look further into how family dynamics influence teen issues in counselling as we attempt to foster positive changes for our young people.

Family Relationships

Family relationships have a major impact on the mental and emotional struggles that teens may be facing in counselling. Thus, it is important to consider how family dynamics could be influencing the challenges that come up for your teen. A 2019 study showed that warm and supportive parenting practices were associated with higher levels of emotional security, resilience, and overall psychological well-being in adolescents. On the other hand, research has also indicated that more hostile or authoritarian parenting practices may increase levels of depression and anxiety among adolescents.

Therefore, it is essential to help foster healthy family relationships within your home to ensure that your teen is provided with a supportive environment. This could involve setting boundaries as needed while maintaining positive communication between all members of the household. It may also be beneficial to seek outside professional help if there are any areas of tension or discord in family relationships, as this can create additional stress for teens.

While family relationships certainly affect mental and emotional struggles among adolescents, it is important to recognise other external sources of stress that may influence teens’ experiences in counselling. To better understand how these everyday stressors can shape their behaviour and moods, it is helpful to explore the relationship between coping strategies used by teens and their mental health outcomes.

Benefits of counselling for teens

Counselling can be extremely beneficial for teens by helping them cope with difficult life issues. Programmes like Modern Recovery’s Teen Program can play a crucial role in such therapeutic journeys, offering specialised support for teens and their families. Research shows that regular counselling appointments can improve outcomes in self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and even academic achievement among adolescents. When teens connect with a counsellor, they may develop resilience skills such as problem-solving and communication strategies. According to researchers, these interventions help reduce preventable mental health concerns by “providing coping skills training, moral decision-making guidance, mental health information, and support.

At the same time, it’s important to be aware of the potential challenges associated with talking to a therapist. Teens have privacy concerns about whom they talk to about their issues and what information is shared. Counsellors should always be mindful of the need for confidentiality by carefully considering this dimension in their planning and assessment strategies. Similarly, seeking help for more severe problems may involve additional psychological treatment with medications or hospitalisation. Understanding the benefits of counselling and its potential limitations provides an informed approach that allows teens to empower themselves while navigating life challenges.

Parents may want to consider counselling when their teens are facing certain difficulties or stressors. This type of intervention could provide an important outlet for adolescents as they learn new skills to cope with their emotions and develop healthier life habits. Ultimately, these types of services can aid teens in successfully navigating life’s challenges while providing much-needed support along the way. As parents work together with their teens to ensure the best outcomes possible, it’s important for them to understand how they can best assist their adolescents in their journey towards success.

Tips for parents to support their teens in counselling

Counselling for teens can be beneficial in helping them cope with their challenges. As parents, it is important to support them on this path. Firstly, it is important to have open and honest conversations with your teen and not pressure them into going to counselling. Discuss the benefits of talking to a counsellor and explain how you might support them throughout their journey – by accompanying them to the first session or assuring that sessions don’t interfere with school. Secondly, it is important to respect their feelings and also express your own views without judgement. Reassure your teen that no matter what they are feeling or going through, they are loved and valued regardless.

It is important to work with the counsellor to understand your teen’s specific issues and come up with personalised solutions. If there is a communication issue between you and your teen, counselling may be helpful since research has indicated that teenage unhappiness increases when communication fails between parents and teens. Working together with the counsellor will likely encourage cooperation from your teen as well as help put you both on the same page about expectations, goals, and outcomes of counselling.

By understanding all sides of this issue and working together, counselling can be successful for teens in overcoming their challenges, especially with support from loving family members. While there certainly are many challenges that need to be addressed within the counselling process, addressing these challenges head-on helps teens make personal growth while learning coping techniques they can use in daily life.

Common issues teens face in the counselling Process

When teens enter counselling, they may face a variety of difficulties and common issues that may impede their progress. One issue oftentimes faced is resistance to treatment. Teens may be resistant to accepting help from a counsellor, as they often view external help as an admission of defeat. They may also be nervous about opening up to an unfamiliar adult and discussing difficult topics, causing further resistance to treatment. It is important for parents to remember their role in helping their teen work through these feelings of apprehension and encourage them to remain open-minded during counselling sessions.

Other issues teens have faced in the past when entering counselling include difficulty expressing emotions and vulnerability. Many teenage years are rife with conflicting emotions, and it can be difficult for teens to process how they feel or communicate such feelings in a healthy manner. Due to the stigma surrounding therapy, teens may see it as a sign of weakness to share their true thoughts and worries with another person, thus hampering their progress throughout the counselling process. It is important for parents to normalise therapy and provide guidance on how to better express how they feel so that their teens enter therapy sessions with confidence and comfort.

Debating both sides of the argument: Neither position is without merit; while resistance to treatment can certainly increase anxiety and potential setbacks, vulnerability also plays a key role in improving outcomes within therapy sessions. Parental support and encouragement can help teens realise that seeking help does not equate to a sign of failure, yet being able to express themselves clearly is also essential for successful outcomes during counselling sessions.

Evidence and examples

Studies have found that parental encouragement was a key factor for teens entering the counselling process with helpful results; parental presence during initial interviews helped alleviate much of the tension associated with meeting someone new. Moreover, programmes such as dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), which seeks to teach participants skills used for emotional regulation, enable those who struggle with expressing their concerns openly (AACAP). As evidenced by these examples, parent support in not only encouraging their child but also providing knowledge on tools such as DBTs can result in increased confidence among teens when speaking openly with counsellors.


Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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