Teens are capable of talking through their thoughts and feelings given a chance and the right setting. The Christian Counseling environment is designed to be that space and will help teens through their numerous tests and trials.
While it is completely normal to experience angst during the teen years, the stresses of being a teenager should never prevent your child–or your family–from flourishing. The teen years are all about self-discovery and testing boundaries in order to shape identity. This can put a real strain on even the healthiest family relationships. If your teen is struggling and you are finding it difficult to cope with the challenges at home, we encourage you to seek help.
Christian counseling is a wonderful opportunity for your teenager to ask serious questions, develop healthy habits, and discover strengths and weaknesses. A Christian counselor can provide a safe, non-judgmental ear and compassionate, balanced perspective to help your teenager process the challenges of growing into early adulthood. A Christian counselor can also help your teen learn to build healthy peer relationships while modeling positive interpersonal skills in the client-counselor relationship. Ultimately, Christian counseling for teens provides support for teens and their families as they try to navigate these difficult years.
Common Issues Facing Today's Teens
Being a teenager has never been easy–and the personal, academic, and social demands facing today’s teens are perhaps greater than ever before. Some of the issues teenagers wrestle with haven’t really changed: peer pressure, sex and relationships, and academic burdens have always been, and continue to be, among most teenagers’ main preoccupations. But many of these concerns are more acute than ever, and with the rise of eating disorders, gun violence, substance abuse, and cyber bullying, it’s no wonder today’s teens are stressed.
Warning Signs in Teens
Your teen may be reluctant to talk to you about the problems he or she is facing. While this can make it difficult to discern what is a real concern and what is normal teenage behavior, there are ways to tell the difference. Common warning signs include a sudden change in social behavior, extreme shifts in mood, increase or decrease in appetite, and poor academic performance. But this is not a comprehensive list of warning signs.
By Angela Hanford,
Posted April 25th, 2018
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Do you know someone who intentionally cuts or burns themselves? Chances are that you do know someone who has engaged in self-harm behaviors, since it has been estimated that 14% to 17% of adolescents and young adults have reported engaging in self-injurious behavior (Whitlock, Eckenrode, & Silverman, 2006).
In one study of community adolescents, researchers discovered that 46.6% of participants reported engaging in non-suicidal self-injury (Lloyd-Richardson, Perrine, Dierker, & Kelley, 2007).
From these and other studies, it is obvious that self-injury in teens is a major concern. What most people think of as self-injury is referred to as Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) in the psychology community. NSSI is when an individual intentionally harms himself or herself in a manner that is not socially acceptable and does not have suicidal intent. From this point forward, NSSI will be referred to as self-injury.
When you hear the phrase self-injurious behavior, what is your initial reaction? You may have questions such as: Why would someone intentionally harm themselves? Are there any warning signs? How can I help?
Throughout this article we will examine these and other aspects of this very important and often misunderstood topic.
What Does Self-Injury Look Like?
Individuals who engage in self-injurious behavior may use one method or multiple methods. Often, in my experience, there may be an escalation in behavior from more superficial scratching or cutting to increasingly more severe harm.
Some researchers have found that self-injury can take on addictive features (Nixon, Clouter, & Aggarwal, 2002). This
By Angela Hanford,
Posted March 6th, 2018
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Everyone displays problematic behavior at some point, whether it is overreacting to being cut off on the freeway or coping in not-so-healthy ways (e.g., emotional eating). This is especially true for children, since a child’s brain is continuing to grow and does not become fully mature until early adulthood.
Furthermore, although a child may be able to control his or her behavior in some situations, other times, especially when emotionally overwhelmed, the same child may actually be unable to control his or her behavior/reactions. This, although mind boggling and frustrating at times, is completely normal!
On the other hand, there are some child behavior problems that you definitely should not ignore, especially when these problems become habitual or negatively impact a child’s functioning and/or relationships. It is at this point that it is time to seek help. By intervening early, you have a chance at eliminating the behavior before the problem escalates and/or has significant consequences.
Regardless of the child behavior problems you are facing in your home, there is hope! A child’s brain has amazing capacities for growth and change. Furthermore, caregivers and other adults are vital partners in helping a child develop healthy coping skills and the ability to regulate emotions and, therefore, behavior.
As we examine specific behavior problems, keep in mind what the behavior could represent for the child in question. I like what Daniel Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. write in their book, No Drama Discipline (2014). These authors
Are Behavior Problems in Children Normal? Yes and No
By Monica Sager,
Posted December 18th, 2017
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So, your child is having behavior problems. They might be displaying a range of behavioral concerns. Are they being disrespectful? Talking back to you, hitting, kicking, lying? Working with caregivers who are navigating children’s behavioral problems is something I have run into a lot.
I have worked for several years at a child and family outpatient clinic and met a lot of exhausted, angry, confused parents. There is nothing worse than having no idea what is going on with your child while feeling completely responsible to help them.
What do you do when your child is inconsolable? Or when they are reacting seemingly out of the blue and becoming aggressive toward you, themselves, or others? What do you do when your child won’t listen? What are we to think when our children are simply non-compliant?
If I had to choose one word as the most important word a parent would associate with behavior problems in children, it would be this: interpretation. Why, you may ask? Because, behavior is 90% about how we interpret it (why we think it’s happening, what control we think our child has over stopping it or not, how we think doing that behavior makes the child feel, ect). We think. We assume. Bringing your child and yourself into therapy is one of the best ways to go from assuming, to knowing exactly why your child acts the way they do, and whether