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5 signs your Pre-teen or Teen could benefit from Therapy

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

It is no secret that Teenagers struggle during adolescence. From physical to hormonal changes, transitioning to a new school, and simply growing up, a teen's life truly is a rollercoaster full of ups and downs. These years can be tough to navigate without a good support system and often teenagers clash with their parents.

The teen years are an important time of brain development. During these years your teen is developing crucial critical thinking skills that they will continue to depend on well into early adulthood. It is important to develop and refine these skills during this period as it will help your teen be resilient.

Here are 5 signs that your Teen could benefit from Therapy!

1. They struggle with schoolwork and are withdrawn from their social/sports clubs or favourite activities.

Usually, a noticeable and inexplicable shift in your teen's academic performance is the first indication that your teen is experiencing something of concern. Frequently, it is a sign that they are experiencing emotional difficulty. If your teen was an excellent student, and their grades start to suffer or if they stop taking their activities or schoolwork seriously, it's crucial that you keep track of their academic progress so that you can spot any unexpected changes.

Another red flag is your teen quitting activities, clubs, or sports. Although extracurricular activities are a fantastic way for your child to meet new people and broaden their horizons, psychological or emotional problems may make it difficult for them to find the drive to take part.

2. They’ve been through a major trauma.

Because everyone's level of resilience varies, some people are more equipped than others to deal with trauma. Teenagers, however, often find it particularly difficult to deal with traumatic events. Trauma experienced throughout youth can have a long-lasting effect on an individual later in life if it is not resolved.

The death of a friend or family member, an assault, a car accident, and a natural disaster are all examples of traumas that may affect teenagers. Sometimes, trauma is an ongoing experience rather than a one-time event. For instance, one of the most painful and life-altering forms of long-term trauma is bullying. Therapy for teens allows your child to work through their trauma with someone who will not judge or criticize them for their experiences.

3. They’re struggling to cope with a life transition.

The teenage years are a time of transition and this can be hard to cope with as is. Now add a new move, a new baby in the family, or divorce. These transitions can affect your teen's mental health. Transitions can cause feelings of loss of control or other frustrations in young adults. Drastic changes in mood, personality, and behavior may indicate that they’re not adjusting well to their new normal.

Fortunately, therapy can be a helpful resource for teens who are going through life transitions. During therapy, your teen can safely express and process their emotions about the change, and they can develop coping skills so that they successfully adjust.

4. You’ve noticed self-harming behavior or body image issues

Self-harm among teenagers is a grave and serious indicator of a mental or emotional problem. When their emotions become too overwhelming and they are unable to express their pain in other ways, adolescents may turn to self-harm. Self-harmers put themselves at risk for harm, whether or not suicidal thoughts are present at the same time. Bullying may also be an issue for your child.

Low self-esteem, which can result in anxiety, rage, and depressed mood, can stem from unhealthy preteen and teenage body image. When teens are depressed, they are more prone to focus on the negative messages they are exposed to and to compare their bodies negatively to what they perceive to be the "ideal" body type. They may then develop eating disorders.

5. You’re concerned about substance abuse. - Video game

Teenage substance use issues are a big concern. Teenagers who start using drugs or alcohol are more likely to struggle with addiction for the rest of their lives. Some teenagers begin using alcohol or drugs recreationally with their friends, but the issue can become out of hand. In other instances, adolescents who are dealing with mental health problems use drugs to dull their agony.

Addiction can also manifest in different forms. In moderation, gaming can be beneficial. It can help improve and expand a teen’s IQ. However, it’s often difficult to distinguish between a teen who’s an avid gamer from a teen who’s addicted to it. If that’s the case, you should look out for some signs such as irritability, especially when your teen is not able to win a favorite game. Other symptoms may include spending up to 12 hours on a particular game and not even realizing it, signs of isolation, stress, and so on. Gaming addiction also impedes academic performance and relationships, including severe migraines and tiredness.

Whether your child is struggling with a major mental health issue or simply needs extra support as they navigate their teenage years, you should consider bringing them to a qualified therapist to work through their challenges.

Teens can have difficulty opening up to their parents or friends, but therapy is a safe and sacred space for them to process what they’re going through.

Do you think your Teen or Child could benefit from therapy? Speak to a qualified Play therapist to learn how your Teen or Child could benefit from play therapy, Click here to get in touch today, or if you want to know if Play Therapy could be suitable for your Teen or Child, click here to take our quiz!

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